Tag Archives: job search

Job Search to Job Found

Veronica Ammer

Veronica Ammer,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 February 2019

My first three years of college, I dreamed about that brilliant light at the end of the tunnel: graduation. It felt like it couldn’t come fast enough. Seven more semesters. Only three more semesters. However, when senior year finally rolled around, my excitement was replaced with apprehension as the daunting reality of the job search process sank in.

Frankly, I did not know where to begin. There is a vast variety of work for chemical engineers across a wide range of industries. This is definitely a positive, but it was challenging to narrow down what I wanted to do.

Luckily, I was not left to my own devices and procrastinating tendencies. The Director of Professional Experiences for the Russ College sent out an email about a job posting for an engineer interested in materials science. I thought, “Hey, I like materials science.”

I continued to read the job description—research and development of plastic films—and realized that this was exactly what I wanted to do. It was a mix of lab work while also working with customers and production for the scale-up process.

So, I worked up my courage and sent out my resume and brief cover letter to Next Generation Films, Inc in Lexington, OH. I heard back quickly and soon enough I had a phone interview scheduled with the R&D manager. I was very nervous for the interview, as most interviewees tend to be. However, the interview turned out to be a positive experience as the R&D manager and I chatted about Lauren Daigle in between discussing my resume.

Soon enough, I was on-site for a formal interview and had the chance to check out blown film extrusion and the R&D lab. I fell in love with the process and was beyond excited when I was offered a full time position at Next. Once again, I find myself impatient for summer, not for the end of college, but for the start of my career.

Starting the Senior Year

Nicholas Burton

Nicholas Burton,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 24 September 2018

Week 5 of my “official” senior year of college. So close, yet so far away where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is graduation, but there are still plenty of things that need to be done.

After spending yet another summer at home where there is full-time access to the beach, I can say it’s definitely a bittersweet feeling coming back to Athens. Nevertheless, it’s finally starting to feel like fall and this year will be the last time I get to spend on campus, so I am ready to make it count.

This semester, I am completing my senior design project, which I am already seeing is every bit of the time commitment that everyone before me has said it is. With that taking up so much time, it has been a little more difficult to stay focused and make sure every class gets appropriate attention, but so far I have been managing, even with the awful case of “senioritis” I have got going on. My goal is to keep in mind the fact that putting in these 15 weeks (plus 15 more after that) worth of hard work will pay off in the end.

The other big thing I have started to put focus towards is applying to full-time jobs. I believe my past few summers of interning have led me in the path of land development, so that has made it a little easier to focus my search for full-time employment. I can tell you that this process is almost like adding another 4 credit hour class, so I am doing all that I can to get ahead of the game and apply early.

Fall Engineering & Technology Career Fair

Alexis Lanier

Alexis Lanier,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 22 September 2018

A little over a week ago, as I sat down at the beginning of class, my friend asked me if I was going to the career fair. I hadn’t read my email much that week, so I was extremely surprised to learn that it was only a week away.

If I am being honest, thinking about the career fair made me nervous. The previous two years I felt I could shrug it off because I was only a freshman/sophomore and had a research job. However, this year being a junior I knew I needed to go and try and get an internship for the summer, so I could have some hands-on experience to put on my future resumé. I had only attended the career fair once prior to this year’s and I only spoke to two employers, so my goal this year was to go in more confident and speak to several companies.

A few days before the career fair, I looked up all the companies offering electrical engineering internships and wrote down the ones that interested me, along with what they did. I wanted to make sure I would be able to hold a conversation with the employer, and not have a short chat where I could be easily forgotten. I also updated my resume and talked to a few of my friends that had success at previous career fairs.

On the day of the career fair after a couple of classes and dealing with a faulty printer, I headed over anxious but ready. Once I got to Stocker, I mustered up as much confidence as I could, put on my name tag, and looked for the first company I wished to speak to.

I spoke to five or six different companies and each conversation included shaking hands to introduce myself, telling them what I am interested in, answering questions about myself, and asking questions about their company.

