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Career Services

88 Posts authored by: MSOE Career Services

Does your car park itself yet?  How about syncing with your smartphone to offer realtime traffic updates?  If not, your next one probably will, as more and more cars are being integrated with more and more software and technology.  As a result, automakers are hiring thousands of software, computer, and other engineers and IT specialists, and they're competing with the Apples, Googles, and other high-tech companies of the world for top talent.  If you're searching for jobs in those areas, consider looking East across Lake Michigan. An article by Reuters provides more in-depth information.

This new tool allows you to critically evaluate how far your money will go when considering internship or job opportunities in different cities. Tailor your comparisons based on demographics, and receive easy points of reference such as the price of a cup of coffee or a movie ticket, as well as essential living costs like rent, transportation and healthcare.

When working in industry, it is often just as (if not more) important to have strong Emotional Intelligence (soft) skills as it is to have strong technical skills.  Employers know they can train you on certain technical deficiencies, but it's not always easy to get team members to play nice with each other if they lack the social skills to do so.  This article identifies the most important Emotional Intelligence skills that employers look for.

  1. Teamwork
  2. Listening and Communication
  3. Flexibility
  4. Ability to interact with a wide variety of people
  5. Quick thinking and problem solving under pressure

Students often go to Warren Buffet for advice.  Check out this article to find out what he tells them about success in life and their careers.

The interview is hard enough as it is, but what happens when employers ask you an illegal question?  They might do it on purpose, or they might simply be ignorant of the legalities, but it does occur.  This article has some strategies you can use to get through them safely.

Illegal questions include ones like:

  • When do you plan on starting a family?
  • In what country were you born?
  • Are you gay?
  • What is your religion?
  • Do you have a neurological or degenerative disease that caused you to limp into this room?
  • How many years will it be before you qualify for social security?


Here is a brief summary of the ideas for answering them:

  1. Answer with a tactful question of your own to help determine how their question relates to the job.  This will allow them to justify their question or to skip over it and get back on track.
  2. Address the underlying concern behind the question.  Employers primarily want to be reassured that nothing in your personal life or background will affect your ability to do the job, so "try to keep the focus on the job, the company, your abilities, your accomplishments and how you represent a strong fit."
  3. Use the question to evaluate the company culture.  In the end, a company who asks an illegal question may not in fact be the best fit for you in the first place.  If the question is simply an oversight by an inexperienced interviewer, you may be able to overlook it, but if it comes from a deeper-seeded bias within the company, then maybe not.

Networking is one of the most important job search strategies, but only if you're doing it effectively.  Many people make mistakes that they don't even realize they are making.  This article identifies four mistakes, and offers solutions to overcome them.

Mistake #1: Only talking about yourself
Instead: Show some interest in the people you're networking with.  Not only will you learn valuable information, but they will then show interest in your story as well.

Mistake #2: Expecting them to get you a job
Instead: Look for ways to help them first, so they are more willing to help you with your needs.

Mistake #3: Not saying Thank You
Instead: Use common courtesy and express your gratitude.  Even a tiny bit of thanks can make their contributions feel valued.

Mistake #4: Not following up.
Instead: Follow through on doing what you say you will do, and then reconnect later to confirm.  For example, if you're networking with someone in human resources, and they tell you you need to apply on their website, first apply on their website and then follow up to confirm you have done so.

These social habits can go a long way toward increasing the effectiveness of your networking efforts.

Patina Solutions is a professional services firm that offers high-quality project-based and interim employment to professionals with 25 or more years of experience. We offer a variety of challenging engagements with our diverse client base and the ability to accept projects and interim roles that meet your schedule and interests. Even if you are seeking a full-time position, you may find taking on projects in the meantime to be an excellent opportunity to pursue.

Patina engagements are professionally fulfilling and bring value to our clients. We look forward to learning more about you and considering you for engagements that meet your background and expertise.

To learn more about joining Patina Solutions’ Portfolio of Talent, visit their website or register to join their Portfolio of Talent.

If you have any questions, please contact
Joyce Gorman
Senior Director of Talent Solutions
Office: 262.754.2236

To an introverted person, networking can seem scary and daunting, and can even induce a panic attack.  Fortunately there’s hope!  Check out this slideshow of tips and strategies that anyone (especially introverts) can employ to become a master networker.

Want more help with networking?  Stop by the Career Services Office (CC-370).

Managing your online reputation and brand are essential elements of any successful job search. More and more employers are not only reviewing social media profiles of candidates before offering an interview, but they are initially sourcing many of their candidates online in the first place.

ReputationManagement.com has created an amazingly detailed resource for college graduates looking to optimize their online presence. The resource covers everything from knowing what to look for in your search results, setting up social alerts, and also taking advantage of LinkedIn.

