Getting Involved with Universities

The ECIA Foundation has a long history of collaboration with universities that offer academic programs suited to the industry. From influencing curriculum options for students that will enhance their future opportunities to promoting the industry as a rewarding career choice, the ECIA Foundation is a valuable partner. There are a variety of programs that ECIA member companies can explore to get involved at their local level.

Interaction with a program provides a company with a more personalized relationship with recruit prospects and a valuable ally within the college.

Participation can be in many forms:

  • Volunteer to be a guest lecturer
  • Offer a case study opportunity
  • Join in at a career fair
  • Buy refreshments for a student/professional organization
  • Offer internships

What the next generation is looking for - Does your company have what it takes? 

A recent study by Pepperdine University highlights the vast number of millennials joining today’s workforce while providing examples on how employers can structure their workplace to foster engagement and become more attractive to this diverse generation. With more than 79 million millennials in the U.S., the goal is to help employers develop a better understanding of this unique cohort and help businesses successfully adapt to this changing workforce demographic.   View the infographic.

Scroll to bottom of page for a list of university programs in your area.

Project Host

Begun in 1986 as part of the National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA), the ECIA Foundation sponsors Project Host, a program that provides students and their faculty the opportunity to attend the industry’s premier meeting - EDS.

EDS is held each May in Las Vegas, NV. More than a traditional trade show, it is dominated by "business to business" meetings between manufacturers and their authorized distributors and manufacturer representatives. Student Ambassadors are matched with ECIA member volunteer executives who "host" students and allow them to attend these important business meetings. Students see the theories they have learned in class come to life as they see the manufacturer/distributor/manufacture representative relationships. Students have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to pick the brains of experienced industry professionals and see real-world business planning and marketing sessions.

The Foundation has postponed this program for 2019. If you have an interest in participating in the future, please contact Debbie Conyers.

Student Ambassadors’ Perspectives

"The insight into the electronics industry and the connections I made are unparalleled. The ability to attend an event of this magnitude at such a young age clearly shows the Industrial Distribution's commitment to our education in, and out, of the classroom. Thank you to everyone that contributed to making this a reality for me!”

“Interacting with different distributors and manufacturers was such a learning experience.  Shadowing sales reps and manufacturers boosted my learning curve on processes of selling and getting products on the market through e-commerce or other tactics."

“During my time I learned the value of trust in manufacturer and distributor relationships.  The electronic component industry is thriving and seeking a younger generation to take advantage of the increasing opportunities.”

“This conference gave me a very interesting perspective on the relationship between the manufacturers reps and distributors, especially within the electronic components industry. I was also given the chance to see not only what some of the major key players have been doing this year, but their plans for the future and how that will affect the rest of us.”

“The ECIA offers a unique opportunity for supply chain students each spring at the Electronic Distribution Show. I was afforded the chance to sit in on supplier negotiations, shadow industry execs, and put my learning into action. The relationships I fostered with professionals in the electronic industry allowed me to ask key questions about my future career field and further my learning.

'During my purchasing class we engaged in a negotiation exercise where the parameters were set and the outcomes very similar. However that is not the case in the real world, obviously. No case in the classroom could compare to the real-time demonstration I saw at EDS.I witnessed distributors and manufacturers strengthen their existing supply chain partnerships and strategically align their own business goals with those of their buyers. These skilled practices are ones that I will adopt in future experiences.'

"You helped to make my time at EDS one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career. I am now motivated to pursue a career as a sales engineer and have recently enrolled in sales-related coursework to compliment my engineering degree. I am so thankful for this program and I understand how lucky I am to have been involved."

"The EDS Show this past week in Las Vegas was phenomenal. We were able to shadow some executives from some of the largest corporations in the industry. In our procurement class, we did our final project on a supplier evaluation. The meetings we attended at the conference were essentially real life supplier evaluation meetings. One thing emphasized at the conference that isn't discussed in the classroom so much is that not all business meetings are going to go well! That is why it was interesting to sit in on these meetings and see what behavior should and should not be practiced when handling sensitive subjects during business. Overall the trip was an 11/10."

