Across the Atlantic: Nils’ Co-op at Audi Germany

Have you ever considered pursuing a job opportunity in a different country? A local to Minnesota, Nils Justen took a huge leap – approximately 4,346 miles across the Atlantic Ocean –  and completed a co-op in Ingolstadt, Germany at Audi’s headquarters.

Working at headquarters broadened the learning experience for Nils through the chance to interact with all operations of the company – engineering, design and testing, marketing, and upper management were all in the same place.

“I gained insight into many exciting areas of the company. My role definitely wasn’t just copies and coffee,” Nils explained, “I was in chassis engineering. My position revolved around working with different departments to compile function-based test procedures for prototype vehicles in order to ensure a more uniform and transparent development process between various divisions. I was also involved in project planning for future models.”

The decision to work abroad was a daunting thought for Nils, but the benefits far outweighed the risk and greatly impacted his trajectory and goals. Not knowing what to expect when he arrived in Germany, Nils flew out of Minnesota with two suits in his bag and more ties than he’d like to admit.

“There’s a few aspects of living in Germany that I’m not sure I will ever get used to: the lack of free refills, paying to use a public restroom, and the confused looks I got when I assumed water at a restaurant was free. I was surprised at how quickly I transitioned to my new surroundings and found my place in the company and my community in Ingolstadt. Of course, I was also pleasantly surprised at how few people wore a suit and tie. The six months I spent in Ingolstadt made me realize that the idea of pursuing graduate studies in Europe wasn’t so far fetched.”

Nils encourages all students to pursue internships and co-ops. They are a risk-free way to explore a field you think you might be passionate about. The more experience you have, the better you’re able to find a job that you’ll look forward to every day. Also encouraging students to go out of their comfort zones and pursue international opportunities, Nils explains, “There are more opportunities like this out there than people think. Sure, you might not be able to live at home and you’ll be away from friends and family, but it’ll certainly challenge you to broaden your perspective. There’s something to be said for taking that leap of faith. There’s tremendous potential for growth in those experiences.”


Making Connections at Michigan Tech

Haley Hall, a student in the School of Business and Economics

Picture this: you apply for a job and get called in for an interview. A few days later, you receive a call saying, “We’re sorry, but you’re just not the right fit for our company.” What’s next? Do you get upset and discouraged, give up, and decide that you don’t want to change anything? Or do you thank them for their time, learn from your mistakes, and try again?

Haley Hall is a engineering management and marketing student in the School of Business and Economics. In a family of entrepreneurs, Haley chose two degrees that would allow her to own a business someday. Engineering management offers flexibility and a multitude of career options and marketing allows her to utilize her creativity and gain skills on building and maintaining a brand.

After interviewing for a digital marketing internship in Career Services with Jennifer Wall, Career Services Communications Manager, Haley was not selected for the position. However, that connection led her to an entirely different opportunity.

Haley’s passion and enthusiasm left a good impression with Jennifer, and when  Jennifer attended Grand Traverse Day in October, she spoke to Katie Horvath, CEO of Naveego, who was looking for a digital marketing intern to work remotely. Jennifer recommended Haley for the position. Haley received a phone interview with the vice president of sales and marketing and was offered the job shortly after.

“The funny this is,” Haley said, “I never even spoke directly to Katie. Jennifer’s recommendation must have been very good! Making connections with people at Michigan Tech can be very beneficial in obtaining job opportunities. If I never applied for the job with Career Services, I would not know Jennifer, she would not have recommended me to Katie, and I definitely would not have a job at Naveego right now.”

After completing her internship with Naveego, Haley will explore her other major: engineering management. Haley has been offered an internship with Permasteelisa as an assistant project manager and will work there during summer 2019.


My Career Win: Summer Job Leads to Spring Co-op

Darian Reed is headed to Phoenix, Arizona on a co-op with Kiewit!

Darian, a civil engineering major at Michigan Tech, worked for Kiewit in Washington, D.C. last summer on a rail job. As his summer position ended, Darian was offered a co-op, thanks to an endorsement and recommendation from his mentor. Darian is looking forward to spending time in Phoenix and learning how to estimate a job first hand.

Darian’s advice to other students is, “You never know who you may know and how they can help you.”

Congratulations, Darian! Soak up some Arizona sun for the rest of us.


Hunter’s Career Win: Heading to Kohler on Co-op

Hunter Linzmeier, Electrical Engineering student at Michigan Technological University, is heading to Kohler on a co-op!

Here’s his story:

“Ever since I came to Michigan Tech, I was interested in Kohler. Being a huge company so close to home, I’ve heard nothing but great opportunities that they have to offer. I went to the Fall Career Fair with my resume and cover letter in hand and I connected well with the Kohler recruiters. I had a phone interview a few days following Career Fair. The interview went well and I was offered a co-op position immediately. I was so shocked that I got it! I also got offers from a few other companies, so that made my decision difficult. Ultimately, Kohler opened my eyes to their endless options and ability to open my mind with new experiences. I look forward to working with Kohler to brighten my horizon towards my future.

