Month: July 2015

Getting the Most out of Your First Entry-Level Position

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Entry-level positions are more important than one may think. They are a chance to get a feel for the work world, establish some independence, and put your best skills to work. The thought of beginning a career is exciting, yet a bit daunting for some people, especially since you do not know what to expect. Although I never initially considered working at an engineering firm, landing my first job at Hoyle, Tanner has been the greatest career gift I could have received. Only six weeks have gone by since I started at Hoyle, Tanner, but I have already learned so much about marketing (and even a bit about engineering) and appreciating the value of an entry-level job.

Before being offered a position at Hoyle, Tanner, there were general rules I had to remember when searching for my first job. Keeping an open mind was extremely important during the job-searching process, especially for someone like me, a college graduate with little experience. I never dreamed of working at an engineering firm, especially as an English major. The thought never even crossed my mind. Marketing did interest me, but I was unaware that it could accompany engineering. Turns out, not only do marketing and engineering work well together, but they also need each other in order to accomplish project goals. Applying to anything and everything was crucial. It was important for me to not hold any judgements or preconceived notions about a particular job or industry.

Taking a step out of my comfort zone was also necessary. Finding a first job is daunting enough, especially with meeting new people, adapting to an unfamiliar office culture, navigating through a new area, and learning a job that may seem impossible to grasp at first. However, the only way to learn is by doing things that appear scary and out of reach. I decided to embrace my inexperience and to learn as much as I can from all different people. Also, I am grateful that I looked into all industries, even the ones that I never thought would have a place for me. There are so many jobs that people do not know exist, and you can tailor your skills to more positions than you think possible.

Despite the initial challenges of an entry-level positon, first jobs upon graduation are extremely valuable in setting the foundation for a successful career. Especially for individuals with a versatile college major, a wide set of interests, or uncertainty with their career path, an entry-level positon gives you the chance to try out a new industry and learn as much as you can. As I learned at Hoyle, Tanner, education and curiosity do not end after graduation.

New jobs and experiences are beneficial no matter the company, but Hoyle, Tanner definitely has a lot to offer to young professionals looking to build a career. First of all, the Manchester, New Hampshire headquarters are a bit on the smaller side, especially the marketing department. A small-scale company is extremely beneficial to recent graduates and to individuals new to the career world. First of all, you can never say, “That’s not part of my job.” In a smaller department, everyone does everything. This may be a bit intimidating to an individual who is unfamiliar with the company and with the job, but you learn how to do a variety of different tasks. For example, when building proposals, I learned how to use the computer applications, perform edits, communicate and work with a variety of people, and help in the printing, binding, and shipping process. From beginning to end, I am involved in almost all aspects of the process, not just a small piece of it.

At Hoyle, Tanner, I also have the opportunity to learn about engineering, an industry I had very little experience in upon graduation. I have the privilege of working with highly-skilled engineers, getting a taste of what the industry is about and the important impact it makes on everyday life. I never studied engineering before, but I now have the opportunity to work with engineering information and promote Hoyle, Tanner services. At the entry-level, Hoyle, Tanner exposes me to all areas of the company, helping me learn new things that I otherwise would never have discovered before.

Lastly, building relationships with the people I work with at Hoyle, Tanner comes naturally due to the essence of the environment. I must work directly with people, so therefore I get to know them better than if I rarely met with them face-to-face. On an average day, I work with people in marketing, in various engineering departments, and in printing. We respect each other as people, but also as coworkers because each person is absolutely essential in reaching our shared project goal, such as a printed proposal marketing the engineering expertise at Hoyle, Tanner.

For an individual out of college with little to no formal work experience, Hoyle, Tanner has plenty to offer in the way of multi-tasking, learning how to perform new job duties, communicating with a diverse group of people, and laying down a strong foundation to build a prosperous career on. Not only am I in a field that interests me, but I also experience new things every day that help me learn and grow as a young professional. Hopefully, I can help Hoyle, Tanner grow and continue to succeed, just like the company does for me.

