BSCI Preparing Graduates for Career Success

Auburn Building Science Career Fair

Which Auburn program boasts a 100% placement rate and an average starting salary of over $70,000?

That would be the building science program in the McWhorter School of Building Science (BSCI), and these statistics are due in no small part to its complete approach to career readiness and engaged alumni and industry presence.

Angie White, BSCI Career Services Specialist, supports Building Science students’ career prep needs, as well as industry involvement alongside BSCI leadership and faculty. She fosters connections between students and industry, manages BSCI’s three career fairs each year and oversees informal networking opportunities.

“We encourage students to research the companies ahead of networking opportunities—learn more about who they are and what kind of work they do—so they can be sure to make the most of their time with industry representatives,” White explained.

Meeting and greeting in an informal setting

Meet & Greets are one way for students to engage with industry partners in an informal setting. During both the fall and spring semesters, up to 12 companies are present in the Gorrie Center lobby each week. Students are encouraged to stop by in between classes, engaging with industry representatives to gain familiarity with various companies and enhance their confidence in such interactions.

Auburn Building Science Meet & Greets
Meet & Greets are offered in the fall and spring semesters.
Auburn Building Science Meet & Greets
Students are encouraged to stop by in between classes to speak with industry representatives and ask about employment opportunities.
Auburn Building Science Meet & Greets
Meet & Greets are a chance to encounter a familiar face and have a friendly conversation.

“At first, when I was around industry folks, I would get the jitters,” shared Brad Hicks, a December 2023 BSCI graduate who recently accepted a position with Ben M. Radcliff Contractors. “But as I went to more Meet & Greets and industry presentations, I became comfortable with them.”

Brad Hicks (left) and Emma Fisher (right)
Brad Hicks (left) attending a BSCI Career Fair with fellow BSCI graduate and fiancée Emma Fisher (right)

Networking events are more than just fun

BSCI offers informal networking events beyond campus as well. Each spring, Auburn’s chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) hosts the DBIA BSCI Clay Shoot in nearby Notasulga, Alabama. In the fall, the Iota Chapter of Sigma Lambda Chi hosts the BSCI Golf Outing in Opelika the day before the career fair, which serves as an icebreaker for both students and industry.

Auburn Building Science Golf Outing
Aubie and BSCI School Head Richard Burt celebrate at the Auburn Building Science Golf Outing.
Auburn Building Science Golf Outing
Industry and student attendees of the Auburn Building Science Golf Outing are paired together, providing valuable networking opportunities.
Auburn Building Science Golf Outing
The Auburn Building Science Golf Outing is a highlight of the fall semester. Left to right: MBC student Justice Wimbley, BSCI student Audrey Cecil and industry representatives Carsen Vereen ’23 and Lily Larmon of HITT Contracting.

Carsen Vereen, a May 2023 BSCI graduate, is now a Project Engineer with Hitt Contracting in Atlanta. She attributes her position at Hitt to networking opportunities at a BSCI Golf Outing she attended as a student.

Auburn Building Science Golf Outing
Carsen Vereen (left) with Angie White (right) at an Auburn Building Science Golf Outing.

“I had never played, but a friend convinced me,” she said. “I was paired with representatives from Hitt, and we made a great connection. At career fairs that followed, I networked with other companies but decided to accept an internship with Hitt.”

Starting early

While networking skills are an integral part of preparing building science students for their futures, the career prep process begins long before students engage directly with industry. In fact, it begins when students first set foot on Auburn’s campus and remains a priority throughout their college career.

“We have a prep for the career fair in the freshman intro class, and industry guests often visit to speak with our students,” White said. “In their communications class as juniors, the students update their resumes. This ensures that our students are maximizing their time with us.”

The freshman-level intro class requires students to attend a career fair, where they rely upon their resumes and insight gained in class to initiate connections with companies of interest.

This timing is now more important than ever: more students are seeking to complete internships between freshman and sophomore year, and industry representatives have taken notice, investing more efforts to recruit and hire students earlier.

Career fairs central to success

Career Fairs are an integral part of the BSCI Career Services experience. White hosts three fairs throughout the year—one each in the spring, summer and fall semesters—that provide students and industry alike with a formal platform to explore internship, co-op and full-time job opportunities. This spring, the fair attracted more than 100 industry partners, maxing out the exhibition space.

Auburn Building Science Career Fair
Claire Sasser ’17 (center), a graduate of Auburn’s Master of Building Construction program, converses with a student at an Auburn Building Science Career Fair.
Auburn Building Science Career Fair
A student reviews a list of companies attending the Auburn Building Science Career Fair.
Auburn Building Science Career Fair
Carsen Vereen (far right) attending an Auburn Building Science Career Fair as an industry representative.

“Industry demand for Auburn Building Science graduates is at an all-time high,” White said. “Our faculty have crafted an outstanding curriculum that reflects industry needs. It’s imperative that we empower our students with the skills necessary to foster relationships within the industry and effectively showcase their abilities. We’re with them from day one.”

Related people:
Angie White