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Recruiting & Cooperative Education

Michelle Magee

Experiential education. Every university claims to have it, but RIT can prove it. We do more to demystify the work world through cooperative education, multidisciplinary design projects, and curriculum innovation than most of our peer universities or colleges.

The result? Our students are career-ready, even before they graduate, and they bring that hands-on, game-on mindset to your company.

To make our students and graduates your next great employees, contact Michelle Magee at

Career Fair Success for Students & Employers

Rachelle Siawta and Sarah Woolf Spath are proof that Rochester Institute of Technology’s career fairs connect students with employers.

When they were students, Siawta ’10 (electrical/mechanical engineering technology) and Spath ’13 (mechanical engineering) both were offered co-ops with Exelon Corp., which owns and operates the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario, N.Y. They have been working for the company permanently for years and returned to the RIT campus to recruit other students during Wednesday’s annual RIT Spring Career Fair.

“We always come back to RIT because we get great quality, highly-educated candidates,” said their co-worker, Caitlin Cardinale ’12 (human resource development), who said they were hiring full-time mechanical and electrical engineers.

RIT hosts university-wide career fairs twice a year, with representatives from approximately 250 companies and more than 4,600 students attending. Between 1,000 and 1,500 students meet with employers for follow-up interviews.

Steve Page ’79 (electrical engineering technology) is an RIT alumnus who recruits students for Raymond Corp., a Toyota-owned company near Binghamton, N.Y., that builds forklifts. Page said his company has hired numerous RIT students over the years, starting with co-ops. “It’s a good way to find out how good a person is and if it’s a good fit,” he said.

“We like RIT students and come here to recruit because you have such a big program,” Page said. “We’re looking for mechanical engineers, software engineers and computer science majors.”

Co-op Student Establishes Sustainability Metrics for Wegmans

As an industrial engineering student, Amy Ryan knew nothing about calculating a company’s carbon footprint when she started her co-op at Wegmans. But after she was assigned to the team looking at ways grocery retailer Wegmans could reduce its carbon footprint, she learned everything she could about the topic. She was hooked.

Ryan helped establish sustainability metrics for the company, which included reviewing utility and transportation use. She worked at Wegmans part-time through the school year and over the summer. She had previously worked on co-op at Carestream Health Inc.

Her supervisor, Tony Pisa, says Ryan was one of six students in Wegmans’ maintenance department. That’s up from two students in 2003, when Pisa started in the department. Ninety percent of his co-op students are from RIT.

“They are very skilled at the technical side of the business,” Pisa says about RIT students. “They are really ready to roll up their sleeves and work hard.”

The co-op also refocused Ryan’s engineering studies. It changed what she thought she wanted to do and it helped drive her switch from a focus on process improvement to sustainability.