WHAT MAKES A GREAT UNDERGRAD RESUME? Good grades, of course, but also experiences—like internships and studies overseas—that build skills. Academic departments often have internship coordinators who match students with company openings. Alumni and employers often provide job descriptions directly to the faculty, hoping to find suitable interns. And most universities, and even some departments, host career days or fairs, where companies find candidates for internships and permanent employment. An internship typically involves hands-on work on real-world projects. Interns use the skills and abilities acquired in the classroom and get some exposure to the career opportunities that wait after graduation. As our world becomes increasingly globalized, studying abroad is a great way to acquire cultural awareness. Study trips guided by professors may last a few weeks, or you can attend a foreign university for a full year. Students who study abroad come home with enthusiasm, experiences, and memories that last a lifetime. Amanda Benoit San Francisco, Calif. / 27 Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering MS, 2013 Michigan State University Agricultural and Biological Engineering BS, 2010 University of Florida ASABE Member Food Technologist Columbus Manufacturing, Hayward, Calif. Why ag and bio engineering? The diversity of areas of study—from biofuels to food processing to biomedical! From the start, I could see myself having a long and rewarding career. A speaker in one of my freshman engineering courses said, “A lot of people want to be doctors because they want to save lives, but a doctor can save only one life at a time. An engineer can save 1,000.” I was hooked because an understanding of agriculture and biology empowers one to solve problems that directly impact humanity. I studied abroad in Osnabrueck, Germany, and toured different ag companies’ facilities. Inspired, I learned the importance of the engineering that goes into making food safe and available, and that prompted me to go to graduate school to learn more. I grew tremendously, traveling to different countries, and now I feel I can take on the world. I also did an internship at the W.K. Kellogg Institute in Battle Creek, Mich., on the Advance Innovation Team, identifying and developing future foods and technologies. I evaluated the potential of an innovative cooking technology, collecting data using sensors and data acquisition instrumentation to determine the feasibility of scaling up. I presented the findings to a team of developers, managers, and engineers. The impressive results led to keeping me on the team part-time to perform further research while I finished my degree. I learned more about myself and about teamwork than at any other time in my life. It built decision-making and critical-thinking skills important to my job today. On LinkedIn, I found my present job with a smaller company— Columbus—that is growing and learning, and I am growing and learning with it. Many skill sets are needed for troubleshooting a process, supply and demand issues, package size changes, and product/process optimization. However, when shopping at a store, it is incredibly satisfying to see consumers’ excited responses to a product or process that I worked on. That’s the whole reason why I put so much into my work: to inspire people. The best occupation preparation was my internship and first job, which taught me how businesses run, what’s important to different audiences, and how to approach projects, issues, and people. You learn in industry what you cannot learn in the classroom or lab. My ultimate goal is to provide simple, sustainable food solutions that will inspire people and communities around the world. I am on a mission to solve issues affecting humankind, specifically creating a continuous supply chain of food: increasing availability, minimizing waste, educating and holding people responsible. I am passionate about engineering and education and desire to drive a pipeline of engineers into the field to make the change that society needs.
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