Olivet students hired for jobs and internships during Society of Women Engineers conference

More than 300 national and international companies participated in this onsite career fair.

January 18, 2019 Academics, Engineering

At the 2018 Society of Women Engineers (SWE) national conference, five Olivet Nazarene University students received offers for full-time jobs, internships and even a co-op placement. That was their bonus for attending the world’s largest conference for women engineers.


During the three-day conference, 23 Olivet students — 10 men and 13 women — joined the group of 15,000 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They attended many workshops and presentations centered on the conference theme, “Let’s Break Boundaries.” Dr. Joseph Schroeder, chair of the Department of Engineering in the Martin D. Walker School of Engineering and Technology at Olivet, is the faculty sponsor of Olivet’s student chapter of SWE.

Derek Racek, a senior engineering major with a concentration in electrical engineering, connected with human resources representatives from Northrop Grumman Corporation at the conference. He recently accepted a full-time position with the company and begins in August 2019. He joins five other Olivet alumni already employed by the company.

“When the rep heard about my major, studies at Olivet and the internship I did with Augustine Biomedical, she interviewed me right there,” Derek says. “I wasn’t expecting that!”

During this interview, Derek also had the opportunity to learn more about the company. About halfway through, a hardware engineer joined them and shared more with Derek about the technical aspects of the job opening.

After the interview concluded, the HR representative asked Derek to wait for more information before he left. About 10 minutes later, she returned with a job offer, including location and salary. He didn’t accept on the spot but did schedule a site visit at the company’s Baltimore location.

“I wasn’t even looking at Northrop Grumman before I attended the SWE conference,” he says. “Now, I’m almost an employee.”


Josh Meier, a sophomore engineering major with a concentration in mechanical engineering, landed a co-op placement with BorgWarner, Inc. while at the conference. His impressive experience on his resume was the main reason the company hired him.

“It’s easier to be involved and get more hands-on experience in Olivet’s engineering program,” he says. “As a freshman, I was working on our all-terrain vehicle design team for the Baja SAE competition. That rarely happens for undergraduates at other schools.”

Since the SWE conference, several other Olivet students have connected with companies for interviews and have received internship and job offers.

This was the third SWE conference senior Jasmin Folkers has attended. She is an engineering major with a concentration in mechanical engineering and president of Olivet’s student chapter of SWE. In 2016, she connected with Rockwell Automation at the SWE conference and has already completed two internships with the company. After graduation, she will begin her full-time job there.


“The annual SWE conference gives Olivet students access to large, well-known companies,” Jasmin says. “And it lets large companies know about Olivet. Companies aren’t looking for the names of big colleges. They are looking for students from a program with ABET accreditation, which Olivet has.”

She adds, “You never know what path will launch your career anywhere in the world.”

To learn more about Olivet’s engineering degree program and student chapter of SWE, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Photos submitted by ONU SWE. Used with permission.

Published: 1/18/2019

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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