Looking back on my second experience at the career fair, I can say I felt way more comfortable and confident speaking to the employers, and I am hopeful that I left a lasting impression on at least one. All in all, I think the career fair is a great experience to gain confidence and learn how to speak to employers.

The Road to Job Acceptance: Personal Experience and Tips from an Engineering Undergraduate

Cami Jones

Cami Jones,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 26 March 2018

Now that I’ve finally found and accepted a full-time job, it seems like an appropriate time to write about the process of actually finding a job. For all of you metrics people out there, here’s a quick “by the numbers” about my full-time job search.


  • 16 companies

  • 11 distinct resumes (includes revised versions & job-specific modifications)

  • 27 online applications

  • 4 candidate pre-screening “intelligence”/ “ethics” tests

  • 8 first-round interviews

  • 5 second-round interviews

  • 4 final interviews

  • 4 job offers

  • 20+ hours of driving to/from interviews

  • 7 automatic rejections

  • 12 applications still “pending”


I don’t know how it reads, but it sure did feel exhausting! And I was fortunate—I know some of my friends have applied to 100+ jobs online and are only just beginning to get interviews. For what it’s worth, I’ve compiled my own list of top 3 full-time job search tips below.

Students and parents alike, please note the following: online job searching is HARD even for well-qualified students. I believe that it’s imperative to “play the game” in a smart way to make the most of efforts made applying to jobs…otherwise it’s easy to get discouraged! It is my hope that the tips below will help serve as an introductory guide to “playing smart”.

Cami’s Top 3 Full-Time Engineering Job Search Tips:
1. Know yourself. It’s important to know your skills/interests AND weaknesses/dislikes when searching for and applying to jobs. Trust me, it’s no use to anyone if you apply to a job that you’re unqualified to perform or that you will be unhappy doing. Look for jobs that both appeal to your interests and require skills that you feel confident you have. It’s a plus if you actually
have prior experience using these skills from an internship or co-op!

Avoid applying for jobs that sound boring or require too many skills you don’t possess. At the end of the day, if you get an interview for a job you want to be excited (not reluctant to “have to” interview) and you want to feel ready to knock it out of the park – not worry that they will discover you’re unqualified!

2. Know the system. The truth is that if you’re applying for jobs online, it is highly unlikely that a human will be the first to view your resume. These days, there are sneaky Human Resources (HR) software tools called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that will “read” your resume and spit out a summary for the HR manager before anyone will see it. This summary needs to match the specific job description for you to get a call to interview…or to even get a real person to
review your qualifications!

If you’ve heard that you should make your resume “visually appealing” that’s still true if you are handing it out (or emailing it) to prospective employers. However, the formatting that makes your resume appealing may be a big reason that the ATS will reject your application! Many of these ATS systems cannot process documents with sophisticated formatting and therefore will not be able to read/summarize much of your content. AKA: even if you are perfectly qualified, you won’t get a call to interview!

Be SURE to create and use a plain text (unformatted) version of your resume to be submitted online. A helpful resource for creating a resume that both an
ATS and human can easily read can be found here (in step 2).

Once I started following these ATS guidelines, I started getting calls to interview. Before I used these techniques—crickets. I highly recommend doing your own research about ATS!

3. Use your network. If someone you know has connections to a job that you are interested in, reach out to them! From a company’s perspective, if someone who already works for them recommends someone for a job, it shows that the person is already trusted at some level. This takes some pressure off of the HR folks looking to hire for a position.

From your perspective, in many cases you can skip that pesky online application (and ATS scan) and have your resume placed in the hands of someone in HR who might actually read it! Again, if someone is willing to help you with this—take them up on it. In all transparency, this is how I got my foot in the door for three of my five internships and even the full-time position I accepted!

At Ohio University, we have a number of networking opportunities. The best, in my opinion, is building relationships with older students and alumni while still in school. Building up a good reputation with those entering the workforce before you for being a hard worker and someone who is easy to talk to can go a long way in obtaining your “dream job” later on!

