Engineering implements new programs

Robert William Caverly

The College of Engineering recently began a new program to help engineering students break into a competitive job market.

The program, Focus Fridays ,meets on the second Friday of each month and centers around a different theme. Another program, Providing Engineering Educational Resources for Students, offers counseling for engineering students.

Focus Fridays was the brainchild of Linda Capuzzi, associate dean for Academic Affairs, and Patricia Burdo, assistant director for Professional Development. “[The idea] grew out of a way to orient students in areas they aren’t familiar with,” Capuzzi said.

The first seminar focused on resume building and the second on different learning styles. According to Capuzzi, many of the meetings will include guest speakers.

Nancy Mott, director of Learning Support, also offered to work with students present on an individual basis. November’s session will be open to all University students. Titled “Negotiating Your Job Offer,” the session will focus on common concerns of students first entering the job market. It will include such topics as following up on and choosing between job offers.

Richard Fitzgerald, president of Engineering Student Council and an engineering senator, as well as many alumni, will meet with students and help answer questions.

Future Focus Friday sessions will include “Choosing a Major” in February and the “Summer Job Search” workshop in March.

PEER counselors range from sophomores to seniors. They undergo a three-day training session during Orientation, where they learn about all of the available resources on campus. The counselors work in an office in CEER during the academic year. Each student mans the office for one hour per day and also answers questions on the PEER Instant Messenger screen name. The counselors specialize in non-academic information, such as choosing a major, navigating around campus and traveling into Philadelphia.

“We’re basically there as a resource for any engineering student if they need help other than academic advising,” sophomore Kelly Doyle said. “People can walk in if they need help … someone is always there during our office hours. They can ask us questions about life on campus and if they really want to be an engineer.”