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The Right Connections

New software can help students connect instantly to recruiters at SDSU's Oct. 24 Career Fair.
Sarkar and her team have worked with SDSU Career Services to create a downloadable app called Proximity available for participants in the Oct. 24 Engineering and Sciences Career Fair.
Sarkar and her team have worked with SDSU Career Services to create a downloadable app called Proximity available for participants in the Oct. 24 Engineering and Sciences Career Fair.

Students attending the Oct. 24 Engineering and Sciences Career Fair at SDSU can take advantage of new software called Proximity to connect them instantly with potential recruiters.

Developed by SDSU engineering professor Mahasweta Sarkar and colleagues, the software and corresponding mobile application—or app—matches a student’s resume to an ideal profile created by the recruiter.

Proximity was designed to facilitate personal networking at events including professional conferences, trade shows and campus career fairs.

A grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) competitive I-Corps program financed extensive interviews and testing to determine the commercial viability of Proximity.

Team Proximity

The I-Corps team included Sarkar, the principal investigator, as well as SDSU post-doctoral researcher Christopher Paolini and local entrepreneur Les Briney.

A 2000 graduate of SDSU, Sarkar returned as a professor of electrical and computer engineering in 2006 after working as a research scientist at SPAWAR Systems Center and Sun Microsystems.

Perfect match


Sarkar and her team have worked with SDSU Career Services to create a downloadable app called Proximity, available for participants at the Oct. 24 Engineering and Sciences Career Fair.

The student logs in with a name and Red ID, and the app displays a full list of companies present at the fair along with a short description of each one. At the touch of the “Match Me” tab on the app, the software eliminates some companies to display a “short list” of recruiters looking for expertise that matches the particular student’s skill sets.

Additionally, the app displays the location of the recruiters’ booths on a map of the fair.

The app can be downloaded beginning Oct. 22 from the website: proximity.sdsu.edu. It is currently available for the Android platform; an iOS version will be available next year.

About the career fair


The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. Registration is not necessary, but students will be asked to swipe their Red ID at the event.

A list of participating recruiters can be found here or on the Career Services website.

STEM programming

"Career Services is excited to partner with the engineering faculty to streamline and maximize the connections between employers and students at our career fairs and other events," said Sandra Williams, associate director for employment development and campus planning. Williams led Career Services' pilot social media program in 2012-2013, which resulted in a suite of career-focused social media initiatives.

SDSU Career Services employs a full-time staffer, Paul Salce, to centralize and coordinate recruitment for students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Career Services STEM programming scheduled for 2014 includes technical resume-writing and interviewing workshops in February and several networking events in March.

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