As the country’s revamped economy rebounds from the pandemic, Rochester Institute of Technology students graduating from a university renowned for its academic rigor combined with successful internships and co-op experiences are taking advantage of several job openings in their better choices.
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The average starting salary for RIT graduates also increases: from $2,000 to $73,280 for students with a bachelor’s degree and from more than $4,000 to $87,242 for master’s graduates compared to the last year, according to Maria Richart, Director of Career Services and Cooperative Education.
Isabella Daquita, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student from Commack, NY, landed a job as a composites manufacturing engineer at SpaceX, the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk.
“I’m starting at SpaceX on August 1,” beamed Daquita. “My team is responsible for overseeing the new manufacture and reuse of the composite fairings that encapsulate the payloads atop a Falcon9 rocket, which includes the layout of repair operations and the execution of improvement projects. .”
Daquita noted that she “chose engineering because I really like hands-on problem solving.”
“That’s also why RIT was so appealing,” she said. “I saw the co-op program as an opportunity to get hands-on work in industry while in college.”
She treated an internship she got at SpaceX, in effect, as a “three-month interview,” taking every opportunity to showcase her skills.
“During my last week, I told my managers that I really wanted to come back full-time, and we started the process of coming back,” Daquita said. “I’m going to join one of the teams I trained for.”
She also leveraged her four years at RIT Hot Wheelz, an on-campus student-led performance team that aims to provide women with the tools to learn and explore future employment opportunities in a wide range of careers. industries. Daquita started as an associate designer before becoming a subsystem leader and then the team’s co-project leader.
“It definitely helped being on RIT Hot Wheelz,” she said. “Hot Wheelz and my previous co-ops have helped me realize that I love manufacturing and process engineering more than design. I’m glad I figured that out before looking for a full-time job.
She also appreciates the two cooperatives she has had with GE Aviation; GE also offered him a job.
As an AALANA student and woman, Daquita said it can “be difficult to work in a STEM field, where I’m in the minority either way.”
“However, I appreciate that RIT has communities where I can work with people who have shared experiences,” she added.
After a series of promising Zoom job interviews starting last fall, Emily Bishop, a photographic science major from New Haven, Conn., met on campus with Edmund Optics (EO), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of optics, imaging and photonics technology – and will head there in June as a Product Support Engineer at the company’s new facility in Cherry Hill, NJ.
“Some of my responsibilities will include providing product and application support, handling custom requests and problem resolution, and updating existing and emerging technologies in the field,” said Bishop, who has been attracted to RIT for its unique programs combining science and the arts.
“I initially chose RIT because I felt this school would further my ambition,” she recalls. “In high school, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do because I was strong in science, but I also really liked photography. Finding a school that was diverse, but also had a good placement rating for its graduates, was important to me, and RIT ticked both boxes for me.
Bishop also credited alumnus Kristina Kaszei ’20 (Biomedical Photographic Communications), who also works at EO, for helping her make the decision to join her new company. “It was nice to see someone from my program succeed in the business, which made me want to pursue EO,” she said. “I think one thing that really helped me stand out as a candidate was my background in microscopy and applying optics that would be unique to find in other more technical engineers.”
Kristy Stine, a fifth-year civil engineering technology student from LaPlata, Maryland, weighed several job offers before settling on her top pick, Consigli Construction in Washington, D.C.
“I’m landing in Consigli’s rotational program between project engineer and assistant superintendent (for construction projects),” said Stine, who begins his new role on June 20. “My responsibilities will include identifying new construction work, bidding on projects and managing the construction projects for the land and office for a few months.
Exposure to both sides of the construction business will allow Stine “to decide whether I prefer to be in the field and work more directly with the subcontractors, or whether I prefer the office side more of working with the engineers and architects. and doing behind-the-scenes work on projects.
Stine came to RIT for both its Undeclared Engineering Technology program as well as the Women in Technology night program. “I knew I wanted engineering, but not what kind, and I’m a hands-on learner, so I was drawn to technology,” she recalls. “The Women in Technology night program helped me find people at RIT that I had contact with before coming here, who told me this was the place for me.”
Although Stine has enjoyed co-ops at other companies and received several job offers, she said it depends on Consigli’s corporate culture and where she thinks she would do best.
“I found Consigli through the RIT job fair,” said Stine, who also credited his time as a member and captain of the RIT Concrete Canoe Team for providing “benefits through connections with teachers and alumni” that she created.
And credit RIT Career Services, of course.
“My career services coordinator was always there to support me when I needed to talk about an offer letter or decide what opportunity was going to benefit me in the long run,” Stine said. “She’s always happy to hear about all the offers I’ve received!”