If I could give other students advice, I would tell them to research the company they’re interested in; Connect with every opportunity because networking is important; Don’t worry or stress; Be confident, be cool, calm and collected; Most importantly, be yourself.

I’m really looking forward to being part of such a great company and being able to learn while on the job. I value that aspect of my education. I will never forget the moment when I received my first offer letter. I finally knew that I achieved everything I was looking for.”

Congratulations Hunter!


My Career Win: an internship at Faraday Future

Sai Rajeev Devaragudi

“Once I got the telephone interview, it was all on me. I had to rely on my own capabilities to convert this opportunity into an offer,” says Sai Rajeeve Davaragudi after landing a summer internship at Faraday Future in Los Angeles, California.

Sai Rajeeve Devaragudi is a tenacious graduate student at Michigan Technological University studying mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics.

Before attending Michigan Tech, Sia completed a mechanical engineering degree at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, formerly known as Manipal University, in India in 2017.

As an undergrad, Sia gained design, powertrain, and structural engineering experience through a Formula SAE vehicle project and a summer internship at Mahindra Susten.

Sai developed increased career readiness and job search skills at Michigan Tech by attending Career Services’ events and meeting individually with a career advisor. “I worked on my resume a lot. I had several meetings with a career advisor at career services to polish my resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.”

Sai credits his updated LinkedIn profile for helping him attract recruiters and for finding relevant job postings.

Sai is currently working as an intern at Faraday Future, an American company based in Southern California that focuses on the development of intelligent electric vehicles.  “It was all on me, and I knew I could do it.”


How to Identify a Fraudulent Employer

fraud-prevention-3188092_1920An email was recently sent to countless Michigan Tech students titled “Personal Assistant for Busy Executive.”

The email reads, “My name is Mary, I found you through Michigan Tech Career Services.” Then it describes a summer job opportunity with an hourly wage and potential job responsibilities.

We believe the email was sent from a fraudulent employer, and Michigan Tech’s IT department has blocked all future emails coming from the sender’s Gmail address.

A few students responded to the initial email to inquire about the job. However, warning signs in subsequent emails prompted these students to contact our department, and we are so glad they did!

Career Services did not give “Mary” your information.

Please be cautious when sharing personal information with employers that you don’t know and be mindful that employment scams do occur, occasionally.  

Here are a few ideas to help you identify fraudulent employers:

  • Does the email come from a legitimate company email address?  
    • Free accounts like Gmail can be a red flag for fraudulence and phishing schemes.
  • Do they have a legitimate company website? Does it look professional?
    • Check the web address and make sure the website has multiple layers.
    • Check for a physical address associated with the company.
  • Does the company or individual claim to be overseas or international?
    • We extensively vet international job opportunities. You should, too! You can also come to Career Services and we’ll help you do some research.

Other examples of warning signs in “Mary’s” subsequent emails

  • “I don’t have a LinkedIn account at this time, I will set one up on Monday.”
  • “You will be working independently on your own from home.”
  • “How should your name be written on the Check?”
  • “I am physically in Brazil right now conducting a research in the Amazon forest.”

Please be on the lookout for new versions of this email and report them to IT-help@mtu.edu. When in doubt about an employment opportunity, contact Career Services! (Phone: 906-487-2313 | Email: career@mtu.edu)

 


VPA Student Stories: Curiosity leads to a Career in Entertainment for Zep

PZep 3icture a state-of-the art, outdoor theater situated in the picturesque mountains of Sante Fe, New Mexico, which seats more than 2,000 people.

“The sun sets. The orchestra starts the overture. The show begins,” explains Zep Elkerton, a visual and performing arts students at Michigan Tech, as he vividly remembers his AV apprenticeship at The Sante Fe Opera in 2016.

Zep Elkerton is a third-year student majoring in theater and entertainment technology with a mechanical and electrical emphasis. Zep says, “Interdisciplinary studies between these departments helps me to learn the skills that other universities don’t teach their theater technology students until graduate school.”

Zep has always been curious about audio equipment and the way it works. When he was only eight years old, he wondered about the audio console at his church. He was determined to learn what all of the buttons did and to figure out how to operate it. He continued his study of audio and entertainment equipment throughout high school and college.

As a first-year student at Michigan Tech, Zep met with his professors, Kent Cyr, to discuss internship options. Thanks to Cyr’s council, Zep was hired at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico and describes his summer work experience as “magical.” Zep was responsible for moving sets, lighting, sound, and props.

Last summer, Zep worked at the Spoleto Festival USA an apprentice carpenter. He worked on 53 performances over the course of 17 days. After the festival ended, he did freelance work in the Minneapolis area. He worked for the union and built stages for some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Billy Joel, the Backstreet Boys, and Florida Georgia Line.

Zep

Zep’s experiences and opportunities have given him industry connections that will last a lifetime. He explains, ” In the entertainment industry, who you know gets you hired more often than what you know.”

