August 17, 2012
. – For some graduates, joining the herds of fresh-out-of-college students on the competitive job hunt is a daunting step. Fortunately, many students at the Florida A&M University (FAMU)-Florida State University College of Engineering are taking a calculated method to make sure all their I’s and Ts have been crossed prior to walking the stage at commencement.
FAMU Career Center Director Delores Dean said students are visiting the Career Center and University sponsored career fairs in an effort to get prepared, meet with recruiters and potentially earn an internship or job. “Students who utilize the center tend to have a higher chance of attaining a job upon graduation,” she said. “We conduct workshops, critique resumes and have corporate guests throughout the semester.”
Nicolas Bembridge, who earned his PhD in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, says students should utilize the professional resources being offered on campus.
Bembridge, a senior scientist at Medtronic (a medical device company), garnered his job during a career fair. Initially an internship, following graduation in 2011, a driven-Bembridge was promoted to full-time.
“The internships I earned while at FAMU helped to prepare me for my position as a senior scientist,” said the Kingston, Jamaica native. “It helped me to adjust to working
in different settings with multidisciplinary teams who assume you know a lot. Thanks to all the experience I received at FAMU, I was able to fit right in.”
Approximately, 1,000 students attend each of the FAMU career fairs for the fall and spring semesters, and roughly 10,150 students visited the Career Center during the 2011-2012 academic year.
According to Dean, 9,287 students and alumni are registered with the Career Center — 8,496 undergrads and 791 alumni. She estimates placement at 60-65 percent; however some recruiters do not report once they have earned the position.
Junior Kilani Davis met a Proctor & Gamble recruiter during a career fair. Following a long discussion, the recruiter helped Davis through the application process.
“I think that was the key,” said Davis, an honors engineering student. “The career fair allows recruiters to put a face to a name as well as anything else you can add that companies might not see on paper.”
Davis earned her first offer after her freshman year and at the end of the summer, was recommended for her second and current internship with P&G.
“If they continue to like my work, I will hopefully get an offer every summer until I graduate,” she said. “Then they will evaluate me for a full-time position.”
Benjamin Cole, an associate engineer for Rockwell Automations, attained his job through the FAMU Career Center. He says he appreciates that the staff at the center work one-on-one with students, while exposing them to recruiters and real-world job opportunities.
The Washington DC native, who received five post graduation job offers, advises students preparing for the job market to “treat looking for a job as an actual job.
“You have to take it seriously — know your brand and know what you are trying to sell,” he said.
Bembridge agreed, adding that students should research the companies they want to work for that will be at the job fairs.
“Tailor your resume to suit what they are looking for so it will highlight the experience you have that is relevant to the company you're interested in,” he said. “Go to the job fairs and talk with their representatives. Be professional, yet personable and make sure you know what you're talking about if they have a technical person on-hand to question what you know.”
Additional engineering students who have earned internships and/or jobs:
- Justin Allen, full-time position with Parker Hannifin Corporation;
- Antony Jepson, full-time position with Microsoft;
- Ryan Kopinsky, full-time position at Ciscor.
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