Again, this is how I heard about the full-time job I accepted. An alumnus from our ISE department reached out through one of our professors to see if anyone was interested in working for Akron Children’s Hospital as an Operational Excellence Analytics Specialist and I jumped on the opportunity to send my resume her way! She sent my resume to her boss, and I had an interview set up a few days later. The rest is history.

Best of luck in your future (or current) job search!

Interviewing with Parker Hannifin

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 January 2018

This past September, I spoke to Parker Hannifin at the Ohio University career fair. At the end of our conversation, the recruiter told me to apply to the position as soon as possible because they would be conducting on-campus interviews in a few months.

I did as he said, and a few weeks later found out I was selected to interview at the beginning of November. The men I interviewed with informed me that they were going to select a few top candidates from the interviews that day to interview again at the Global Headquarters in Cleveland. I felt pretty good about my interview with them; however, I was unsure if I would be selected.

A week or so later, I received an email from Parker Hannifin inviting me to a banquet in January and a full day of interviews to follow. I was thrilled!

Over break I started doing more research on the position and company to educate myself before the big day. The banquet was wonderful. It consisted of managers and a group of employees who had recently graduated from the Technical Sales Associate position. I learned a lot about the position and became even more excited. I knew it would be the perfect job for me.

The interview day sounded intimidating, but ended up being quite enjoyable. Each finalist had six different interviews starting at 7:30 am and ending at 1:30 pm. The interviews were for different divisions in Parker Hannifin.

After the interviews, one of the managers told all the finalists we would
hear back from them within the next few weeks with either an offer or explanation as to why it did not work out.

I felt good about the interviews, but was still a little worried I would not get selected. As I was driving home, my worries diminished. I received a phone call from a manager in the Sporlan Division, telling me they had decided to extend an offer to me and I would receive the written offer on Monday.

I had no words. I was so excited!

I went over the offer for a few days and decided to accept. On June 4th, 2018, I will start working for the Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin in Washington, MO for my departmental orientation. I will work there until July 10th, then get relocated to Cleveland for 4-6 weeks to begin my Technical Sales Associate orientation with all the other TSAs that were selected. From there, I will rotate the US and get located in my permanent position in November.

I am so thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait to begin this next chapter of my life.

Networking Through the Sales Centre

Andrew Noll

Andrew Noll,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 1 November 2017

I was recently inducted into the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre here on campus. Schey is the #1 sales center in the country and has 100% job placement after graduation.

A lot of people ask why an engineer would join a sales center and what kind of benefits they would realistically get? Well to answer that, Schey is one of the best networking platforms I’ve been a part of. Furthermore, I have always had a bit of interest in technical sales, and Schey has over 50 corporate sponsors, including many technical sales companies.

I went to the Schey career fair and I thought I wouldn’t be there long because I only wanted to hit the tech sales booths. While walking around, I saw a few manufacturing companies, and even though they were hiring for sales, I told them about my manufacturing experience and showed interest. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked out of that career fair with two manufacturing engineer interviews, and a phone screening with Dell EMC.

The point I want to get at is that networking is such a huge part of one’s career. Obviously, classwork and involvement is important but I do agree with the statement “it’s all about who you know”. Everyday you get out of bed and go about your business, you are networking.

The motivated individuals in a group like Schey that you surround yourself with, the countless connections on LinkedIn and your willingness to reach out to them, the guy or gal sitting next to you at the barber shop, even your barber can be valuable connections! Networking comes from a wide variety of sources and I always try to expose myself to many situations and experiences because I know it will pay off.

I have always been a natural extrovert. In regards to my education, people are my favorite subject. I say that people are my passion because I know I can learn a lot about myself, what I want in a career and plenty of other valuable knowledge from others. Taking the extra steps to meet people and learn about other industries has allowed me a sense of stability in my job search and I plan to keep up the solid networking in the upcoming years.

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!