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!