By Krysta Scripter
RENO, Nev. – Reno is still feeling the effects of a terrible recession, but when Tesla announced their $5 billion gigafactory would be built outside the city, the mood shifted quickly. That buzz is definitely making its way to the University of Nevada, Reno, where Tesla recently visited the career fair at the Joe Crowley Student Union.
Career mentors stood at the front of the job fair as hundreds of eager students signed in. The line led down the hall well before the event started, with most students saying they wanted to meet Tesla representatives.
Tesla’s modest corner booth was quickly swamped with well-dressed students holding resumes, all eager to speak with recruiters. Twenty-three-year-old engineering major Justin Chavez said Tesla is the main reason he attended.
“I’ve wanted to work for Tesla since like….It was one of my inspirations, for joining engineering, so, it’s really exciting,” said Chavez.
Tesla Motors was looking to hire more than three hundred students for summer and fall internships. While members of Tesla’s booth declined an interview, other employers were quick to recognize how excited students were about the company.
Tesla wasn’t the only company present, even if it did dominate the expo.
More than fifty other employers were present, including Hamilton Robotics.
Company representative Darren Warrick explained the Nimbus desktop application, a robotic system that collects specific sizes of DNA strands from a series of tiny test tubes to students at the event. DNA sequencing is used in biology and medical technologies.
“What this particular application does [is] DNA size selection. If you’ve ever heard of next generation sequencing, DNA sequencing, a lot of times they need very specific sizes of DNA. So that’s what this application does,” said Warrick.
Nineteen-year-old UNR student Sarah Krum, a secondary education major and staff member for the career fair, said Tesla was the major draw for students. More than 800 students attended the event.
“Especially with someone as big as Tesla here, it’s an amazing opportunity for all students, whether they’re engineering majors or not,” Krum said.
The Nevada Career Studio has hosted three job fairs at UNR since last fall, and has another fair scheduled for March 12, though Tesla’s recruiting team has no plans to return to UNR this year.