The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering held its annual Career Connections Mixer, an event aimed at increasing the networking opportunities between current students and departmental former students. The event is organized as a type of “speed-networking” social where students get to speak to alumni about their experience in the department and the path taken after graduation. Students are organized by tables allowing 10 minutes of conversation followed by a rotation to a new table. This format allows students the chance to informally speak to as many of the alumni as possible. By doing this, students gain exposure to industries and careers he/she might not have realized were an option upon graduation.
The alumni attendees range from members of the departmental External Advisory Committee (EAC) to other alumni from across the nation. The department’s family-like atmosphere makes it easier for current students to build a network in any type of field he/she may be pursuing.
Jason Coleman, a member of the departmental EAC, remarked, “This event is a fine display of the talent and ambition of those who will soon be colleagues. I enjoy hearing how the students chose to pursue a degree in BAEN.”
The mixer is also a great resource for alumni who are looking to connect with graduating seniors entering the workforce. Russell McGee, professor and Director of the AGSM Undergraduate Program, reflected that this year he was approached by an alumnus that asked him to recommend to him several students who might be a good fit for his company as there was a job opening in his department. Although it may not be the primary purpose of the mixer, the opportunity exists for students to leave with a potential job connection.
“As a result, in the last year alone, the City’s Watershed Protection Department has had the good fortune to hire two BAEN students: one full-time, and one summer intern,” said Mike Kelly, on his third year attending the event. “[The] staff does a great job of creating the format and setting for productive interaction between students and prospective employers. [I] highly recommend to both students and working professionals.”
So, what does the future hold? Mr. McGee, hopes to add an additional mixer in the spring for a total of two a year. He also would like to increase the number of alumni and student attendees.
If you would like to participate in future Career Connections Mixer, please speak to Stormy Kretzschmar, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The department would like to give special thanks to all the alumni who participated this year.
Philip Taucer, Engineer, Freese and Nichols
Paul Krebs, Chief, Readiness and Operations Division, US Army Corps of Engineers Southwest Division
Marc Mears, Vice President, North America Grain and Cotton Operations Leader, Cargill
Debra Ecklund, Project Manager, Lockwood, Andrews and Newman
Sarah Green, Land Development Engineer, Johnson and Pace Inc.
Lauren Nemec, Engineer, Pape Dawson
Amanda Edmondson, Associate Vice President, Pape Dawson
Michael P. Kelly, P.E. CPESC, Sustainable Storm Water Solutions Manager, City of Austin Watershed Protection Department
Jason F. Coleman P.E., General Manager, High Plains Water District
Brian Thane, Director, Aseptic Technology, Tetra Pak Inc.
Carlin Roney, Sr. Environmental Engineer, Clara Vista Environmental
Roger Schulze, P.E., President, ATS Irrigation
Jay Yelvington, Corporate Product Development, Laboratory Services, Powell Industries Inc.
Brian Wenberg, Assistant State Conservation Engineer, USDA NRCS
Bill Norman, VP Technical Services, National Cotton Council
Carrie Bausch Phillips, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP
Jim Ed Cole, Product Support Sales Representative, Mustang Cat
Griselda Quintero, Associate Engineer, Miller Gray
Alexandra Dueitt, General Engineering Specialist, TCEQ
Sonia Zamarripa, Project Engineer, Garver
Catherine Turner, Garver
Mark T. Hamann, Alamo Group
Article by Stephanie Mena
For details about this news story and others please contact Stormy Kretzschmar, email@example.com.