Friday, February 3, 2012

Job search joys

What a more uplifting post to follow the previous.

In case you haven't heard, I have finally found a job as a process engineer. My seemingly hopeless persistence in keeping in touch with AMEC turned out to not be so hopeless after all. In short, I was finally offered the position and start quite promptly (Monday).

Moving along with that I'm also quite excited that this came in time for me to compete in a local amateur ballroom competition. It should be a good time, plus now I can keep dancing after the whole thing.

There's just a few things left I want to do with this opportunity. One of which includes finally moving out to live on my own again. I've nearly forgotten what it's like to be on my own, so I can't wait to be my own man again.

I'll post the next update regarding the competition afterwards (event is 25th-26th).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Job search woes

I'm here to just express my grief in my continued and failed efforts to find some sort of paid engineering job. What it seems it boils down to is one word "experience".

As I've ventured out and applied to numerous jobs, I've run across at least 50x as many similar jobs but requiring that minimum of 5 years of experience. Now I've put this qualm aside and occasionally manage to find those illusive "entry-level" positions.

I've had the benefit of a few recent interviews. Each interview was very different, yet they all seemed to carry the same message (directly or indirectly) upon rejecting me. This is the keyword of course. In my most recent interview, I was promptly notified of my rejection (the next day if you can imagine that) with some comments about my interview.

The first of the comments had to do with some of my interviewing skills. Nothing was too terrible, but it seemed as though I had a tough time "telling my story" as they put it. In other words I may not have been as clear and concise in telling them about my life. Certainly this a reasonable demand?

The second, more profound subject was that I apparently did not answer enough of the questions with experience from work. These were considered "character questions" in that they wanted to evaluate my, you guessed it, character in a professional environment. I have a major qualm with this explanation. In fact, it irks me that it is one of the reasons I was not chosen.

Let's get more in depth on the subject, including some of my background. I spent four years at school obtaining a very difficult degree (often takes five years) with outstanding grades in my core curriculum. During these years I attempted to, unsuccessfully, find internships in the industry because I knew right away that it would be almost required in order to find a full-time position post-graduation. I can go back and complain about this, but the fact is it happened. I still did work, and I did expand my knowledge way beyond what I was being taught. I experienced some scenarios, but I did not experience all of them. I did get involved in extra-curricular activities where I did gain these experiences.

Now, when being interviewed I do not want to BS them and fake a story from a job because I'm an honest person. So when I am asked about conflict resolution, I will pull it from an experience I actually had that just so happened did not occur at a paid job. However, the effort and responsibility involved should qualify it well enough that it being an employee or volunteer should not matter. However, apparently it does.

The short of it is, I have not experienced all of which these typical "character questions" covered in a job. I have, however, experienced them in other leadership positions. This hurts me because apparently character can only be measured if you're doing math and science. I understand that in a competitive environment, one with work experience in these situations vs one with other experience might have the benefit. I do not believe that a fair comparison is given though. If they believe I am intelligent. If they agree that I've got some comparable qualities. Why does it seem that someone with a poorer GPA, a potentially poorer grasp on the main concepts in the field, a possibly more privileged individual has a better chance at the position just because they had a more industry-driven experience.

Don't get me wrong. I am NOT saying that I'm smarter and better than all of the candidates who are up for the same jobs as me. I rarely get the chance to even meet them. I am just saying that the interviewing process and selection process of many companies are overlooking the slightly less experienced candidates who just might be as well-qualified as any other - or even more qualified.

It could just be bitterness because I had very little trouble in school, yet the people who I helped do better and worked with are becoming more successful. It's also likely that I'm jaded for having spent somewhere around 1.5 years looking for full-time work out of college and have not had any success.

On one final note. I am certainly humbled by my situation. My pride has taken a hit, but I have never assumed that I am always the perfect man for the job. I do put forth effort to gain this ever-so valuable experience. Unfortunately, most companies don't hire graduates for their internships. It puts me in limbo. A limbo that might only be escaped through grad school.

To be concluded.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What have I been doing with my life?

I guess it's been a while, and there hasn't been much of a change in my life. That means no full-time job, no salary, living at home, etc.

