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Introduction and help

  • 1.  Introduction and help

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi Everyone!

    I'm really excited to be a part of AIChE and engage in discussions with all of these bright minds!  I just wanted to take an opportunity to introduce myself and ask for some help.

    I go by Sarah Ann and am in between gigs right now. I recently completed an internship at ExxonMobil and am looking for a career opportunity in the Phoenix or Kansa City area.  I've had the opportunity to validate and write a work instruction for a new viscometer, which saved the company over $1 million in potential raw material costs. In addition to this, I have at least 2 years of experience in each of the following: research and development, simulation programming, product innovation, leadership, teamwork, and technical writing. My biggest passion is integrating safety into every aspect of excellent work.

    And now a plea for help: What should I be doing to find opportunities?  Who should I be talking to?

    Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance!

    Sarah Skousen
    Gilbert AZ

  • 2.  RE: Introduction and help

    Posted 13 days ago

    Most, if not just about all, positions are being filled today via personal referrals through networking.

    You might want to become active in your local AIChE chapter (or a virtual group if there does not exist a local chapter in your area.

    BTW, the art of networking calls for "paying forward" - "what can I do for you, not what can you do for me".

    Best regard

    Peter Wrampe
    Wilton CT

  • 3.  RE: Introduction and help

    Posted 12 days ago
    Please be patient, but I am going to note some basic items that you may already know.

    A job search is always difficult and stressful. I found that the job search for my first job was the most difficult job search. With the upheaval in the economy, some firms may have reduced or eliminated hiring plans. With that said, 10,000 people are retiring every day right now, so I think it is safe to say that there is employment somewhere. Also, I have seen that some firms are offering referral bonuses to their employees. As chemical engineers, sometimes we have to go where the jobs are located. It is fine to have geographic preferences, but some flexibility will probably help.

    To help yourself through this job search, put in the necessary time and effort each day. Then, do something you enjoy afterward for 30 minutes to an hour, particularly something active like riding a bicycle. Keep your spirits up because a job search is akin to being on a roller coaster.

    I second the networking approach. A recruiter once told me that 85% of jobs are filled via networking of some sort. That leaves 15% by using online job boards. If you do find a job on an online job board that is appealing, see if you can find someone that works in the firm to hand carry your resume in to the hiring manager. How do you do that? By networking.

    Networking would seem quite awkward to me as a fresh graduate. I think it helps to think of networking as a good conversation in which you have a purpose. The purpose may be to find out some information or make a request or simply make a contact. I recommend getting some business cards with contact information made for your networking activities.

    Also, some colleges and universities allow recent graduates to continue to use their placement offices in some capacity. My placement office was filled quite well with information on potential employers.

    Another opportunity might be to join a local AIChe chapter. Even though, you are seeking a job in another location, the opportunity to listen and talk to experienced engineers has been quite valuable to me. You will learn something at each meeting, and the experienced engineers may know somebody who knows somebody. That is networking.

    I wish you the best in your job search.


    Tom Regrut
    B.S. Chemical Engineer
    The Ohio State University

  • 4.  RE: Introduction and help

    Posted 11 days ago
    Making new networking contacts is tricky when meetings aren't held in person.  I feel for you, Sarah, this year's grads are in a tough spot.  I believe some AIChE local sections have switched to virtual meetings but some aren't holding meetings at all right now.  A resource for anyone who wants to go to ChemE meetings and doesn't have an opportunity is the AIChE Virtual Local Section.  This section has been holding monthly meetings online for about ten years now.  Granted,  online meetings are not as good as in-person meetings, but it's still an opportunity to be with other chemical engineers, get to know some of them, and follow what's going on in the profession.  This meeting we're having an interactive presentation about artificial intelligence and its nexus with chemical engineers.  We hold the meetings three times a month to try and fit everyone's time zone, and we start them early and end late so that there is opportunity for attendees to visit with each other outside of the planned programming.

    Best wishes to you, Sarah.  You've done everything right -- you have a great degree (haha) and excellent experience.  You will have to be patient and tenacious and you'll be fine.


    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States

  • 5.  RE: Introduction and help

    Posted 13 days ago
    hi Sarah

    would you be able to describe more your experience with rheology? There are other places where a rheologist can network and look for open positions.


    Michael Boehm FE
    Associate Principle Scientist
    White Plains NY

  • 6.  RE: Introduction and help

    Posted 13 days ago
    One word: lithium

    Another: recycling

    We need to get much better at that.

    Good Luck!

    Bill Stuble
    Cora, WY