Monthly Archives: March 2015

My career progression

Recruiter

During my presentation to NSBE at San Diego State University, I informed some of the students of my work experience and how I landed those jobs.  The majority of the positions began through my leadership and involvement with the National Society of Black Engineers.  Below is a brief summary of my career progression:

2004 (summer before freshman year) – I simply registered for a summer program where the main part was working for a local company and taking intro math and programming classes

2005 (during freshman year) – I continued to work at the company 10 hours weekly.

2006 (summer before junior year) – I met the company at the 2006 NSBE National Convention career fair booth and on-site interview.

2006 (off school for a semester) – At the same 2006 NSBE Convention, someone from a different sector of the same company extended a co-op position.

2007 (summer before 0.5 junior year) – I was offered a different internship with the same summer 2006 company.

2008 (summer before 0.5 senior year) – At 2008 NSBE Convention, I attended an invitation-only hospitality suite reception.  After talking to some of the employees, I was escorted to the hallway where HR was set up with a laptop and emailed me an offer letter.

2009 (final semester) – I walked into the International Program in Engineering Office and applied for their study abroad assignment in Hong Kong.  After I was accepted I asked the process for them to pay for my flight and was approved.

[With all of my internships, I already had 1 full year of engineering work experience! ]

2010 (1st full time position) – After applying online, I had an interview via Skype while still in Hong Kong.  I was denied that position.  After returning home a similar position came up, and they contacted me for that one with no need to interview again.

2012 (MBA opportunity, declined) – I received a mass email for a scholarship opportunity.  After researching the school, I decided to call (not email) the scholarship chairperson.  After finding out he was the Dean of the program and other common interest, he instructed me to take the GMAT and apply.  I studied for 1 month (since that was the application deadline) and took it.  I was offered acceptance to the university and a full tuition scholarship for my MBA in Entrepreneurship.

2012 (2nd full time position) – During the 2012 NSBE Convention, I was on the NSBE Regional Board and was enjoying the Technical Professionals Conference.  Without concern of landing a new job, I decided to walk around the career fair to greet old friends.  Upon asking one about her current career, she gave rave reviews and offered me an interview.  I interviewed with an HR manager and the Director of Engineering in my dream location, San Diego.  After 4 total interviews, I received my offer letter the same week as I received the MBA scholarship letter.  After lots of prayer, I determined that I was not ready for school, and that I wanted to further my engineering career.  It has been one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life!

Engineering Career Fair Prep

March 9 2015 A colleague Kazeem Omidiji and I were the keynote presenters at the San Diego State University National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) meeting.  We had an informal presentation on preparation for the annual NSBE Convention in 2 weeks.  Our main focus was “What to say at a career fair booth and your 30 second introduction”.

We opened the meeting with having 4 volunteers come into the center of the table arrangement and give us their 30 second introduction with the scene:

You are at the career fair in your business professional attire with your resume and I am a recruiter from your dream company.

Following this, I gave Kazeem my 30 second introduction, and he responded with his.

Then, we had the room give feedback on the good and bad things that they saw while I documented them on a PowerPoint for everyone to see.  A shortened list is below:

Good

  • Start with your name, school, major, graduation date
  • Research the company and ask the recruiter about it
  • Tell them about your work and extra-curricular leadership experience

Bad

  • Forgetting to offer your resume
  • Being too informal
  • Not asking for a business card or a follow-up contact

The remainder of the presentation was spent in a tag team approach touching on the vast settings where you can land an internship or full-time job.  It may vary from sitting next to a recruiter on a bus, eating dinner at the next table, or meeting them at a hospitality suite.  I told them to always be yourself, but remain professional because there is always a recruiter around.

With help from other professionals in the room, we were able to give a more realistic point of view on the hardships of career fairs.  One mentioned that you may not always get an interview or offer at the career fair, but there is always an opportunity to follow up and possibly get in through the back door with LinkedIn, phone, and email.

We ended with reminding them that “You are your own best salesperson” and “Your company wants to find you as much as you want to find them”.

Click this link to see a history of how I landed all of my career opportunities!