Written by Abigael Donahue

The Value of an Internship

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Navigating through college can be a tough endeavor for a lot of people. There is only so much that high school can do to prepare a student for what they can expect from college life and even less where career preparation is concerned. Luckily, in every college, exists the opportunity to gain real world experience and knowledge in whatever academic field a student chooses and often these opportunities can, when approached with the right attitude and with the right timing, lead to a potential career after college. I am talking of course about internships; often stereotyped as a position involving coffee runs, slave labor, underappreciated efforts and a general sense of hopelessness that the experience will lead to nothing but a few credits and a lot of wasted time. Fortunately for the most part, these stereotypes are nothing more than exaggerated tales from a few bad experiences and these days more and more students are realizing the importance of an internship, paid or unpaid in their respective field.

The benefit of an internship in the field of engineering is exceptional in what can be gained from it for the both the intern and the firm alike. Participating in an engineering internship allows the student to fully immerse themselves into their chosen career with real world applications through hands on projects that they may or may not be exposed to in their classes, as well as allowing them to explore other disciplines they may have never knew they were interested in. The firm on the other hand can not only gain additional manpower for arduous projects, but can benefit from a fresh mind with new ideas that is likely eager to learn and put classroom theories into practice.

We at Hoyle, Tanner believe in the value of an internship and what the experience can provide young and aspiring engineers. We regularly take on interns for summer positions as they near the end of their college career in an effort to prepare them for a long and successful career in civil engineering.

Hoyle, Tanner currently has two interns working in our Manchester headquarters this summer. Katelyn Welch, who is working with our bridge group and Amy Johnson, who is working with our environmental group. I recently talked with both of them to get a better understanding of what they feel are the benefits of an internship in the engineering field, and what I found out was that engineering students who seek out an internship have more than a few things in common; the main aspect being that they want to be challenged. The challenge seems to be the driving force behind the decision to pursue major in engineering in the first place as those in the field tend to have a curiosity in new ways to approach a problem as well as a desire for growth and continual education.

The value of the internship really shines through when they are given the opportunity to work in the field and experience what the job is really like. Both Katelyn and Amy noted that the work they have done so far has exceeded their expectations. Since engineering is very much a team effort, they have both been given the opportunity to collaborate with our full time staff on a wide variety of projects and have been fully involved throughout the process. Aside from their direct involvement with Hoyle, Tanner projects, both Katelyn and Amy are gaining insight into a lot of aspects of engineering in the real world that will surely give them a leg up in the future, such as countless terms, procedures, tasks and calculations that they feel they wouldn’t learn otherwise as well as gaining a better understanding of their chosen major/field is the right fit for them.

The other value they feel an internship provides is the anticipated ease of transition that comes when they enter the workforce after college. This much should be obviously evident, however, so many college graduates find out that they are either underqualified and need to take an entry level position at low pay when they need to actually make a paycheck, or that they are severely underprepared for what lies ahead of them. While many colleges have opted to make an internship mandatory to graduate, this is not always the case. With internships typically paying little to no money, many of them forego the opportunity to take on a low paying internship that would provide real world experience for a full time job on top of being a full time student. What we find with this recurring trend is a growing number of students who are graduating with little to no experience in their chosen field and without the connections that an internship provides, they are often left to fend for themselves in a sea of jobs with increasing standards and expectations for incoming applicants for entry level positions.

Fortunately, with this realization, many internships are either offering some form of pay or those who can’t afford to pay are working with local colleges to offer substantial credits towards the degree and in turn, more and more students are willing to take on an internship and more of these opportunities are leading to full time careers for the student at that company after graduation or it could lead to networking opportunities for those students that they may have not had before.

It is clear that the field of engineering is one that requires real immersion and involvement to really understand what to expect and can’t be mastered through books and classes alone. Internships like the ones we offer here at Hoyle, Tanner provide students with the real world knowledge and experience that is necessary to a successful career in the civil engineering world. If you are interested in an internship with Hoyle, Tanner visit our careers page or contact our Human Resources Department.