Parker has always valued outstanding graduates who have the potential to become a part of the global team. Parker looks for leading candidates who are highly adaptable and have been provided with an excellent engineering education; one that exposes them to Parker technologies. How might a student be exposed to different Parker technologies? Looking back to 1993, the corporation launched the Parker Motion and Lab School Program across 10 universities nationwide to address this need. Parker prides itself on the importance of these partnerships to supplement engineering education to meet real world applications. The program continues to grow, and it is exciting to see how students are impacted through such programs.
From a student's perspective
Kenan Namour, Cleveland State University (CSU) alum, had a few positive thoughts regarding his experience inside the Parker Motion and Control Lab. Kenan was first exposed to the new CSU state of the art lab in 2018. Prior to this new and improved lab, Kenan and his fellow students were performing experiments in a dedicated space in the basement of the college. The previous lab represented technology primarily relevant to a mechanical engineering career. The new lab has been expanded to encompass everything needed to pursue a variety of engineering careers across the fluid power/system control disciplines. Parker is now making a positive impact on a wider selection of engineering students by continuing to equip the university with modern, updated equipment that will last.
“The new lab brought a new element of order, excitement and a variety of products. It made the learning experience more engaging and carried a sense of excitement for many students.”
- Kenan Namour, CSU alum
Building the brand
Providing the equipment is one aspect of the program, but maintaining visibility and increasing credibility means live engagement with students. Last winter after the holiday break, Parker sponsored an on-campus coffee mixer to rejuvenate excitement for the lab. The event was casual in that students were able to interact with industry professionals and discuss potential career opportunities. There were roughly 40 students who attended the one-hour session. Valencia Rucker, market manager- university, and Daniel Chase, engineer at Pneumatics Division, spoke about their journeys at the company and described a typical day in their positions. The sole purpose of this event was for students to be as comfortable as possible in front of potential employers in a casual environment. Students ranging from engineering to business majors attended and the feedback was positive to hold more sessions.
“Students were able to ask questions that they necessarily wouldn’t be able to ask at a career fair or in an interview session. The coffee mixer gave me a better perspective of what to expect as an actual Parker Technical Sales Associate. Being able to talk with someone who has been through the program shed a lot of light on the program."
– Kanan Namour, CSU alum
Continuing to build the brand among college students is important to Parker. Creating meaningful programs and experiences for partner school students helps develop the next generation of Parker team members.
This article was contributed to by Valencia Rucker, market manager-university, Parker Hannifin Corporation.