Tag Archives: job search

Life Decisions

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 28 March 2017

This semester I have been faced with making huge life decisions. As someone who is pretty indecisive in general, this has basically been a nightmare.

For the past 4 years of my life here at Ohio University, I have had a vision of what my life would look like when I graduated. This semester forced me to evaluate whether that vision still rings true to me. Making the choice between industry and graduate school has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. I am a big believer in gut feelings, but in these past few months it sometimes felt like my gut was refusing to talk to me.

What helped me come to my final decision was the enormous support from everyone around me. I am the kind of person that wants to know absolutely every piece of available information before I am willing to make a final decision. This is not a particularly useful personality trait in situations where there are a lot of unknowns.

The reason I’m writing this blog post is that I think my situation probably resonates with a lot of incoming freshmen who might not know what the right path is for them. I have two things to say which might ease your worries.

First of all, I would like to say that I reached the decision to accept a job offer because of the unwavering support and patience of my academic advisor here at OU, Dr. Doug Goetz. His impact on my experience in the Russ College cannot be understated.

In these past few weeks, he has met with me every time I felt uncertain or wavered in my decision. He has answered emails, asked for input from his colleagues, and generally been the greatest ally I could have asked for at such a critical point in my life. Ohio University and the Russ College have put me into contact with some of the most incredible people in my life: people that were willing to fight for me and who were there for me during every step of my college experience.

That leads me to my second point: coming to Ohio University was the single best decision that I have ever made. It meant leaving my family behind and flying across the country to a place where I didn’t know a single other person. It also meant that I found a second home.

As I am preparing to leave Athens for my new job as a process design engineer at Kiewit Engineering Group Inc. in Kansas City, I am definitely sad to be closing this chapter of my life, but I also know that my experiences at Ohio University have prepared me to take on the challenges that this next chapter may present.

I wish the best of luck to anyone who might be making those big decisions in their life, and I hope that the experiences of myself and the other Ambassadors might be helpful in making that choice!

Moving to Pittsburgh

Kevin White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 26 January 2017

Over Winter break, I got the phone call that I will remember for the rest of my life. I was offered a full-time Industrial Engineer position with FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, PA…and I accepted the position. I interned with FedEx Ground for the last 3 summers and I loved every second of my experiences. Working there full-time is such an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.

Working in Pittsburgh full-time means that I am going to move to Pittsburgh, which has always been a lifetime goal of mine. Shortly after accepting the job offer, my mom and I took a whole day and toured about 10 apartments around the area for me to live in. As an engineering major, of course I had my clipboard with me for every apartment and was being way too analytical when it came to the square footage and the pricing. I want to be close to work and close to downtown, so finding a perfectly located apartment was a challenge.

At the end of the day, I sat down and evaluated my top 3 apartments and now am waiting to send in an application. This was an eye-opening experience for me because I saw all of these costs that I am going to be responsible for while entering the real world. As I graduate in April, I will now be transitioning into the next chapter of my life and I am very excited. It has been a great 4 years at Ohio University and the relationships that I have built with the students and faculty here will last a lifetime.

Where to Go After Graduation?

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 January 2017

As the new semester kicks into gear, I’m realizing that this is my last semester that will have this common progression: Early ease/confusion, then cruise control on the next three weeks, then progressive chaos from week 6 to week 14. I’m sure graduate school will have its own rhythm, but this is my last uniquely undergraduate semester. As I look into where I’ll be going for graduate school, I realize I’m going to have to get over my desire to know where I’ll be. It’s likely I won’t know that until June.

My two options are Ohio University’s graduate school to work with my advisor, Dr. Cyders, or GE Aviation’s Edison program. Graduate school here would be great, but it would be the safe option. My advisor wants to work with me, so I don’t have to convince him to hire me—I’ve been doing that for the last four years.

What’s not safe and is pretty scary is the Edison program. It’s a graduate-school track GE has to teach their engineers in depth how they do things, design things, etc. It’s super selective. I have to convince them that I can handle it and that they should invest in me.

I think what scared Jane would prefer would be gradually building her resume with safe options that just take time and hard work, until the point that I can apply to my dream job and there’s no convincing required. However, to make the most of my early years I need to take risks. I need to apply to places that might reject me. It’s scary, but necessary. So I’m applying to the Edison program. They don’t interview until June, but it’ll be okay. Everything will be okay. It’ll be an adventure.

Preparing for Life after Graduation

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 7 February 2016

My four years at Ohio University have almost come to a close and I am now in my last semester. Even though these four years have been amazing, I have to prepare for what my life is going to be in 3 months.

After thinking about my plans for several months, I have decided to pursue a career in industry and not to apply for graduate school. The oil industry had always been my passion; however given the fact that the price of oil has declined to record levels, I started looking at other industries.

The industry that has caught most of my attention has been the software industry, especially business intelligence, analytics and big data. My current plan is to find a job in a company that works with the applications of this type of software.

