Invent Your Career

February 19, 2019

Good afternoon to our industry representatives, alums, students, and engineers! Welcome to “Invent Your Career.”

I’d like to kick this event off today with a word about how it all got started, because it fills me with gratitude towards our wonderful, proactive alumni and our industry partners. And it shows how a simple conversation can grow into opportunities that serve us all.

I was chatting with civil and architectural engineering alum Wayne Thomas – he is the senior vice president of Kiewit Eastern District – who told me how much Kiewit loves Drexel co-ops. He said they’re bright, they’re driven, and they’re well-prepared to hit the ground running as employees because of their co-op experience. In fact, companies love Drexel co-ops so much that they want more engagement with you. They want to hear what your ambitions are. They want to connect with you. They want to broaden the job pipeline between their companies and you.

This is good news, right?

So in collaboration with Kiewit and Steinbright, the College of Engineering organized today’s networking event to bring these two groups together – industry representatives who want to get to know our students, and students who want to network with industry representatives.

I think it speaks volumes about the foresight of our co-op partners who are seeking out students through this kind of forum. It’s a tribute to their commitment to the next generation of engineers. They wanted to come out today to meet you. Thank you, all!

Which brings me to the second point I want to raise: opportunity is only part of what you need to accomplish your goals. The rest of it is resolution, and that’s entirely up to you.

You have to resolve to make the most out of chances like this one. You have to resolve to take responsibility for your career. Educate yourself. Seek out these opportunities. And when you find them, dive right in. Do not be afraid to do this: Walk up to the representatives you see here this afternoon and introduce yourself. Ask for business cards. Get in touch. Educate yourself about the fields you might want to work in. Take a chance on a co-op you’re not certain about. You know, a lot of our students find out through co-op what kind of career they do not want. That’s valuable information. You are working your way towards your future. It’s not always going to be a straight path.

As dean of Drexel’s College of Engineering, I will do everything I can to broaden your options for engagement. I want your futures to be bright and rewarding. What’s good for you is good for industry and good for Drexel. But I want you to do your own part, too, and seize these opportunities. That will teach you to take responsibility – to invent your own career and your own lives. And I can promise you, that’s so much better than having someone invent it for you.

That’s what gatherings like this are all about.

Thank you to everyone who came out this afternoon. Enjoy the chance for engagement and the exchange of valuable information!

So without further ado … let’s move on to our program.