• What are the important things I should be doing to start my career?
  • Should I pursue a job in industry or at a national lab, or further my education?
  • What will I do on my first day at the office?

These are some of the questions that students might have as they get ready to graduate and enter the workforce.

Students in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science are getting answers in a unique format this year, thanks to a Lunch and Learn with Industry webinar series that connects students with industry experts. The program allows students to interact informally with experts and gain real world perspective on entering the workforce.

The virtual program, held every other Friday during lunchtime, is free and open to all WSU students and is sponsored by the school’s Executive Council, an advisory group to the school made up of professional engineers and computer scientists.

The council came up with the idea as a way to facilitate connections between students and industry, especially during the pandemic in which students are not able to make in-person connections.

“When I was a student, I really had only the vaguest idea of what my career would look like and what a high-tech job would look like,” said Greg Zweigle, a member of the Executive Council and a research engineer at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory. “This series is bringing experts from industry to share career experiences and how to succeed in industry, what to expect from your first job, interviewing advice, along with technology discussions and trends.”

Among this semester’s presenters were Jon Campbell, a developer at Microsoft Research; Arika Arnzen, a software engineer at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory; Joe Dumoulin with Aon IP Services; David Manz and Jessica Smith, cybersecurity researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and Cameron Doneen and Troy Coleman, engineers from Puget Sound Energy. Topics included information about machine learning jobs, working at a public utility, a career in accessibility, and working at a national laboratory.

The Lunch and Learn with Industry series will continue in the Spring. More information is available at: https://school.eecs.wsu.edu/news-and-events/lunch-and-learn.