"I cannot express how beneficial this was to my professional development. I had the opportunity to sit-in on at least 10 different meetings, and collect 50 business cards from industry representatives. The meetings were all very unique and presented useful information including industry best practices, market challenges/opportunities, international scenarios, and relationship development. I now have a better understanding of manufacturer/distributor relationships."

Explore some of the schools that have a relationship with the ECIA Foundation:

Northeast: (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT)

University of Hartford - Barney School of Business

Address: 200 Bloomfield Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06117

Primary Contact: Celia Lofink
Phone: 860-768-4566

Career Fair Dates: September

Internship Contact: Not available at this time


Mid-Atlantic: (NJ, NY, and PA)

Clarkson University

Address: PO Box 5740
Potsdam, NY 13699-5740

Primary Contact: Adrienne Boswell
Phone: 315-268-2144

Career Fair Dates

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

Penn State University

Address: 471 BB, University Park
PA 16802-3004

Primary Contact: Susan Purdum
Phone: 814-867-1506

Career Fair Dates: September, January or February

Internship Contact: Brianne Kepler


South Atlantic: (DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, D.C., and WV)

East Carolina University

Address: 200 Bloomfield Ave.
Greenville, NC 27858

Primary Contact: Mark Angolia
Phone: 252-737-1036

Career Fair Dates: Fall and Spring

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

Howard University

Address: 2600 6th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059

Primary Contact: James Haddow
Phone: 202-806-1604

Career Fair Dates: September and January

Internship contact: Eric Williams

Kennesaw State University – Coles College of Business

Address: 1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591

Primary Contact: Dr. Michael Maloni (Supply Chain, Logistics, Distribution)
Phone: 770-423-6549

Career Fair Dates: October and March

Internship Contact: Ms. Lori Trahan

University of South Florida

Address: 4202 East Fowler Avenue, BSN3403
Tampa, FL 33620

Primary Contact: James Stock
Phone: 813-974-6173

Secondary Contact: Donna Davis
Phone: 813-974-3339

Career Fair Dates: Various throughout the year

Internship Contacts: James Stock, Donna Davis


East North Central: (IL, IN, MI, OH, and WI)

Baldwin Wallace University

Address: 275 Eastland Road
Berea, Ohio 44017-2088

Primary Contact: Career Services
Phone: 440-826-2101

Career Fair Dates: February

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

Bowling Green State University

Address: 264 Business Administration Building
Bowling Green, OH 43403

Primary Contact: Thomas Siebenaler
Phone: 419-372-9964

Career Fair Dates: October and April

Internship Contact: Thomas Siebenaler

Eastern Michigan University

Address: 122 Sill Hall
Ypsilanti, MI  48197

Primary Contact: Robert Teehan
Phone: 734-487-1161

Career Fair Dates: Not available at this time

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

Illinois Institute of Technology

Address: 3241 S Federal Street Suite 111
Chicago, Illinois 60616

Primary Contact: Shirlean Williams
Phone: 312-567-6482

Career Fair Dates: September and February

Internship Contact: Shirlean Williams

Michigan State University – College of Business,/span>

Address: Bogue Street, Rm N339 Broad 632
East Lansing, MI 48824

Primary Contact: Judy S. Jacobs
Phone: 517-355-2177

Career Fair Dates: Supply Chain Management - October and January

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

Purdue University

Address: 1345 Armstrong Building, Stadium Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47905

Primary Contact: Mary Pilotte
Phone: 765-496-2655

Career Fair Dates: September and March

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

Saint Louis University School for Professional Studies

Address: 3840 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63108

Primary Contact: LaShone Gibson Associate Dean for Global Engagement
Phone: 314-977-3209

Career Fair Dates: Multiple activities

Internship Contact: LaShone Gibson

University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign

Address: Supply Chain Management Program
350 Wohlers Hall
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Primary Contact: Udatta S. Palekar
Phone: 217-333-1665

Career Fair Dates: Fall and spring

Internship Contact: Amy Fruehling

University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Address: 105 Garfield Avenue
P.O. Box 4004
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

Primary Contact: Alyssa Slaby
Phone: 715-836-5358

Career Fair Dates: September (main) and February (secondary)

