The world of interviews, internship hunts and full-time job offers can be both new and exciting to students entering it for the first time.
Texas A&M’s Career Center in Zachry Engineering Education Complex will be holding a presentation entitled “I Got An Offer… Now What” on Feb. 5 in Zachry 100B from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The presentation, led by associate director of Engineering Career Services Roland Block, Class of 1992, is designed to help inform students about the appropriate steps to take after receiving an offer from a company, as well as provide practical advice for students entering the career field for the first time.
Block said the presentation is meant to help students navigate what to do when presented with a job offer since this information is typically never taught in the traditional classroom setting.
“With this presentation, I want to help students with practical tips that they will not learn in class,” Block said. “Understanding your worth and your negotiating power is very important.”
While the presentation will be held in Zachry, it is open to students of all majors, class years and experience levels, Block said.
“This event is not just for soon-to-be graduates with full-time job offers, it’s open to anyone, even freshmen who are just entering the world of finding internships or summer jobs,” Block said. “It's not just for engineers. About 10 to 30 percent of the people coming to these presentations are in other colleges or majors, so everyone can benefit from this information.”
The presentation will begin by examining different types of offers students could receive from potential employers and presenting tools on how to understand and negotiate them. It will then transfer into a time of discussion about what employers will be looking for, what students should be doing when they first step into a new position, and how to advance through standard stages in most careers, Block said.
“I have 25-plus years of experience from my own career, so getting to help young professionals develop and move up the ladder is cool,” Block said. “A lot of this presentation will be centered around practical tips to help students succeed.”
Micah Green, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, said the information in this presentation is vital to both individual students and the university as a whole. Understanding the parameters of an offer, being able to negotiate well, and sticking to what you agree to are vital skills as a professional, Green said.
“Students have a responsibility not only to themselves but to their fellow classmates and to Texas A&M,” Green said. “Individual students have a lot of power because they become representative of the university.”
The Career Center is a resource on campus that provides several services for students interested in securing an internship or job position or in honing their professional skills. Since it is included in student tuition fees, the Career Center is a resource that should be utilized by more students, Block said.
“I highly recommend that students take advantage of the services that the Career Center offers,” Block said. “Statistically there is a significant correlation between students using our career prep services and them ending up with a job after graduation because students who have a chance to get their resumes reviewed or practice their interviewing skills look and act more polished.”
Block said his experience in the professional field is what led him to come back to A&M and work at the Career Center to prepare students to enter into a professional field. In this presentation, he hopes to impart some of the wisdom he has gained during his career.
“I’m thinking, ‘What would I have liked to know when I was in their shoes?” Block said. “Having so much experience in the professional world, I’ve come to understand a great deal about what employers want in new hires, and how working your way up the ladder in a company can look.”