Friday, September 26, 2014

Upcoming Career Events

The weather has been absolutely beautiful this week, which is good timing for Homecoming this weekend and all of the career events that are happening this upcoming week. In between class, I just walked around campus and picked up an iced chai tea latte at the Starbucks in the Business College. The weather will not stay like this forever, which is why I had to seize the opportunity to enjoy campus.

Next week is Career Gallery, the largest career fair of the year at MSU. Over 300 employers will be looking to hire interns, co-ops, and full-time over the course of two days at the Breslin Center. There is also an event just for engineering internships and co-ops called Pre-Gallery. It takes place in the Engineering Building courtyard and is a good warm-up for the Career Gallery the following day. I have mentioned these events in some of my previous blog posts.

This week, there have been a lot of smaller events leading up to the Career Gallery and Pre-gallery. Companies have been hanging out in the Engineering Building lobby, talking to students, critiquing resumes, giving info sessions, and participating in mock interviews. Various engineering organizations have also been hosting different companies at their meetings to talk about career opportunities.

A few of my classes have really put an emphasis on careers and relating what we learn to industry. In my fluid flow class, two MSU chemical engineering alumni from Dow Corning came in to talk about their careers and how to read P&ID diagrams. In my Chemical Engineering as a Profession class, we had engineers from Marathon, Dow Corning, and General Mills come in to talk about safety in a refinery, professional behavior with potential employers, and different engineering jobs within a plant, respectively. Later in the semester, we are also going to have an etiquette lunch where we learn how to properly act during a professional meal. I know that in the future I will have more industry interaction in class because many senior design projects are real projects from MSU's corporate partners.

I would really encourage students of all ages to attend as many career events as they can. A lot of the same representatives come back to recruit at MSU year after year. I have recognized quite a few recruiters, so chances are some of them may recognize me if I made an impression. When I go to presentations at student engineering organizations, I even recognize some of the speakers as students who have recently graduated. I remember attending meetings with some of these people, and now they are the ones who are talking about their new company. I feel much more comfortable and confident when I speak with representatives I already know.

Also, I have redesigned my blog! I went on a lot of cool trips through MSU, so I decided to use pictures I have taken while in college as the background. Every time I post a new blog entry, I will change the picture to encourage all of you to regularly look at my blog. I also will post a caption at the side that will explain the picture.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Getting involved

One advantage of Michigan State being such a large university is that there are a lot of organizations that students can join. Sparticipation is a huge Welcome Week event where students learn about different student organizations by visiting their tables. Normally the rain location is the Breslin Center, but storms were so bad this year that the event was rescheduled for this weekend. The following link has information on Sparticipation 2014 and getting involved at MSU:

Some of the groups on campus are professional and social Greek organizations. I am an active sister of Phi Sigma Rho Sorority, a national social sorority that is different from other sororities because it is only open to women majoring in engineering. Our chapter was officially installed in December 2012, so we are still very new on the MSU campus.

Last night was our 2nd Rush event for Phi Sigma Rho. We have four nights of recruitment each semester where girls interested in our sorority can come get to know us and what we are all about. Our activity for the night was painting small boxes, and on Monday we did icebreaker activities and painted nails.

All the supplies for our painting boxes, the craft Rush event, for Phi Sigma Rho this semester
I love being involved with Phi Sigma Rho because I continually make new friends, see friendly faces in the Engineering Building, and have a place to go where I can relax and enjoy the bonds of sisterhood with girls who understand what I am going through as an engineering student. We have done a lot of fun sisterhood events together, including pumpkin painting, ice skating, laser tag, and visiting the planetarium.

I personally recommend that students of all ages get involved at MSU. Two things that I did not know about Greek life before I came to college are that all ages, not just freshmen, can join and some groups recruit at the beginning of the spring semester as well as the fall. Other student groups welcome new members of all ages at any time. So, you did not miss your chance to get involved with Greek life or many other groups. It is never too late to get involved!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Summer 2014: International Corporate Tour

As I talk to fellow students about their summers, many of them said that they regretted not going abroad. I have already studied abroad and absolutely loved it! If you are not interested in taking classes abroad, MSU has other international opportunities that are not for academic credit.

The main highlight of my summer was traveling across Europe on the International Corporate Tour (ICT). The ICT is put on by the Lear Corporation Career Services Center, which is located in the Eppley Center attached to the Business College Complex. The goal of the trips is for freshman and sophomores in business and engineering to be exposed to different places and types of careers in industry. In addition to the ICT Europe trip, there is also an ICT China trip.

We started off the trip by spending a few days in London. We stayed at the beautiful Regent's University in Regent's Park. Some other MSU study abroad programs are housed at Regent's, so we ran into some other MSU students just finishing a study abroad in London.

Regent's University, our accommodations in London
Next, we flew to Germany and spent about 2 days in the Cologne area. Some participants brought an MSU flag for pictures which attracted some alumni. In front of the famous Cologne Cathedral, we ran into some girls who had just graduated from MSU who were traveling around Europe. Go Green!

Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, Germany
We stopped in Luxembourg next for about 3 days. I thought that Luxembourg city was very beautiful and different from any place I had ever been.

Luxembourg City
National Bank Museum, Luxembourg City

From Luxembourg City, we spent an entire day driving to Geneva, Switzerland. So, if you are not a fan of long bus rides, another one of MSU's learning abroad experiences might be better for you.

Geneva, Switzerland, with the Jet d'Eau and Lake Geneva
Next we traveled to Turin, Italy, and visited Diageo while we were there. The site was a historic winery, so we got to see a mini museum of glasses, a hand-dug wine cellar, and old spices and distillation apparatuses that were historically used to make beverages. This was one of my favorite site visits because I learned about the history of the site and region in addition to touring their modern bottling facilities.

Taking a tour of the Diageo facilities
I liked that I was able to see companies from a business perspective as well as the engineering perspective. When company representatives come to speak at meetings put on by engineering student groups, they tend to focus on engineering roles within their company. Seeing the different types of people needed to run all areas of the company helped me appreciated the diversity in the workplace and engineering career paths.

We finished our European tour in Venice, Italy. We visited 7 companies (BP, GM, Eaton, ArcelorMittal, Diageo, Bosch, and ALCOA) on our trip, but still had a lot of free time to explore the cities. We visited 5 countries (UK, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Italy) and also drove through France. Our program was just over 2 weeks long, so we visited a lot of companies and countries in a short amount of time. I thought that going on this trip was a fun way to build my resume and learn about careers.

If you want more information on the International Corporate Tours, visit