By: Kyle Niblett
A record-high 107 companies attended the annual M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management Career Fair held Wednesday morning at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on the campus of the University of Florida.
“This event is almost like a big homecoming for us,” Rinker Director Dr. Robert F. Cox said. “It is very important because it provides the opportunities for our students to continue to impact the construction industry.”
Coming from as far as Texas for the event, the 100-plus companies recruited Rinker students from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., before giving way to individual interviews at the recruiters’ invitation from 1 to 5 p.m. Filling up the entire floor of the venue, many UF graduates returned home to hire the next group of Gator greats.
“The success of the career fair stems from alumni involvement,” Rinker senior Aidan McGurl said. “We have very active alumni that love to give back and provide opportunities for us students.”
Caroline Montgomery is one of those who has benefitted from said involvement. As a Rinker freshman in Spring 2019, she attended the career fair just to get experience in being comfortable in such a social setting. Two weeks later, she had an internship offer from Eagle Construction of Virginia. She went up to Richmond in Summer 2019, fell in love with the company, and interned with them again in the summer of 2021. Following her graduation this past fall, she was offered and accepted a job as a project manager with the company. Montgomery returned to the O’Connell Center this past week as a recruiter, looking for the next version of herself.
“Rinker does a phenomenal job of getting companies to come in year-round and speak to students, so when you see them at the career fair, I don’t feel like there are any strangers here,” said Brookelyn Gerush, who will be graduating from Rinker this fall. “This is my fourth time attending the career fair and at this point it feels like one big family.”
“Every year we come back to Gainesville, we have a better experience than the year before,” said Amanda Lentini, a talent recruiter for DeAngelis Diamond. “The great students Rinker provides gets us hyped up for the next career fair. The University of Florida just offers something special.”