June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Engineering Leadership Development Division
ABET’s accreditation standards revised in 2001 highlight the importance of including technical and non-technical components in engineering curriculum. Employers also identify non-technical skills, such as leadership, as top qualities contributing to attractive candidates during the on-campus recruiting process. In a previous study, the authors identified three themes from recruiters’ perspectives that demonstrate engineering leadership potential during a career fair: communication, connection, and confidence. There are two primary purposes of this study. The first is to describe an active learning environment for engineering leadership classrooms engaging employers and simulating the career fair experience. The second is to utilize the active learning environment to collect feedback from recruiters on students’ performance in demonstrating their engineering leadership based on the themes generated from the previous study.
Students participated in a mock career fair during an engineering leadership course. Data were collected over two semesters. During class time, 24 recruiters from five different companies participated in a mock career fair for four sections of an engineering leadership course. During the mock career fair, recruiters heard the students’ 30-second pitch, provided verbal feedback to the students, and rated the students’ effectiveness on demonstrating engineering leadership in their 30-second pitch on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest rating. At the end of the mock career fair, recruiters filled out a three question survey to provide feedback on the importance of the themes generated from the XXX (2016) career fair study as well as determine which of the themes contributed most to a high rating of students’ 30-second pitch during the mock career fair event.
This study is important as it seeks to support recruiter-identified themes related to demonstrating engineering leadership during career fair interactions. Supporting these themes helps to inform leadership development programs as to the important behaviors engineering leadership students should be demonstrating during recruiting events. This study provides a perspective of how leadership students present themselves and characterize their leadership skills to potential employers. Recruiters, as one of the first observers of engineering leadership graduates outside of academic programs, provide feedback on interactions with students related to their communication of engineering leadership potential. Engineering leadership educators can benefit from these findings to support student knowledge and professional skill development aligning with ABET requirements and industry needs.
Handley, M., & Lang, D., & Erdman, A. M. (2017, June), First Impressions: Evaluating Student Performance in Demonstrating Engineering Leadership Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28362
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