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Student visiting the Andarko Engineering Career Center

Highlights

On this episode of The Wire, learn about upcoming events, need-to-knows and the latest Voices of ZACH from the engineering career fair. Also, learn about some exciting research out of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Episode Transcript

Hannah: Hi there, and welcome to Texas a&m engineering presents sound bites, the podcast where faculty, students and staff share their passions experience and expertise.

On this episode of the wire, we're going to share some fun, interesting news that's coming out of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, as well as give a few updates for upcoming events that we think that you should know. And then we're going to take a peek into what you guys thought was the most valuable thing to learn at the career fair, as well as what companies are looking for. Today you have me, Hannah. Hi. As well as Jen, your producer.

Jen: Hello, hello.

Hannah: And then somebody else came into the studio today.

Steve: Howdy. I'm back.

Jen: Steve’s back.

Hannah: Steve’s returned.

Steve: Glad to be back.

Jen: You've been missed.

Hannah: Yeah.

The first bit of news that we have is that Aggies Invent energy solutions, registration closes on the 27th. So get all signed up. Aggies invent is a 48 hour make-athon where student teams collaborate and work together to solve real world problems. Last month, it was all about nuclear solutions. So they tackled issues ranging from how to protect nozzles on rockets from radiation to how to track nuclear weapons. So that's pretty cool.

Jen: Sounds fantastic.

Hannah: Right? If you want any more information about that, head over to engineering.tamu.edu, and go to the student life section.

Steve: You may have seen on the screens in Zach some advertisements for the Boeing Innovation Challenge: That's going to be open to undergraduate and graduate students, excluding freshmen — sorry, freshmen.

Hannah: Next year.

Steve: To participate, students need to submit a one page entry about their idea, and it's going to let them compete for a three day trip to Boeing, where they'll be able to collaborate with students from other schools on a hackathon style innovation event. They'll get to meet with Boeing's innovation leaders and discuss upcoming Boeing internships. Now if you'd like more information on that, you can go visit the webpage at tx.ag/BIC19.

Jen: One more update today is to remember to check your emails or to keep an eye on the screens and Zach for any upcoming events in our career center. They're always putting on really educational and fun events and kind of seminars, things to talk about different topics that students would be interested in. So definitely keep an eye out for that.

Hannah: And that's our news.

Now, I don't know how many people know this, but Jennifer is the communication specialist for Biomedical Engineering. I am indeed. And I heard, there's a lot of really cool things happening in your department, Jen.

Jen: Oh, constantly. It's amazing. Every day, I feel like I learned something different about the healthcare industry and the healthcare systems and how our faculty are participating in that research. And it's so much fun. So one story that I want to highlight today actually is out of Dr. Akhilesh Gaharwar’s lab. He's an associate professor in our department. He recently had a paper published talking about how his lab is working to improve treatments for osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disease that breaks down cartilage and can lead to bone damage over time. And so with the United States population continuing to age as it does, that is also going to start becoming a bigger issue. So one thing that they're trying to do is work with growth factors, which is a certain kind of protein that helps with tissue regeneration. But what happens is the current treatments osteoarthritis is they're pretty short term, like the kind of breaks down, the growth factors break down too quickly. So they're actually working with nanoparticles to be able to extend how long that treatment will last. And that way, the patient can have more treatment kind of over the long term instead of the short term solutions.

Steve: That's incredible.

Jen: It's so cool. And it's one of those things of it's amazing in biomedical engineering to see kind of almost these direct connections between the research and these diseases that are affecting people every day. And just how the how enthusiastic and passionate the faculty are in order to help any way they can in their research. And so I would definitely encourage people if they're interested in learning more about what Dr. Gaharwar is doing, his research lab is on his profile page on our website.

Steve: You know, there's so much research like that happening now in the biomedical space, but I feel like people still don't connect engineering with the treatment of health problems right now, to the level that really they're making an impact.

Hannah: Oh, absolutely.

Jen: Right. Well, and it's I guess, because all the all the patient really ever sees it's going to be their doctors or their surgeons, you don't really see the behind the scenes like that, essentially, that's kind of what we get to see here in engineering is the behind the scenes for a lot of things that we use in our daily lives, that we don't even have to think about.

Steve: Maybe one day we'll have national thank an engineer for your healthcare day?

Hannah:  I thought you're going to say national nanobot day.

Jen: Probably both.

Steve: We probably will have a national nanobots day.

Jen: But yeah, so I'm hoping to keep bringing stories from biomedical engineering on the podcast, and hopefully at some point, we'll get a faculty member on here as well.

Hannah: As you so kindly put last time, Jen, I think they've heard enough from us. So now it's time to hear from you. We took voices of Zach over to Kyle Field and the hotel and conference center, and asked people at the career fair, what was the most valuable lesson they've learned, as well as polled a few companies to see what are they looking for? And how does A&M stand out to them? Here's what they had to say.