Following up with an employer after an application or interview is extremely important.  It shows you are interested and that you can take appropriately professional steps throughout the process. An article from Fox Business gives three tips to keep in mind.

Networking is often billed as the most effective job search strategy… and rightly so.  The relationships you build when talking to people are the keys to your success, and a referral holds much more weight than a random application.  Follow the tips found here for important ways to “work the room” when networking.


  • Be your real self
  • Be subtle
  • Be attentive
  • Be focused and brief
  • Be positive
  • Be well mannered


(Note: This is part one of a 2-part series).

Alumni Reflections of MSOE from a Mechanical Engineer
Marcus Poppler is a Project Engineer in the engineering department at Taylor Dynamometer, the leading manufacturer of engine dynamometers located in Milwaukee.

Marcus attended MSOE where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology with a specialty in Fluid Power.  Marcus shares some insight on his experience at MSOE and how it prepared him for a career in mechanical engineering.

What are the benefits of MSOE in your professional career?
MSOE’s engineering program has a great reputation for producing exceptional students.  But more than that, many employers know how difficult it is to get an engineering degree from MSOE.  The course work is very demanding, so much so that not every student will graduate. For those who do graduate, they definitely will have an advantage when they apply for jobs.

In addition, because the course work is so difficult, the education I received at MSOE really gave me the foundation I needed to do well in my job.

Do you network with MSOE alumni?
I’ve kept in touch with a number of people that I went to school with, and it helped me land my current job.  One of my colleagues from MSOE was calling on Taylor Dynamometer in his job, so he knew they were getting into hydraulics and recommended they talk to me.  Because of his recommendation, I got an interview and eventually the job.  I wouldn’t be at Taylor without the MSOE network.

Did you keep your college textbooks?
One of the best decisions I made was keeping all of my college textbooks.  They have made a great resource library for me.  At least once a month, I pull out one of my textbooks to look up information on anything from technical writing, electrical machines, hydraulic or other topics.  They have really helped me in my job.

(Stay tuned for part 2 next week…)
In the meantime, check out Taylor Dynamometer’s internship postings:

(Note: This is part two of a 2-part series).  Part one can be found here.

Alumni Reflections of MSOE from a Mechanical Engineer
Marcus Poppler ’02 is a Project Engineer in the engineering department at Taylor Dynamometer, the leading manufacturer of engine dynamometers located in Milwaukee.

Marcus attended MSOE where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology with a specialty in fluid power.  Marcus shares some insight on his experience at MSOE and how it prepared him for his career.

What college courses were most helpful in preparing you for your career?
Even though my major was mechanical engineering technology, MSOE required that approximately 25% of my credits were in the electrical engineering field.  At the time, I didn’t necessarily understand its importance.  But now I know that they were helping me focus on systems rather than just the mechanical elements.  This was very beneficial because in my job I perform a great deal of electrical design work.  Without that training, I might have missed out on some great job opportunities.

I’d also say that the courses I took for my minor in fluid power were helpful.  My background in fluid power enabled me to get my current job with Taylor Dynamometer, as well as my previous position with a manufacturer in the hydraulic industry.

What advice would you give current MSOE students?
Take a foreign language.  The workplace is becoming more global, so having the ability to speak a second language will give you an advantage.  But more than that, it is a sign of courtesy and respect to have the ability to speak to another person in their native language.  I’ve had the opportunity as part of my job to travel to several other countries and met people who spoke three and four different languages.  I really admired those people and wish I shared that ability.

Take every advantage to hone your practical skills – CAD, rapid prototyping and trade skills –  while in college because you will rely heavily on them in the workplace.  I wish that I was faster at CAD now because I’d be more effective in my profession. The curriculum at MSOE offered some opportunities to work on CAD, but there were other opportunities in which I didn’t take advantage.  If I had to do it over, I would spend more time mastering CAD and other skills.

Get real work experience.  At Taylor, we offer internship programs that provide engineering students the opportunity to work on a variety of projects.  You will work with other engineers on important projects that will end up in the marketplace.  A number of the interns have been hired full time by Taylor, so it also offers an opportunity to prove your capabilities.

Check out Taylor Dynamometer’s internship postings:

The spring 2013 issue of the CareerRookie Magazine is now available online! Hard copies are also available in our office! In the issue you will find:

  • The Find-A-Job Plan for College Seniors
  • How to find a Job Through Your Alma Mater
  • The Pros of Part-time Jobs
  • Tips for Getting Hired in a Tough Job Market

Are you in between jobs right now?  If so, then your job search should be your full-time job.  Take advantage of 9am-5pm, and try these strategies to increase your employability:

  1. Volunteer
  2. Keep your Skills Current
  3. Network
  4. Freelance
  5. Build an Online Presence.

Learn more about each one in an article by CAREEREALISM.