Did you miss the 2nd Annual Schmid & Fowler Networking event on Thursday, February 20, 2020? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!   

More than 100 students and alumni from Schmid College of Science and Technology and Fowler School of Engineering gathered for a panelist discussion and networking to meet with 38 employers from 27 different companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, Irvine Ranch Water District, MatterHackers, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, and Beckman Coulter.

Founding Dean of Fowler School of Engineering, Andrew Lyon, and Interim Dean of Schmid College of Science and Technology, Jason Keller kicked off the event with encouraging words and welcomed our panelist experts.  

Sepi Varon, the Vice President of Global Health Economics & Outcomes Research at Allergan, moderated our discussion. Along with our other experts, she shared insights about how to be successful in your career. They covered everything from job searching to networking within an industry.

Cristina Martinez is a 2013 graduate from the Environmental Science & Policy program. She is now a Transportation Planner at IBI Group, which is a global engineering, planning, architecture, and technology consulting firm. Her experiences at Chapman helped her develop the skills and confidence to pursue opportunities at global firms like IBI. 

Mary Ann Marcuzzi is the Director of Human Resources at Leica BioSystems, a medical device company. She shared insights from an HR perspective with our students on everything from resume formatting to critical interview skills. 

George Escalante is a Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman and has worked for the company for 17 years. He completed his Ph.D. in Computational Science and Physics here at Chapman in 2018. He encouraged students to be open to new experiences and opportunities, even when they are outside their comfort zone. 

Victoria Wu is a Senior Clinical Engineer at Edwards Lifesciences. She started at the company four years ago and has quickly advanced. Her role involves clinical development engineering, research and development, and human factors engineering. Her networking skills have helped her move to a senior position as a young professional. 

Our panelists gave a plethora of advice, which we condensed into three key insights to help you in your career journey! 


3 Takeaways from the Panelists: 

1. Adjust your resume and cover letter to the position you are applying for.
Include keywords from the job description in your resume so they stand out in an algorithmic search by the employer, keep formatting consistent, and concisely communicate your accomplishments. A cover letter is a test to see how well you can write. Make sure you have someone look it over before submitting it. 

2. Curate a Growth Mindset!
Sepi Varon brought up the “Fixed vs. Growth Mindset” concept by Carol Dweck. This concept explains that people can stay in a fixed mindset where they feel their abilities and talents cannot change, or they can have a growth mindset where their skills can be developed with effort, learning, and persistence. Panelist George Escalante encouraged the students to take their time to learn to be successful in a position and be open-minded to new growth opportunities within that position. Don’t limit yourself by not being open to feedback and learning something new. “Every role that you are in, there’s a lot to gain from it. The promotions will come in due time, but if you rush it too fast, you are setting yourself up for failure.” – Sepi Varon 

3. Being new to a role is a strength!
You are a valuable asset to the company because you are giving them a fresh look at their established processes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Example questions are “Why do you do that?” and “Where did this come from?” As panelist Victoria Wu explained, “You are in a position to question everything. It is your job to do that.” 

student networking with employer

“As a potential employer, I was impressed with the caliber of student talent.  As an alumnus, I was proud of Chapman University, and the faculty, for preparing students to begin new adventures.” – Dean Anderson, Vice President of Global Operations at Beckman Coulter

Thanks to the Career and Professional Development Office sponsorship, over 60 students, alumni, and employers also had the opportunity to take a new headshot photo for their LinkedIn profiles. We also want to thank Career Advisor Elisa Hernandez for organizing such a fantastic event for our STEM community. 

“As faculty, we are not always fully aware how high the barrier to entry for networking activities can be for some students. When a student tells me that “it took all of my strength to get up enough courage to speak to someone,” I know how important an experience like the Schmid-Fowler Networking Event is to the development of student confidence. Because our professionals are so enthusiastic and truly invested in helping our students develop professionally, they lower the barrier to entry making it more manageable for students to engage with them. We are grateful to our professional partners for their dedication to our students.” – Dr. Elaine Schwartz, Assistant Dean of External Relations and Co-Director of Chemistry and Biochemistry 

The night was a success as students made new connections, mentors, and potential employment opportunities. If you attended the networking event and made a connection that led to an opportunity, please share it with us