Engineering students prepare for life after school

Panelist listen as moderator ask questions about engineering careers
Photo by Andy Jean-Baptiste

The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering hosted a panel discussion on Thursday titled Career Journeys in STEM.

This panel used graduates from the engineering school to speak with current students about how they matriculated and where they are now. The graduates also gave advice about how students should pursue the goals and professions that they have their sights set on.

 Mahogany Newell, Anderson Prewitt, Casey Williams, and J’Tia Hart all sat on the panel sharing their knowledge with the engineering students.

Newell spoke of her experience with Florida Power and Light. She has been employed with the company since 2002 and has worked her way from the field to the office and has loved the company, culture and leadership.

 Prewitt, Newell, and Williams all graduated with degrees in electrical engineering and Hart graduated with a degree in industrial engineering.

 Panelists explained how networking and building relationships with professors is beneficial and could be useful in the course of searching for a job or internships. Professors can provide recommendations, internships, jobs, and the many opportunities they would be able to help with.

Prewitt said, “Take advantage of your situations and circumstances. Go to workshops and engage with people around you, don’t let this time slip by without doing something now.”

Students were told to understand the capabilities of their major and what companies are looking for in specific job requirements. The students were urged to determine if a specific degree is needed for the position or if there is enough wiggle room within the job requirements to expand the position for something equally suited for applicants.  

Devin Hall said, “This panel caused me to want to push myself more, especially seeing brothers of my fraternity on the panel pushing to be greater.”

All of the panelist were involved on campus with organizations and still focused on their major. The organizations ranged from Student Government Association, National Society of Black Engineers, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Greek life.  

The panelists encouraged students to figure out what they want to do. All panelists agreed they love their jobs and told students to find out what they enjoy doing, and use that to help determine their career path. 

“Students have to give themselves permission to grow. It’s not a race – we’re all going to graduate,” Hart said.