The unwritten promise of a post-secondary education has been to earn a degree in an applied field such as engineering and you’ll end up with a good, stable job, but the millennial generation is finding that can no longer be counted on. I have been thinking about this issue for some time. Last year, I posted an article on this blog by Robert Reich, Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley and former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. I was stimulated to share that article by what I was seeing with my own students from the University of British Columbia, and contrasting that with my own experience years ago, walking into my Silicon Valley dream career by sheer chance. That simply no longer happens. Grads must begin plotting out a plan early, no later than the beginning of their third year, and begin to execute on it in order to find an entry-level position commensurate with their education. Networking and cold calling is imperative, but as this article points out, even that may not guarantee solid employment.
Engineer into the Workforce presentation to The University of British Columbia, School of Engineering, 4th year Capstone Project course. November 2, 2016
This is a metaphorical essay on personal ethics, worthy of a serious read and contemplation. When I saw the title I was intrigued but suspected it had something to do with Andy Grove’s adage, “sewage flows downhill,” which means “if anything bad happens it will eventually flow down to you.” This is about ethics. The points made here are particularly apt in light of the huge number and sheer scale of recent business frauds: the Volkswagen fraud, LIBOR, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff’s pyramid scheme, Conrad Black in Canada, Olympus in Japan, Bernie Ebbers and Worldcom, Tyco International, stretching back all the way to Enron, Michael Milken’s junk bonds, and the 1980’s savings & loan debacle.
I noticed the following post on LinkedIn, and thought that it was important to share it. When I first came to UBC to teach Industry Analysis and Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Management, I was struck by how utterly unprepared Faculty of Management students were to stand up and communicate their ideas. Most students used 3 x 5 cards and stared at the floor. One student, without realizing it, stood up and crossed his arms across his chest, projecting only his personal discomfort with the situation. Clearly this problem needed to be addressed. If there is one thing I have learned since graduating with a Speech-Communication degree, it is the importance of being able to stand up and communicate your ideas, what you believe, and most importantly, who you are. It is crucial to career success.
Let’s be frank. Finding a decent job commensurate with your new UBC degree in Management has become extremely difficult. I have blogged previously here on the discounted value of a degree, as explained by UC Berkeley economist and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich. For those living in the Okanagan or hoping to stay here to enjoy the sunshine, I urge you to relocate to a region with better employment prospects. BC Business recently published a ranking of BC cities for employment prospects. Kelowna ranked 17th, despite being the second largest region in B.C.. Calgary is no better option for jobs these days.
The following list of potential employers is admittedly U.S. focused but it does give you some idea of kind of things you should look for in Canada. Calgary is no longer a good option due to the oil price slump, expected by Goldman Sachs to last at least five years. Avoid the Energy Industry completely unless it is renewable energy, a growth industry. So not much opportunity in fossil fuels industry for the foreseeable future. Two of the ten below are immediately off this list for that reason alone: Chevron and Schlumberger. In Canada, some UBC FOM graduates have found internships and entry-level positions in financial services companies like Edward Jones. High tech companies like Cisco Systems, Intel, and many others offer internships, but the competition is fierce. If you haven’t already done some serious advance work, you are probably out of the running. Don’t write off smaller companies if they are in an interesting industry. If you can afford it, social entrepreneurship may pay dividends to your career. Bottom line: if you want a good internship opportunity you are going to need to cast your net much further than you may have thought. work all possible network connections, and don’t be shy about asking for “informational interviews” with companies you are targeting. Looking in British Columbia only will be limiting though there are a few good companies, so it may be necessary to look across Canada. Follow the strengths of your aptitude, and people you know who can help you. Ask any FOM alumni who has managed to find a good entry-level position and they will tell you that it was a long, hard process. As my tag line says, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
REBLOGGED from CNNMoney:
Challenging projects. The real-world impact of one’s work. Access to company leaders. Free food.
These are some of the hallmarks of a great internship, according to reviews on the jobs site Glassdoor, which recently published its annual list of the highest-rated companies for interns.
Four of the firms in the top 10 are big tech companies; two are in the oil and gas sector, and there’s one each in media, finance, health and business consulting.
The interns who offered anonymous reviews of the companies where they worked also reported their pay. Average amounts for each company ranged from $1,722 to $7,214 a month.
CNNMoney contacted the 10 companies: three confirmed the pay numbers were in the ballpark, four wouldn’t confirm but said they pay competitively, and three didn’t respond. The survey didn’t distinguish between undergrad and grad student interns. Companies may pay graduate students more, so the average pay reported may be higher than what undergrad interns could earn in some cases.
Each company on the list is actively hiring for interns. And geographically, Glassdoor data show that New York currently has the most open internships (2,500), followed by San Francisco (1,500) and Los Angeles (1,400).
- Avg. monthly pay interns reported
- What interns say
$6,779 (software engineer intern) $6,058 (intern)Great culture, challenging tasks, access to anyone in company
Chevron$6,001Professionalism, they invest in you, lots of opportunities
$6,788 (software engineer intern) $7,214 (intern)Able to make an impact, supportive managers and co-workers, lots of training
Quicken Loans$1,850Learned a lot about mortgage industry, room for personal growth, free lunch
eBay$5,893 (software engineer intern)Felt appreciated, got to work with top execs, “Bagel Wednesdays”
Yahoo$5,178Everyone’s energetic and dedicated; Marissa Mayer a great leader
Epic Systems$5,003 (software developer intern)Well-defined projects, flexibility, fun events for interns every few days
Schlumberger$5,607Lots of learning opportunities, real projects, everyone helpful
NBCUniversal$1,722Great program, professional development sessions beyond your specific job
Group$5,566Surrounded by talent; friendly management; career development made a priority
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I personally have seen in my past career, and personally experienced how simple humility is a key characteristic of leadership. This may seem counter-intuitive but it is not. People are drawn to the charisma of a leader who is also simply humble, and who appreciates the values of those he or she leads. A leader like that can get subordinates to follow them anywhere. I think there may even be an inverse relationship in human behavior between hubris, and leadership success. By that I mean that the more arrogant and overbearing a person, the more insecure he may actually be, and therefore less successful in the subjective art of leadership.
In a bizarre sequence of events this week, I have yet again witnessed someone literally self-destruct as a leader due to their failure to exhibit simple humility and to be aware of other stakeholders, whose support or not, could make or break the leader.. Successful leadership is a fragile thing, a subjective human experience. I have written about this phenomenon previously on this blog.
UBC Faculty of Management graduates may find this enlightening. Google’s Laszlo Bock has a simple formula that serves as the foundation for a great resume. AP Photo/Alan Diaz It’s not exactly E=mc². But for would-be job hunters, it’s probably a lot more useful.
In a Q&A-style interview with Google’s senior vice president of people operations Laszlo Bock, The New York Times’s Tom Friedman fished a few seriously helpful words of wisdom out of the search giant’s human resources chief. This one is perhaps the most concrete. How do you write a good résumé?
Francisco Dao is one of my favorite bloggers. Francisco focuses like a laser beam on the tough issues of entrepreneurship with unfailing logic, sometimes tough for some to hear. In a previous post, Francisco spoke openly about the frothy enthusiasm and euphoria surrounding entrepreneurship, suggesting that there were too many entrepreneurs producing too many mediocre ideas. In this post, Franciso explores the current shift in entrepreneurial profiles, bemoaning their ignorance of how businesses work, and the embarrassing consequences.