Twice a year, Rochester Institute of Technology holds its Affinity Reception for students from diverse organizations to talk about their talents and career aspirations.
Dozens of recruiters met students from Women in Computing, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, We@RIT and ALANA Collegiate Association. They accepted resumes, and discussed their companies’ openings and the students’ goals.
Diana Solt, a recruiter for L3Harris Technologies in Rochester, has attended the reception for the past several years, calling it one of her company’s “top talent sourcing events.”
“RIT’s Affinity Reception offers us an amazing opportunity to find top-notch talent, because it flips the tables and allows employers to seek out students who are strong candidates to join our team,” she said.
L3Harris hired more than 60 RIT students for co-op or full-time employment this past year.
“L3Harris seeks to leverage the strength that comes from appreciating the wide array of viewpoints within the student body,” Solt said. “We are always looking for the underlying ambition and motivation that drives people to move forward and their many different points of view.”
Melanie-Lark Benning, a recruiter for Cisco, traveled from North Carolina to attend the reception and career fair.
“I want to learn more about what the student organizations are about and find out ways Cisco might engage with them,” she said. “I like the reverse career fair aspect to it and RIT is an excellent place to recruit.”
Maria Richart, director of RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, said the Affinity Reception is an opportunity for students to meet recruiters in a more relaxed atmosphere.
“Many companies come to RIT looking for not just engineers or not just a specific type of engineer,” she said. “They are looking for diversity for their workforce. This event allows them to look beyond ethnicity, but also in gender and diversity.”
Calvin To, a fourth-year new media interactive development major from New York City, was at a table with his fellow RIT students in the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.
“Definitely, diversity helps,” To said. “It makes me feel more comfortable when I see people of color in the same room I’m in.”
Frank Caruana, a talent manager for Geico, said RIT is one of the largest schools he recruits from. Six alumni are in the company’s emerging leadership program, focusing on business or information technology.
“We’re always looking to recruit talent from diverse organizations,” he said.