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – Lubar School of Business

Address: 3202 Maryland Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Primary Contact: Prof Anthony Ross
Phone: 414-229-6515

Career Fair Dates: November, February and April

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

Western Illinois University

Address: 3300 River Drive
Moline, IL 61265

Primary Contact: Dr Jim Patterson, Assistant Dean, College of Business & Technology
Phone: 309-762-9481

Career Fair Dates: October and March

Internship Contact: Ms. Audrey Adamson


West North Central: (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, and SD)

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Address: College of Business and Technology
Kearney, NE 68849

Primary Contact: Scott Jochum
Phone: 308-865-8693

Career Fair Dates: February

Internship Contact: Brenda Jochum


East South Central: (AL, KY, MS, and TN)

Auburn University

Address: 438 Lowder Hall
405 W. Magnolia Ave.
Auburn, AL 36849

Primary Contact: Brian Gibson – Supply Chain Management
Phone: 334-844-2460

Career Fair Dates: September and March

Internship Contact: Marcia Gibson

University of Alabama

Address: 214 AIME
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0223

Primary Contact: Rob Morgan
Phone: 205-348-9557

Career Fair Dates: Various throughout the year

Internship Contact: Travis Railsback

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Address: 1150 Tenth Avenue
South Birmingham, AL 35294-4460

Primary Contact: Dr. Thomas E. DeCarlo
Phone: 205-975-5810

Career Fair Dates: Fall and Spring

Internship Contact: Kristen Craig

Internship Site

University of Tennessee

Address: 100 Dunford Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996

Primary Contact: Stephanie Kit, Interim Director, Career Services
Phone: 865-974-5435

Career Fair Dates: September and October (Fall); January and February (Spring)

Internship Contact: Not available at this time


West South Central: (AR, LA, OK, and TX)

Texas A&M University

Address: Industrial Distribution Program
Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution
3367 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-3367

Primary Contact: Dr. F. Barry Lawrence
Phone: 979-845-1463

Career Fair Dates: Not available at this time

Internship Contact: Evan Vestal

University of Houston

Address: College of Technology
300 Technology Building
Houston, Texas 77204-402

Primary Contact Not available at this time
Phone: 713-743-4100

Career Fair Dates: Not available at this time

Internship Contact: Not available at this time

University of Houston Downtown

Address: 320 North Main Street
Houston, TX 77002

Primary Contact: Gary Stading
Phone: 713-221-2775

Career Fair Dates: Not available at this time

Internship Contact: Brett Hobby

University of North Texas

Address: 1155 Union Circle
Denton, TX 76203-5107

Primary Contact: Dr. Terry Pohlen
Phone: 940-565-2367

Career Fair Dates: September and February

Internship Contact: Not available at this time.


Mountain: (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, and WY)

Arizona State University

Address: 300 E. College
Tempe, AZ 85287

Primary Contact: Michele Pfund
Phone: 480-965-6044

Career Fair Dates: October and March

Internship Contact: Rita Jennings

Colorado State University

Address: College of Business
210 Rockwell Hall West
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523

Primary contact: Susan Schell
Phone: 970-491-4834

Career Fair Dates: February and September

Internship Contact: Susan Schell

Boise State University

Address: 1910 University Drive
Boise ID 83725

Primary Contact: Tom Gattiker
Phone: 208-559-1859

Career Fair Dates: September and February

Internship Contact: Tom Gattiker


Pacific: (AK, CA, HI, OR, and WA)

California State University – Long Beach

Address: Center for International Trade & Transportation
1000 Studebaker Road, Suite 3
Long Beach, CA 90815

Primary Contact: Angeli Logan
Phone: 562-985-2874

Career Fair Dates: Various for technical and non-technical careers

Internship Contact: Career Development Center

Central Washington University

Address: 400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Primary Contact: Lad Holden
Career services

Portland State University

Address: 615 SW Harrison
Portland, OR 97035

Primary Contact: Becky Einolf
Phone: 503-725-3699

Career Fair Dates: Several in fall through April; Supply Chain and Logistics only in early March

Internship Contact: Not available at this time