Big Ten name means little to job recruiters

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Brian Egr, project manager and recruiter at Graham Construction, Inc., said the conference switch doesn’t mean much to the company as it considers schools and students to recruit.

Story and photo by Renee Pflughaupt, NewsNetNebraska

LINCOLN – The Big Ten. A change in conferences has meant a change in almost everything for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

But whether the namesake help UNL students get jobs and internships is still an unknown.

Employers and recruiters at the UNL Engineering Career Fair across the board said the name made little difference to them.

“It’s really hard to see what it means in the short-term,” said Jeremy Muehlbauer, a software engineer with Cerner Corp. “The fundamentals of the degrees and their course structure haven’t really changed.”

Some employers, such as Conductix Wampfler, didn’t even know about UNL’s conference standing until they came to the fair.

“The Big Ten doesn’t mean much to us,” Conductix human resources assistant Annie Crimmins said. “We’re really looking for people with drive and who can add to the bottom line.”

John Soneson, a product support engineer at National Instruments, said Nebraska has a reputation of pumping out successful and driven workers. In fact, he added, some very successful people at National Instruments were from Nebraska.

“All of the Nebraskans we hire are good,” Soneson said.

Christina Fielder, assistant director of UNL career services, said the university is trying to capitalize on the Big Ten name so that employers get to know the talented and hardworking students here.

Fielder said the university’s new status and the resulting recognition will attract employers to its students.

However, it’s difficult to say whether such recognition has yet been achieved, said Kelli Smith, assistant director of UNL career services.

“Our hope is to see an increased interest among employers in our talented and hard-working students here at UNL,” said Smith in an email. This interest, she said, will hopefully translate to increased hires for internships and full-time job opportunities for UNL students.

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