Full Circle...

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This past weekend marks the end of my undergraduate career at UMass Lowell. I will be going on to get my masterís degree in plastics engineering here at UML, but only on a part time basis. I am eager to get out into the work force and try to make some money.


I went back and read some of my old blogs, including the first one I ever wrote entitled ďBack to School at lastÖĒ In this blog, I wrote about how I was tired of working full time, and how I wanted to stay in school for my masterís degree. I can certainly say that a lot has changed since then.


I am certainly not in a big hurry to get my masterís degree. Since I have spent the past four monthís job searching, I have found a masterís degree with no experience is not any better than a bachelorís degree with little to no experience. Typically companies want 3-5 years of experience with a masterís degree for a job better than entry level. For this reason, I think it would be the best idea for me to get my masterís degree part time, while getting the experience I need.


As far as being tired of working full time, I think I am ready to enter the work place. When I start at NxStage Medical in January, it will mark the beginning of my fourth internship (my third in the medical devices industry). I think I know most of the Doís and Doníts of the workplace. I plan to work very hard to get a promotion to a full time position.


I feel like I have had a very successful college career at UMass Lowell. I built myself a powerful resume. I have worked three internships. I have lived on campus as a resident and a residential advisor. I have lived off campus with friends, lived off campus with my girlfriend, and even spent six months 200 miles away from campus. I have made many friends, and very few enemies. I am glad to say that I have no regrets about the past 4.5 years.


So if you are entering college, or you are part way through your college career; here is my advice:

  • Build your resume: I know itís a tough market, but apply for internships, and take the job. Even if you think something might be below you, you can learn a lot and build some good references.
  • Go to class: I constantly hear people complaining about 8:30 classes. Give me a break! When you are working full time you will probably have to be in at 7:00 everyday. Nothing will make you look better than near perfect attendance, whether that is in the eyes of a teacher or employer.
  • Have some fun, but take things seriously: You donít need to go to college to party 5-7 nights a week. Whether you are taking out student loans, or your parents are paying, or you won the lottery; college is expensive. Donít let that money go to waste. Keep up with your homework and study hard so that you will get the grades you deserve.
  • Get connected: Get involved, meet some people, and make some friends. Everyone encourages you to join societies and groups. Thereís a good reason for that; people who get involved with their campus do better in school.


Thanks for reading everyone, best of luck to you!

Happy Holidays!


Hi there,

Came across your blog and was wondering if you might be interested in a job here in Marlborough Ma?

We're not looking for the 2-5 yrs of experience but rather someone looking for their first job out of college.

Feel free to send me an email to the address enclosed.

Tommy said:

I'm currently a sophomore chemical engineer, and I'm having a hard time finding internships for the summer. Where did you go to look for internships?

kevin said:

One questions, where do you find your internships? I kinda have a hard time looking for them.

Guthrie Gordon said:

Kevin and Tommy,

Looking for internships is tough, especially since the economy has declined. A lot of recent graduates, including myself, are unable to obtain full time employment and will settle for internships and co-ops.

In my department, Plastics Engineering, Professor Orroth sends out emails to all students when there is a job available. He also keeps a resume book that he sends out to companies interested. All 4 of my positions have been obtained through him.

My best advice would be to talk to your advisors. They may know of positions available and could possibly refer you.

My current strategy is to search the 'career opportunities' page on companyís websites. If you don't find anything, try sending them your resume with a cover-letter explaining your interest in an internship.

Job searching is a long and tedious process, but it all pays off when you find a job. If you can't find a summer internship, don't be afraid to take a semester off to go on co-op. These jobs aren't filled as easily.

Tommy, Try applying for Millipore, they are a medical devices company that specializes in drug delivery systems, and they are always hiring chemical engineers.

Good luck guys!

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon, Guthrie W published on December 21, 2009 7:40 AM.

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