Winter 2019 Career Corner
Campus clubs elevate opportunities for professional development
Tech and engineering careers are all the rage these days, especially in the thriving economy of the greater Seattle area. On the University of Washington Bothell campus, student leaders are eager to prepare their peers for rewarding STEM careers in the Seattle area and beyond through participation in academic campus clubs. While the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) campus chapter is the largest STEM-oriented academic club on campus, other clubs have remained strong or emerged across electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering, cybersecurity, robotics, and heating, refrigerating and air-conditioning. All of these groups are doing their part to not only provide programming to connect and prepare students for careers in relevant industries, but are contending in regional and national competitions.
The Gray Hats security club has made extensive improvements in the past few years competing in the Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (PRCCDC). In March 2018, the student club placed third among 12 colleges and universities in the region. The PRCCDC provides students with real-world challenges while maintaining a corporate network that cannot be replicated in a typical classroom. This useful exercise gives students better training and preparation for the workforce. Gray Hats competed in the most recent March 2019 PRCCDC, and look forward to future competitions.
Last April, students from the Mathematics Society competed in the annual Kryptos Cryptanalysis Challenge at Central Washington University that attracted nearly 150 students from across the country to the contest. A UW Bothell mathematics major, John Michael Bush, solved two of the three codebreaking problems to finish second among all students who competed individually, and sixth overall. Five other UW Bothell students competed in two teams.
Members of the TrickFire Robotics club competed in NASA’s annual Robotic Mining Competition for the second year running, which took place in May 2018 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The NASA competition challenges colleges and universities to design a robot, build it, and then literally have it dig into the earth. Members of the TrickFire Robotics club did just that. Club members spent countless hours designing, building, and iterating a robot that could travel across Mars, digging up rock and gravel from below the surface.
Tech and engineering student clubs are moving beyond just meeting on campus, through competitions or hackathons, and has extended the opportunities for students to develop professionally and apply their knowledge from classes.
If you or someone you know is interested in connecting with UW Bothell tech and engineering student clubs, contact Michael Kimball-Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The job search can be a frustrating experience. Blasting resumes into the blackhole that is known as job boards is like playing the lottery expecting to win. The best alternative is to network. Specifically, send “help me find a job!” emails to you your network so they know what you are looking for and so they can open up doors for you. Use a five-step process for enlisting the help of your network when looking for a job:
- Draft your talking pointsSend the mass email
- Send targeted emails to those who can help in a specific way
- Be patient on receiving leads
- Say thanks to every single person who helps you
Example of a mass email:
Hi friends and colleagues,
I hope all is well!
As many of you know, I will be graduating from UW Bothell in June with a degree in Computer Science & Software Engineering. I have decided to look for new graduate opportunities in the tech and engineering fields and am reaching out to you to ask for your help with any leads or contacts.
I am looking for a software engineering position in the Seattle area, ideally in the computer software or information technology and services fields. I am particularly interested in joining a mid-size or large company. I am not interested in joining third party agencies or staffing companies.
If you know of any job opportunities or leads that you might be able to share with me, please send them my way. Below, I have included a list of my past experience, my target positions, and my list of dream companies. I have also attached my resume for your reference, and feel free to pass it along.
Thanks in advance for your help! I hope you all are doing well and hope to catch up with you individually soon.
Autumn 2018 Career Corner
Second annual tech fair grows
Marc Studer photo, UW Bothell
Earlier in autumn quarter, UW Bothell hosted its second annual Tech & Engineering Fair. STEM students had the opportunity to connect with nearly 35 employers, growing 30% in employer attendance from 2017. With nearly 600 students in attendance employers attended from virtually all industries, representing software services, computer software, aerospace and defense, financial technology, cybersecurity, analytics, machinery, electronics, utilities, hospital and health care, e-commerce, military, telecommunications, and many more. The second iteration of the Tech & Engineering Fair emerged several years ago out of a growing interest from students and employers alike. The School of STEM is now the largest school on campus, serving nearly 25% of the student body.
The fair is open to UW Bothell and Cascadia College students as well as alumni and community members. Prepared by Career Services, many students arrived well-dressed, resumes in hand, with a pitch ready to make to employers. The ARC was full of activity and abuzz from the conversations students and employers were engaged in.
A variety of employers in attendance have made this one of several engagement points with the UW Bothell. These employers are also hiring students for capstones or internships, being featured at events by student organizations, and hosting groups of students for tech and engineering treks to their offices.
Employers or alumni at companies interested in hiring UW Bothell tech and engineering students are encouraged to get in touch to find ways mutually beneficial engagement can take place.
Most students and the general public will search for employment by applying to jobs online. Day after day, searching and feeling like you are making progress--5 jobs one day, 10 the next, 7 the day after that, and so on. The sad reality is that the yield rate on interviews from submitting applications online is only 1%. That means for every 100 applications you submit, you will receive on average one phone interview. It’s time to do things differently if this sounds like you.
If you think networking is the way to go, forget networking and build a community instead. Get on LinkedIn--you won’t regret it. LinkedIn will open up many doors that you didn’t know were possible. This isn’t just an online resume/portfolio, or the Facebook of the professional realm. It’s truly a place where community can be built. Beyond creating a profile of your education and work experiences, you can stay in touch with current and former colleagues and classmates. On LinkedIn you can get introduced to other professionals through people already in your network, join relevant groups to learn from others and share your expertise, post content directly to your network, discover the latest news and insights in your industry, and get found by employers who are looking for people like you. At the end of the day, building community will win out over the spray and pray method of submitting application after application online.