Transfer Studnets Connect with Industry

February 6, 2014 | LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

The LSU College of Engineering welcomed 15 transfer students to Tiger life at its first-ever Transfer Career Day on January 14, 2014.

The purpose of the workshop was to connect the new students to one another, to inform the students of the LSU Olinde Career Center and possible career paths, and to encourage the students to get involved on campus.

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Transfer Career Day is part of the LSU and Baton Rouge Community College joint grant through the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (NSF S-STEM), and STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP). “BRCC/LSU: A Partnership for STEM Student Success” encourages BRCC engineering students to make a smooth transition into LSU’s College of Engineering through peer mentorship and counseling programs.

LSU College of Engineering Peer Mentors kicked off Transfer Career Day by leading teambuilding activities and icebreaker games. Five of the Peer Mentors are engineering students who have already transferred from BRCC and earned Pathway Scholarships.

“It felt great to meet other transfer students who had gone through a similar process as me to get to LSU,” said Anna Hoying, freshman student transferring from the University of Alabama. “I really enjoyed learning about different aspects of the College of Engineering.”

The transfer students listened to a student leader panel discussion about how getting involved in student organizations help members develop leadership skills, connect with classmates and learn about engineering companies.

The students also networked at a lunch with local industry leaders Catherine Ranken Ward (CE), Entergy, Regional Customer Service Manager; Ricci Hull, PE (EE), CDI Corporation, Control Systems Department Manager; Melisa Stramwasser (ChE), Dow Chemical Company, Improvement Engineer; and Anthony Martel (IE), Wynn L. White Consulting Engineers, Inc., Industrial Hygiene Technician/Engineering Apprentice.

“The engineers have personally experienced the transition from becoming a student to becoming a full time engineer so they have tips on how to make this transition a little easier,” said Stramwasser. “For example, one stage all the engineers stressed was to take the FE (Fundamentals in Engineering Exam) during the student’s senior year or immediately after graduating. It is good to complete the test in case a job in the near future requires a PE license.”

The students toured the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Machine Shop and the Environmental Engineering HISTAR Lab—for the research production of microalgae supporting aquaculture. They also visited the College of Engineering Communication Studio, where students can receive help with visual, written, spoken and technological communication skills. Blake Winchell of the LSU Olinde Career Center presented tips on preparing professional resumes and accessing Careers2Geaux, a networking portal with job postings.

Students said in a survey that Transfer Career Day was “essential,” “helpful,” and “invaluable.”

“I feel a step ahead after meeting people who work in the industry, and learning about the great services that LSU offers, including the [LSU Olinde] Career Center,” Hoying said.

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Article by Danielle Kelley, LSU College of Engineering communications intern