Anyway, still found time to do the following in my free time:

as well as

which comes with CUU News

And finally I've been tutoring a high school junior in chemistry. Those are the only three ways I've been able to make cash so far. It's kind of a bummer, but I gotta do what I gotta do. The ballroom thing is more of a money-sink, but that one competition did give me back some of it in awards.

However, there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel. I once interviewed at AMEC back in February. At the time they seemed to have a promising upswing of projects and were willing to hire entry-levelers. Well after due time, it was revealed to me that things didn't swing quite so upwardly as they had anticipated. So I'm currently being strung along, as it was revealed that I would be a "great addition" to their team, about possibly working there in the near future (hopefully May?). Oh as for Peragen, things died in November due to weather and soon plans are to restart the effort. This may involve more trips out to Joliet.

Meanwhile, I'll keep on trucking with my website and see where that potential job might lead. Guess it's time to fetch my resume and drop it in some inboxes.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's a new dawn

Life has been quite a jumble lately. Among my responsibilities as a continued consultant for my previous research, I have been finding myself almost shockingly occupied.

First, I've done a couple fun things like: a bit of a night out in mpls, seeing Ratatat live in mpls, going to a Vikings game (been years), going to the Twins game that resulted in a division clinch, after said clinch.. celebrating with the team and getting some high-fives n such, getting involved with a nearby ballroom studio, and continued doing graphic design business cards too.

I've also managed to continue getting part-time pay for my further research work. Along with that I am also getting more involved with Peragen Systems. I have visited the site twice now and we're so very close to start-up. Additionally, I am now going to be working in Aspen to model the process as it is currently, then eventually scaling up. This involves me working in dtwn mpls in AMEC's office - a real engineering consulting firm. Who knows where this will all lead, but I never expected it that's for sure.

I'll leave this post with a clip of what I may consider one of the better rounds I had at my last comp (at least for smooth). More available on my youtube channel.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Well hello there

So It's been about 7 months - been meaning to add a few updates. First off I graduated! I'm a chemical engineer now.. sorta.

Anyway as a followup to the last post, I competed once more and the results were outstanding. Details are best seen here. Summary is that I received 5 1st place ribbons, 17 overall.

In other news I created an online portfolio back in late May. The site is to highlight some of my better works. I have also come across a few more design projects (for money!) Including another icon, a quick webpage, and additional work to be completed. Check out the site if you haven't already. Chris Wedding Design

I'm now in Minnesota doing a little bit of work and a whole lot of slacking. Getting sort of involved with a start-up company as well as continuing research. In my free time I dance at a nearby studio and chillax.

One last thing, with the new addition to the Big Ten.. here comes a rough idea I had for a new logo. We'll see what they do though.

**Edit** Out of boredom I have revised this design just slightly.

Ok, well for some reason or another I think I'll try to post more often. Just want to get my name out there a little more I guess.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ballroom Dancing

In case you were unaware I am somewhat of a ballroom dancer.

I have now attended two competitions this past school year. My most recent one was at the University of Michigan representing the MSU Ballroom Dance Team. My personal results for each dance:

With Anderson, Sherri
Place Event
1 Newcomer Waltz
1 Newcomer Tango
ROUND 1 Bronze Foxtrot
5 Bronze (W/T)
5 Bronze Viennese Waltz
1 Newcomer Quickstep

With Kalmbach, Marla
Place Event
6 Newcomer Cha Cha
6 Newcomer Swing
SEMIFINAL Bronze Swing
ROUND 1 Bronze Mambo

With Forgacs, Claire
Place Event
5 Newcomer Cha Cha
SEMIFINAL Newcomer Rumba
4 Newcomer Jive
ROUND 1 Bronze Samba

Friday, December 11, 2009

I've made it to the iPhone

Hey, I guess I don't post here very often. But I thought I'd let the world know, a logo I designed for an iPhone app is now up. The app just recently launched and it's crazy to think that something I worked on will be available among ALL the iPhone users.

Here's a link that shows it, I also have made a few changes so the main logo might be updated soon.


I should also mention to check out the MSU Ballroom Dance Club since I designed the whole website and I have also been updating it here and there to include information about the competition team (which I am on). There is also a blog that you can find on there. It should be updated more often and I'm going to make sure of it now.

Well that's all for now.