|Isabel Bird tried something different to stand out from the crowd at EAA's first job fair. She wore a shirt noting she was a May 2013 graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a master's in mechanical engineering and that she was looking for a job. (photo by Phil Weston)
By Barbara A. Schmitz
August 2, 2013 - Isabel Bird was looking for a way to stand out in the competitive job market. She found her answer in bright red and aqua T-shirts that advertise her job search.
The back of each T-shirt reads "Embry Riddle 2013 MSME seeks job" and pictures an airplane on the front.
Bird, a New Zealand native, has a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Sheffield in England. In May 2013, she graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a master's degree in mechanical engineering.
She is looking for an entry-level engineering job in the aerospace industry. But when she wasn't having much luck finding a job in the traditional methods, she tried the untraditional T-shirt for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013.
This is her first visit to AirVenture, and Bird said Wednesday's job fair was a good place to network. "I figured there would be a lot of prospective employers here and on the grounds."
More than 1,100 job seekers came to the first-ever job fair in College Park, said Holly Williams, EAA business relationship manager. They met with 18 employers in aviation-related businesses.
"We had no idea how many people would come," Williams said. "We thought maybe 500. But the employers were definitely happy with the candidates, and the majority already said they'd be back next year."
Most of the candidates came to the interviews in Oshkosh gear - a T-shirt and shorts, Williams said. But some did show up in suits, ready to impress.
Bird said she doesn't have a job offer - yet.
"Everyone seemed entertained by the T-shirt and they liked my resume," she said. "At least I've had some good responses."