In order to find a job in the industry that I want, I have been using several resources that are very effective. While being an international student, finding a job in the United States is not easy since it requires sponsorship. However, I do think that the resources that I have used have given me several opportunities to at least introduce myself to the company.

Among the resources that I have used, the one that has helped me the most is my network. Since I was a sophomore, I knew that I had to build a network and I did so through my student organizations. This network has benefited me in getting interviews, assisting me through the hiring process and on top of that provided me with an even larger network. I will keep working on my job search during the next couple of months hoping to have something lined up for after graduation!

Help from the CLDC

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 11 December 2015

Finals week is complete and now I have seven semesters down, one more to go! As a lot of Bobcats go home this winter break to rest their brains from finals week, I will be spending some more time here in Athens.

A few people asked why am I not going home right away and the thing is I enjoy it here and I also have a lot to do this break. There is one semester left then I will be unleashed to the real world. I want to make sure I am thoroughly prepared before I start interviewing for jobs. I have some studying to do and some interview preparation also. Athens being nice and quiet is perfect.

One very helpful place that helped me tremendously is the Career and Leadership Development Center. They are located in Baker Center and they do a number of things such as mock interviews, reviewing resumes, and holding leadership programs.

I used a couple of their services last semester: the mock interview and resume review. I received some great pointers on my resume. I made some changes and feel a lot more comfortable since it was reviewed by someone that has so much experience with resumes.

My mock interview was a great experience. It was good practice and a confidence booster also. The interviewer makes the experience feel legitimate and they give you genuine feedback to help you succeed. I told the person that interviewed me that they may see me again because I may be doing another mock interview spring semester!

Post-College Adventures

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 8 December 2015

As the first half of my senior year comes to a close I would like to follow up on one of my previous posts about the fall career fair and the great opportunities it presented. During the fair, one of the companies I spoke to was Honda of America. Following the fair, I was offered an on-campus interview and was later offered an on-site interview for a position as a new model packaging engineer. Shortly after, I was offered and accepted the position which is in Marysville, OH.

This start to my career as an engineer is very exciting for me as a way to branch out and apply myself in a discipline that is not only new and interesting, but also presents the challenges of being a part of the automotive industry. It is also comforting to be able to focus on my studies in my last semester, which will be the most challenging, instead of searching for jobs.

In addition to finding a full-time job, I have been also accepted into a position within the Ohio Army National Guard as a platoon leader within a maintenance company, in order to serve my commitment with Army ROTC. Between working for Honda and serving in the National Guard, I look forward to the challenges I will be faced with and the growth I will experience from these challenges.

Beyond these two positions, I’m also looking forward to a project of my own. One of my life long dreams, which seems ever closer, has been to farm. Over the next few years I will be renting 55 acres from my parents in Lancaster, OH as I renovate not only the house but also the property in preparation to purchase and begin my lifelong dream of farming (picture below).

Lancaster Farm

I have no doubt that the next few years of my life will be very busy but I look forward to the new opportunities and challenges I will encounter once my time at Ohio University is over.

Interviewing for an Internship

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 October 2015

Last week, I traveled to Nashville, TN for my third national Society of Women Engineers Conference and for the third year in a row, I was going to try to get an interview with the Boeing Company and hopefully, an internship.

I believe I was third in line to talk to Boeing when the career fair doors opened. It is such an intense feeling handing a recruiter your resume because you never know their personality and which cards you should play. I’ve had a few bad experiences and a few good ones, and this just time was one of the good ones.

The recruiter asked me a few questions about my resume and then concluded with “Why Boeing?” And I don’t believe I’ve ever given a more honest answer. I told her Boeing is on the top of my list, I’ve always wanted to work for Boeing. The first time I flew, I knew I wanted to work with planes and as I grew older, I knew it had to be Boeing. Your company is the number one supplier of planes to the world; you give people wings. Why not Boeing? It’s the best!

I don’t believe I’ve ever had a bigger smile on my face and fortunately, she had one too. I scored an interview.

They conducted a STAR interview. But, after the interview, they wanted to know my questions.

This is always a turning point in an interview; my advice is to always ask questions. It is an opportunity to show off your knowledge of the company and they can learn more of where you might fit through your concerns. I made sure I had a few questions lined up for the interview that were honest.

I must have impressed because 4 hours later my phone was receiving a call from Seattle, WA. I ran out of the restaurant and almost cried when the lady told me I had the internship! Dream come true! I had worked so hard to work for this opportunity all through my undergrad and it was finally paying off.

In conclusion, I just want anyone going to an interview to be completely honest with themselves and the recruiter: why do you want to work HERE? Why are we made for you and you for us?

Also, if you do not get the interview on the first try, like I did my first two SWE conferences, keep trying. Do not settle with a company you do not like, or if you do end up somewhere other than your desired company, still strive to make your dream company job happen. Yay Boeing!