February 18 , 2014
About the Event
Around 100 students interested in transportation-related careers flocked to Coffman Memorial Union on February 18 to meet with representatives from nearly 30 transportation organizations at the 2014 Transportation Career Expo.
The event began with three roundtable discussion periods in which students discussed a range of transportation topics with industry professionals, exchanged resumes and business cards, and made valuable connections.
Lyssa Leitner, a transportation planner with Washington County, attended the expo as an exhibitor and advised students to “take full advantage” of networking opportunities. “Get business cards from everyone you talk to here,” she said.
Laura Eash, a program coordinator at the Minnesota Transportation Alliance, also exhibited with her agency. Eash told students that networking is vital in securing jobs, and personally meeting industry professionals goes a long way. “You can throw your resumes at as many companies as you want, but you’re probably not going to stand out unless you know someone at the organization,” Eash said. “Meet professionals and make personal connections. Even if you can’t get a job right away, it’s important to maintain good relationships.”
After the roundtable discussions, attendees mingled with exhibitors to pick up educational materials and applications and to learn more about available job and internship opportunities.
Attendee Autumn McDowell, a senior majoring in urban studies at the University of Minnesota, said she is interested in a future career in transportation planning. “Here you get to see people who work at the companies face-to-face,” McDowell said. “It’s nice to be able to present yourself to them.”
Exhibitor Ryan Wilson, a transit corridor engineer at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, stressed the important of carefully reviewing specific requirements listed in position descriptions when applying for jobs and internships.
“If you can get someone interested in your resume or cover letter by tying your experiences and skills to those included in the job description, it will go a long way in setting yourself apart,” Wilson said. He also noted that the best candidates are those who put in extra time working on the “intangible” skills, such as communication and writing. “That’s how you get yourself the interview and get yourself one step closer to the job,” he said.
The annual event was sponsored by Education and Outreach Council of the Center for Transportation Studies, the Women's Transportation Seminar, the Minnesota Local Road Research Board, Minnesota LTAP, and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).
- Andersen Corp.
- Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) Inc.
- Athey Creek Consultants
- Bay and Bay Transportation
- Bolton & Menk Inc.
- Braun Intertec
- City of Bloomington
- Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
- DHL Express
- Federal Highway Administration
- First State Tire Recycling/R.-T.E.A. Manufacturing
- HDR Engineering Inc.
- Hennepin County
- HR Green
- Isthmus Engineering Inc.
- Kimley-Horn and Associates
- Minnesota Department of Transportation
- Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers
- Parsons Brinckerhoff
- PLS Logistics
- SRF Consulting Group Inc.
- Technological Leadership Institute, University of Minnesota
- WSB & Associates Inc.
- WTS Minnesota
- Young Professionals in Transportation - Minneapolis
- Zan Associates