By Jessica Rose
As she prepares for life after college, recent graduate Jessica Rose discusses how ISE made all the difference
For four years people have been talking about graduation. It’s what everyone strives for during their time here at NC State. As graduation quickly approaches, the real world has become more and more real. Senior year is the time when the stress of finding a job grows dramatically. But for me, and many other ISE students, there has been less stress in finding a job and more excitement over entertaining job offers from numerous companies. I would have never dreamed four years ago that I would be evaluating multiple job offers and choosing the one that I wanted rather than taking the only job that was offered. I believe that NC State, the College of Engineering, and the Fitts Industrial and Systems Engineering department have provided me with numerous opportunities and experiences that have allowed me to be competitive in today’s job market.
From day number one, I was told that a resume is more than just a 4.0 GPA; it’s all about the activities and experiences you have both inside and outside the classroom. So as a junior I became an Engineering Ambassador to represent both my college and my department. This experience alone opened many doors for me. I have met many company representatives, networked across the college, and gained valuable skills through my two years in the program. I gained confidence in being comfortable in my own skin, the ability to speak in front of large crowds and leadership skills, which have all given me an edge on the competition in today’s tough job market.
This year I also served as President of Alpha Pi Mu chapter, the only Industrial Engineering Honor Society. Through this organization, I have been able to make contacts with numerous company representatives that have come to recruit ISE students. It has also afforded me the opportunity to connect with many of our department’s faculty, staff and students ranging from undergraduate to PhD. Alpha Pi Mu has provided the opportunity to expand my leadership credentials, further providing me with a competitive edge in the job market.
Additionally, NC State’s renowned Engineering Career Fair has provided ample opportunities for me through internships, full-time job offers and networking. During my time here at NC State, I participated in two different internship opportunities that I received through our career fair. As an ISE career fair volunteer, I was able to network with representatives from a multitude of companies. While I was providing mints to these representatives, they would talk with me and many would ask for my resume. I wasn’t even trying to schmooze!
This past fall was the scariest career fair of them all because I was looking for a full-time job, my first step into the real world. Although a career fair of that size offers such opportunities, it can also be quite intimidating. But I believe my experiences both inside and outside the classroom had prepared me for this moment. Through my involvement in Engineering Ambassadors, Alpha Pi Mu, and the Engineering Career Fair, along with studying abroad and alternative service break trips, I was ready to sell myself to the companies at the career fair. I talked to companies from a variety of industries including manufacturing, consulting, and healthcare which landed me many interview opportunities and ultimately, three job offers from Eaton Corporation, Manhattan Associates, and Premier Inc. After much consideration, I chose to go work as a Performance Partner for Premier, a healthcare company, starting this July. This is the next step down the path toward my end goal of working with health systems in developing nations.
ISE has afforded me the great pleasure of knowing where I am going to work after graduation since November which has allowed me to enjoy my last semester of college mostly stress-free. I assure you that I am not the exception, but rather, I am the rule for involved students in our Industrial and Systems Engineering department looking for full-time jobs. Our department provides students with opportunities to succeed and prepares us to join the “suddenly not so daunting” real world.