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Where does everyone work here?

  1. Jun 18, 2007 #1
    I'm just graduating now and would like to network a bit before deciding where I would want to start working.

    I'm just curious, which company does everyone here work in? What's your job?
    What were your first impressions?
    And for students, in which company do you want to end up?

    As for me: I've already applied for Borealis, Cargill, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Prayon, Cytec, BASF. Still some interviewing going on.

    And Monsanto, Pfizer, Capsugel, BP and Degussa didn't want to interview me at all.

    (Is it true they discriminate Asian and/or black people?)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2007 #2

    chroot

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    I work for an integrated circuit manufacturer on the NASDAQ-100. I'm a senior design engineer. My first impressions were that the job offers interesting work, generous pay and benefits, and a comfortable work environment with good people.

    - Warren
     
  4. Jun 18, 2007 #3

    berkeman

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    Not in the US -- that's very illegal here.

    As for your main question -- After graduating with my MSEE, I worked for a couple large companies for some years (Bell Labs and HP), then consulted on my own for 5 years, and then joined Echelon (www.echelon.com) when they were a startup company. Here I worked lots and *lots* of long hours, for several years in a row. But the startup phase went well, and we are now public and the hours are more normal (but still intense and challenging). Working for a startup requires a strong background, directly applicable skills and experience, and the willingness to work your backside off for a couple of years, with the possibility of the rewards of going public as a big part of the motivation. It's not for everyone, but it can be a very challenging and rewarding path, if you are up to it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  5. Jun 18, 2007 #4

    FredGarvin

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    I have worked in companies that range from small family owned to Ford Motor. My current company designs and manufactures jet engines. I am part of the R&D test side and I get to get my hands into pretty much everything in our company.

    My first impression? "Coooooooool!"
     
  6. Jun 18, 2007 #5

    Danger

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    I've had a lot of different jobs since not finishing high-school, including owning my own security company for 17 years (locksmith and security consultant). Most of my other work was in bartending.
    Now I work in a cheque-cashing/payday loan establishment and love it. The pay is reasonable (enough to be comfortable on), and I might put in from 1 to 3 hours of actual work during a 10-hour shift. My boss supplies computer games for my station, and I have unlimited net access when she's not there (hers is the only computer that's on-line). If I get another ethernet extension cable, I can be on when she is too by plugging in my iBook, but I haven't bothered because she's only there an hour or two a day anyhow.
    I also do free-lance graphics.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2007 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I'm self employed as a system's integrator and consultant. I've worked on the launch system for the NMD, also did research for the radiation shielding for the same. Worked on a stealth boat, many projects for Boeing for the last ten years, and many different manufacturing processes ranging from semiconductors to rice crispy bars. Before going out on my own I worked for small, medium, and large companies, with the largest being American Medical International where I worked on the 1st through the 5th generation mobile CAT scanners, and 1st through 3rd gen mobile MRI units.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  8. Jun 19, 2007 #7

    Integral

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    My first job was with the state, I had responsibility for the freshman /sophomore Physics lab equipment and lab set ups.

    From there I went to a small ~50 employee privately held company as a process engineer. I ran a small Aluminium foundry doing investment casting of Bar code scanner cases.

    Next I worked in a "rich guys" garage attempting to develop a Rapid Prototyping system for creating 3d aluminium objects by depositing droplets of molten Al.

    Currently I am working with HP as a graveyard clean room technician maintaining Si wafer processing tools used to produce the latest generation of HP print heads. (I am in it for the money, I cannot afford to give up my technician job for a engineering position)
     
  9. Jun 19, 2007 #8
    Integral: Do you get more money as a technician than as an engineer?

    Berkeman: Does HP need any civil engineers in chemistry? It seems like a very interesting company. They also sponsored our chemical engineering faculty in Leuven. As for discrimination, it really happens here in Belgium. One little story: Some black guy phoned an HR consultant for a job, they said it was full. Then he told someone else to apply for the same job and the consultant gave an entirely different answer. I'm Chinese myself, that's why I might have a little handicap there.

