BEEP! BEEP! Make way for the Braggin' Wagon!
It's that time of year when Genius attends the college career fair to check out summer internships. So far, he worked his first summer for a St. Louis design firm at $20/hour, where he rented his first ever apartment in the basement of a young couple's house, sacrificing the last slice of his Totino's pizza to their beautiful, though hungry, Husky.
The second summer saw him at Garmin, making a dollar more an hour, which earned him out-of-state wages from Kansas, mattering more to his tax accountant Val than to him, where he was given free housing in a fairly classy (for Kansas) apartment complex.
The third summer, he was working for the St. Louis design firm again, since he had taken off the spring semester for his co-op with them, which is basically paid work experience. Many of the engineering students do that, which means they still have a semester of classes left to take. Still, Genius was earning (and saving, so he says) money from January through June, and then hit the road with his solar car team.
This will be his fourth summer coming up. He will have a semester left, and be able to graduate next December, even though he thinks he would rather wait until May and take some more classes. Wouldn't YOU, if you had that opportunity? Anyhoo...Genius is shopping around to see where he wants to work this summer.
He talked to the recruiters on Tuesday at the career fair. Genius says he would like to try something different, both to see how he likes it, and for the look of his resume. In the running are his old St. Louis employer, who gives him real work on real projects; Garmin, who invited him back after his first stint there; Union Pacific, his prime interest, because they do computer engineering stuff that he loves; and a major car manufacturing company which won't be named, though it is one of the big two.
The CarMan group invited him and 199 others to a dinner and presentation Tuesday night, and another presentation tonight. Genius was a bit disappointed that most of his fellow attendees were mechanical, structural, and metallurgical engineers, and project managers. He's not sure that the CarMan group has available what he wants to do, and he was a bit turned off by parts of the presentation. He would never complain publicly about such thing, but voiced his concerns to me. And you KNOW that Val is no stranger to complaining. He still has an interview scheduled with them tomorrow, but they have fallen out of his top choices at this point.
Genius also talked to Garmin at the career fair. In fact, he told the rep that CarMan group was taking him out to dinner, so they scheduled an interview the same night. It was a formal interview, suit and tie, with 30 minutes for the Human Resources department, and 30 minutes for the technical people. About halfway through the tech part, the recruiter said, "Oh! YOU'RE the Genius I've been hearing about for three weeks! Your old manager knew I was coming here for recruiting season, and wants to know if you're available to come back." (Let the record show that Genius did not talk to Garmin last year, because he already has his co-op offer in place.) The recruiter basically said he would have a chance to choose whatever department he wanted. He's thinking he might go back to the same manager in the marine division (radar/fish trackers/media), or possibly something in the automotive division. They will send out formal offers around the middle of October.
Genius is also very interested in Union Pacific, which would require him to go to Omaha, Nebraska. He likes their facilities, and the kind of work he would be involved in. Their schedule is a little different timetable, and they may not have a job available for what he wants to do, BUT a sign of encouragement is that their recruiter, who is not doing interviews until the middle of October, gave him her card on Tuesday, and said, "If you're pushed on another offer, CALL ME and we'll set something up." She saw on his resume that he'd worked for Garmin before, and said, "Garmin steals a lot of our good engineers."
Genius is now still interviewing, waiting for concrete offers, and looking ahead to a permanent job after graduation. Placement rates run at 70-80% full-time hires after internships with Garmin, Union Pacific, and the CarMan group.
Oh, to be young and in demand.
Oh, to have a child accept gainful employment and go off one's health insurance!