Written by Morgan Laajala, Communications Intern, Career Services 

——————————————————-

Left image: Zep (center) and the AV apprentice group enjoying the sunset on opening night at The Santa Fe Opera.

Bottom image: The production team for the world class Santa Fe Opera in 2016.

Zep 2


VPA Student Stories: It’s Engineering and Entertainment for Alex

Alex running the light board for the Porterfield Country Music Festival
Alex running the light board for the Porterfield Country Music Festival

Alex Weber is double majoring in Mechanical Engineering-Eng Mechanics (MEEM)  and Theatre & Entertainment Technology.

When Alex decided to double major, she committed herself to twice the workload of her peers, and she increased the amount of time it would take to graduate. But why?

For Alex, it also increased her career options.

Many MEEM students at Michigan Tech go into the automotive, manufacturing or medical device industry, but Alex is blazing her own trail. She is using internship and co-op experience to explore both fields and to create a unique future, all her own.

Her first two summer internships were at Lighthouse Productions in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 2016 and 2017,  where she put her Theatre & Entertainment Technology major to the test. She spent those summers working on productions and controlling light boards.

After completing her last internship at Lighthouse Productions and returning to campus, Alex attended Career Fair and landed an engineering co-op at Packaging Corporation of America in Valdosta, Georgia.

“Who knows,” Alex said, “Maybe next summer I will combine the two and work for an entertainment company like TAIT Towers doing engineering work.”

On the surface, mechanical engineering and theater might seem like polar opposites, but there are certainly professions where the pairing makes sense, and Alex is excited about the possibilities.


VPA Student Stories: How Samantha is building her skill set

“The sound and theatre departments [at Michigan Tech] do a lot to help students grow and form connections in the professional world,” Samantha Palumbo, senior in sound design.

Taking advantage of her sound design major with a focus in productions, Samantha has worked on eight (and counting!) productions in the past three years at Michigan Tech. She says, “One of the great things about Tech’s undergraduate program is the Visual and Performing Arts Department allows students to work hands-on from the beginning… That’s why I love going to school here. You can have a wide range of jobs on different productions.” Samantha has worked a variety of positions – from hanging lights to being in charge of painting sets. After taking the Scenic Art and Illustration class, Samantha was the Scenic Charge Artist for Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

After building her skills at Michigan Tech, Samantha had her first internship at Ohio Light Opera (OLO) as an Assistant Sound Designer. Samantha heard about the position from her professor, Chris Plummer and peer, Charles Southward, who have both worked there in the past. The position was a great opportunity for Samantha to grow, as it’s typically given to more experienced designers. During her time at OLO, she was Sound Engineer and Playback Operator on three out of seven productions. On another three productions, she was Lead Sound Designer. “Working at OLO gave me professional design experiences outside of Michigan Tech, even before I took the official production design class.”

Written by Morgan Laajala, Communications Intern, Career Services

 


VPA Student Stories: Henry Sendek

Keweenaw Awesome Fest 2017. Photo courtesy of www.henrysendekaudio.com.
Keweenaw Awesome Fest 2017. Photo courtesy of www.henrysendekaudio.com.

All Michigan Tech students have one thing in common: Tenacity. They know how to work hard and be successful. Among them is Henry Sendek, an Audio Production and Technology student. Adding on to his full class schedule and on-campus events, Henry’s major requires him to attend four conferences throughout his time at Michigan Tech: two as an attendee and two as a presenter. These conferences are incredible networking and learning opportunities. They are the job fairs of Visual and Performing Arts departments around the country.

Henry has attended two conferences so far: the Audio Engineering Society’s Student Summit as an attendee and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) as a presenter. Henry will also be presenting at the United States Institute for Technical Theater (USITT) later this semester and attending the Audio Engineering Society’s 145th Convention next fall. Initially, Henry wasn’t very excited to have to attend four conferences, but after experiencing them, Henry wishes he could attend them all many times. He says, “Attending an engineering focused college in Upper Michigan isn’t a great place to find sound designers, broadway productions, and large touring musical acts. That’s why we take part in these different conferences. It gives us the opportunity to see the work of industry professionals and other students and allows us to showcase our work to them. This is our chance to show off who we are.”

Although Henry has had great experiences off-campus, he says that one of the greatest experiences he’s received was through Michigan Tech: the Experience Tech Fee. He can hop in his car and head to Mont Ripley for a free day of skiing and then walk into the Rozsa or McArdle theater that night to watch a show. Henry says, “I have been able to attend almost every show in either the Rozsa or McArdle since starting at Michigan Tech. The Experience Tech Fee has allowed me to do that at a fraction of the cost.”

Henry is returning to his internship this summer, but can’t give details due to a Non-Disclosure agreement. However, he was hired because of a small group of alumni that currently work for the company. They knew how much knowledge MTU graduates have. They took a chance on Henry and were so impressed with his work that they re-hired him for another summer.

Written by Morgan Laajala, Communications Intern, Career Services