    Ivan Seeking: You're a consultant, do you do anything in HR?

    Why is it that most people here change from one company to another? Didn't you like the people there or were you motivated in the opportunities another company had to offer? Do you get many proposals from head hunters?
     
  10. Jun 19, 2007 #9

    mgb_phys

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    I don't know about Integral's circumstance but you often get situations where in demand technicians are paid hourly rates + overtime + night rate + weekend bonuses whereas salaried engineers work whatever hours and weekends are needed for no extra pay. It was along time working in engineering before I got a better hourly rate than I got as a student working nights in a warehouse!

    In the US / UK switching companies is the main way to get a promotion or raise. If you stay in the same company waiting for your boss to retire you might get a 2% cost-of-living raise each year. Everytime you switch companies you generally manage to move a notch up the scale and get 10-20% more.
    Of couse sometimes people move because of family or a decline in their old company but the job-for-life paternalistic big company workforce is rarer in the US/UK than in Japan or continental europe.

    I don't see a lot of discrimination at the engineer level in the US, in fact engineering is probably the most diverse part of a company - most people with a PhD here are Russian, Chinese or Indian origin. Of course when you get to board level things are a little different.

    Remember also that big companies like HP, Schlumberger, Philips are really hundreds of different companies making everything from printer ink to oil rigs. One division may be a very different palce to work than another.
     
  11. Jun 19, 2007 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    What is HR?
     
  12. Jun 19, 2007 #11

    berkeman

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    In Silicon Valley, HR = Human Resources. That's the department that handles the paperwork for hiring and firing and benifits, etc.
     
  13. Jun 19, 2007 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    That's the only HR I know as well and didn't see the connection, so I assumed that katchum must mean something else.
     
  14. Jun 19, 2007 #13

    berkeman

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    Civil engineer in chemistry? Sorry, I don't follow your question. And as mentioned in another post, big companies like HP are very diverse -- they have many divisions doing all kinds of things. It would be best to ping them with your question, or see if you can find info about employment opportunites at their website.

    My first job change (Bell Labs to HP) was for a geographic move for family reasons. My second job change (HP to consulting) was to branch out into the entrepreneurial world more. My last job change (consulting to the startup Echelon) was to get in on the ground floor of a startup while it was still small and private.

    As for headhunters, yes, I get a lot of calls. One of them was actually for a position back at Bell Labs! :biggrin:
     
  15. Jun 19, 2007 #14

    berkeman

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    Hmmm. Good point. Consulting in HR would make about as much sense as a civil engineer working in chemistry. :rofl:
     
  16. Jun 19, 2007 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Well, if they need a process engineer to automate HR, no problem. :biggrin:
     
  17. Jun 19, 2007 #16

    Pyrrhus

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    I work in an Asphalt Plant. I design hot mix asphalt for Highways, Airports, and more...
     
  18. Jun 19, 2007 #17
    I work at one of the Aerospace Engineering Research Labs on campus; however, I do still work and keep in touch with many great friends at my other job at an Applied Physics Laboratory. So far, both are good places to work.

    *Note- I have never worked in Industry before though.
     
  19. Jun 19, 2007 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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  20. Jun 19, 2007 #19

    berkeman

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    Very cool, Ivan. What's that black thing near the stern on deck?
     
  21. Jun 19, 2007 #20
    Now now now, consultants really are into HR. All my interviews I have done are with consultants. I find it odd that you don't agree with me.

    And also, process engineers and unit operators have stepped into HR after ten years of experience. At Cytec I spoke with such a person who was a civil engineer first and then went into HR.

    And what's a civil engineer in chemistry called in America? Maybe I could better say master in chemical engineering or something like that.


    Cyclovenom has a nice job, which company is it? Exxon, Shell? Are you into deasphalting and visbreaking and stuff? I just had an exam on that...
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
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