Rachel James: Hi, my name is Rachel James. I am a chemical engineering major class of 2020. What I've learned the most from my experience here at the career fair is how to communicate with companies and how to really put myself in the best light I even got an internship with Frito-Lay last year. So really looking forward to it.

Alex Zuniga: Howdy, my name is Alex Zuniga, my class year for my undergraduate was ’18 and my graduate this year is ’19. My major is in biological and agricultural engineering and my goal to learn from this career fair is how my internship can be utilized by me and kind of how I can project myself and see where I stand to other companies now that I do have experienced and kind of compare what they offered me to now future job propositions.

Tee Mueller: I’m Tee Mueller and I work for WGA. We're a civil engineering firm in Houston, Texas. And what we're looking for at the A&M career fair is people who can communicate well and have the ability to kind of walk in and and charm us for lack of a better word, and something particularly helpful about the A&M career fair is that we’re majority Aggie owned. We have something like 60 to 70% Aggies in the office. So I know that we can come here and get quality candidates without really having to assume or worry about, well, are they going to know what I need them to know, we're confident that our Aggie engineers can can handle what we throw at them.

 Jasmine Razaghi: Howdy, my name is Jasmine Razaghi and I'm a sophomore chemical engineering major. And the most important thing I've learned at career for this year has been to walk in with confidence, and to have a conversation with recruiters rather than trying to sell yourself.

Lyndsey Hopper: My name is Lyndsey Hopper, and I am with Ventura Foods. This is our first time at the A&M career fair. So it's been a pretty awesome learning experience. Getting to not only learn about the traditions at A&M, but speak to some of the students and faculty. We’re very impressed with what we're seeing so far in terms of what career services are offered to these students, as well as the level of engineering students we’re seeing, and we're excited to recruit some Aggies.

Jamail Gaines: My name is Jamail Gaines. I'm a senior mechatronics engineering major. I love coming to the career fair, because it's a great opportunity to meet all these different companies, because actually, a lot of companies out there that you know, you won't even know existed or even heard of. It's very cool to talk to them and get to know what they do and get to know how you can apply to them and you know, different routes for the majors that you have. For any tips out there are people who haven't gone to a career fair definitely prepared, definitely get everything ready early beforehand, the night beforehand. Research your companies know a little bit about them, so they'll know who you want to talk to be and expect long lines, because it's gonna be a very crowded event, so know who to talk to and have like a plan to go out.

Brandon Plichta: My name is Brandon Plichta, I’m with Zachry Construction Corporation. What I'm looking for in a future prospective employee is a hard worker. You need to be able to show the employers that you can work hard and that you have a good work ethic. And the way to do that is to be able to get a get a job basically, show some work experience on your resume, it would be helpful if it was in whatever field you want to go into, it would be helpful to be in that but it doesn't matter.  As long as you show that work ethic, and you show that experience and like that on your resume to the recruiters so that they can ascertain if you're a hard worker or not.

Ritika Bhattacharjee: Hi, my name is Ritika Bhattacharjee, chemical engineering class of 2022. I think the biggest thing I learned from the career fair is that you have to offer what you bring. So if you're yourself, you are going to impress people a lot more than if you try and be what you think that they expect. And so the thing I learned was just to be myself when I'm talking to other people, and you know, be comfortable in your own skin. That's so important. And I wish I had realized that earlier, but that's what I learned this year.

Steve: You've really gotta love hearing students excited on career fair day.

Hannah: Oh, yeah.

Jen: Definitely. And I'm glad that the company's also wanted to get involved in our Voices of ZACH. That was really cool to be able to hear from them as well.

Steve: Yeah, that was a neat addition, for sure.

Hannah: It was interesting to be able to see what the company's had to say. It was enlightening.

Jen: That's going to be a wrap on this week's episode The Wire.

Hannah: Yeah. So thanks for tuning in this week. Come back next week to hear our new episode of engineer this where Dr. Mehta will be talking about her work in public health.

Jen: There's also some tips and tricks for students about how to stay healthy in the workplace and in the classroom.

Hannah: And a little bit about what's the difference between fatigue and burnout.

Jen: Which apparently there's actually a difference.

Hannah: Fantastic. Well, then, from everyone here on the PodSquad, sounding off. Thanks and Gig ‘Em.

Jen: Thanks and Gig ‘Em.

Steve: Thanks, and Gig ‘Em.

Thanks so much for tuning in to Texas A&M Engineering Presents: SoundBytes. What did you think? Have any questions for us? Hit us up and let us know at EngineeringSoundBytes@tamu.edu that's bytes with a Y. And keep an eye out for us in Zach. We wander around the building from time to time and we'd love to hear from you. So stop by and say hello, or maybe lend your voice for a future episode. Finally, just so you know, the views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Texas A&M University System. Make sure to tune in next week and until then, from everyone on the PodSquad sounding off. Thanks and Gig ‘Em.