Student-run industrial distribution career fair attracts record-breaking 80 companies

PAID 2017 Career Fair

The student organization Professional Association for Industrial Distribution (PAID) recently hosted its annual career fair at Texas A&M University’s Hall of Champions.

A record-breaking 80 companies from all over the world came to recruit students for those majoring in the industrial distribution program within the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution.

Created and ran for students, the event is one of only two career-specific career fairs at Texas A&M. The career fair is able to provide hundreds of opportunities for students seeking careers in the distribution world.

PAID is one of the largest student-run organizations at Texas A&M with more than 700 members. It was formed in 1983 to serve as a link between industrial distribution students and industry. For more than 30 years, PAID has played a key role in providing internships and job opportunities for industrial distribution students.

Cole Willbanks, senior industrial distribution major and PAID president, says that this year’s career fair was a success thanks to the hard work of everyone involved.

“Putting this event on with a team of 12 student officers is all about being proactive. Planning really starts years in advance. For instance, we already have our dates set and venues booked through 2019.”

“Recruiting starts six months in advance for companies, and we are continually finding ways to add value and make this the best overall experience for our students and industry partners alike. It's basically a full-time job without a paycheck. Just as much work that goes into the event itself goes into the building of our team,” Willbanks said. “We wouldn't be able to do this without a truly cohesive team so we spend a lot of time working together and building that bond.”

PAID is advised by industrial distribution lecturer Evan Vestal and instructional associate professor Dr. Norm Clark.

“Congratulations to PAID officers, committee members, volunteers, faculty and staff for making today’s career fair an incredibly successful and valuable event,” said Vestal.

“We appreciate your commitment and drive. Thank you to our students for engaging and interacting with our industry partners in a professional manner. You all represented the industrial distribution program well.”