Now that commencement ceremonies are over, the job search begins. But for some Buffalo State graduates, their biggest worry is choosing which job to accept. Many of these students are in Buffalo State’s engineering technology programs.
Jonathan DeMay, ’12, returned to college because he didn’t like his job as manager of an auto center. He chose Buffalo State and its electrical engineering technology: smart grid program, which has a job placement rate that approaches 100 percent. DeMay also took advantage of the undergraduate research opportunities offered here. Last summer, he received an Undergraduate Research Fellowship, which supports eight weeks of full-time research and provides a stipend of $2,750 plus a travel allowance. DeMay presented his work—design of a remote-controlled friendly feline enclosure—at a SUNY-wide event, “Discovery: An Undergraduate Showcase” in Albany in February. The prototype was based on feedback from a feline rescue expert.
During the spring 2012 semester, DeMay interned with a local company and received a job offer from them. Another company offered him a position as a junior engineer doing, among other things, design work for substations for electrical power distribution. The job he accepted “made me the best offer,” he said, “with a good 401K, a signing bonus, and a relocation bonus.” He’ll be designing controls and signals for trains.
Another program in the Technology Department, mechanical engineering technology (MET), also has a job placement rate approaching 100 percent. One reason is that seniors must complete a hands-on design project. According to David Kukulka, professor of technology and coordinator of the MET program, the design project may address a real challenge faced by the companies involved in the program. Another project is constructing a vehicle to compete in the Baja SAE, an intercollegiate design competition run by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Kevin Sayers, ’12, has already started the new job that he landed thanks to the MET program and a lead from a fellow student to a job opening. Sayers was hired as a technologist, and hopes to be promoted upon graduation.
“It was a long hard road,” he said. “I was laid off from another company because I only had a two-year degree. But that program wasn’t accredited, so I couldn’t transfer the 96 credits I’d earned. I had to start over, and I did. I went to Niagara County Community College and received an associate’s degree in liberal arts, math, and science. Then I came to Buffalo State for the MET program. All in all, I’m glad I went back to school and made the decisions I made. It definitely changed me for the better.”
“Some of our students are working when they start,” said Kukulka, “and many others get jobs through our internship programs. Employers value our program because it emphasizes hands-on, practical design work based on a solid knowledge of the underlying principles.”
Close to 2,000 undergraduates received their bachelor’s degree at Buffalo State on Saturday, May 12.
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