Walking into my senior year of college I still had a lot of uncertainties about my future, especially with my career. I failed to find an internship for the summer so I was still without the experience that companies wanted to see on my resume. My solution was to get more involved on LinkedIn to start building a stronger network that would hopefully land me a job.
This is when I met Thomas. He reached out to me about a new group he started on LinkedIn: ESRG. It is a group of people like myself who are either young engineers looking to learn, recent graduates, or people with strong experience in the field of engineering. The point of the group is to help people with all levels of experience learn and grow so that they may advance their career goals. After shooting a few messages back and forth with Thomas, he invited me to get coffee or lunch sometime so that we could meet face to face and so he could hear more about who I am.
When we met up he looked over my resume and shared with me a more organized format for my use. I also did not have to do much talking because he asked me all of the right questions to find out my strengths and weaknesses. Knowing both of them is important, he told me, because they are the things that I need to capitalize when speaking to companies. This is when I realized that my weaknesses are not things I should shy away from, but admit I have them so that I may work to better them. He gave me a few more tips and told me about himself, then we parted ways for a while.
About one month later, I made it through three interviews at a local biomedical company to make it to the final three candidates for a job. While I did not receive the position because they decided to hire someone who had previously worked with the company, I learned a lot from the experience. I went into each interview with pure confidence, something I had never done before. I felt well prepared for each one before even researching the company because I knew how to show my strengths in a way that made my weakness of inexperience look irrelevant.
Aside from this experience I have more recently spoken with Thomas about job fairs and other ways to increase my professional value, such as the group Toastmasters which he invited me to once. They are a group that helps improve one’s public speaking skills, something that I know I still need to work on.
Overall Thomas has shared his life and career experience with me to show me that looking in the same direction as everyone else is not always the best path to success. I have my own strengths, and during my senior year I have learned more and strengthened more of my soft skills than ever before.
Dylan Bencze, RMU ‘18