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Graduating students benefit from the new ISA College to Career Mentorship program
by Leo Staples
Finding that first job is one of the biggest challenges for students leaving college. At the same time, industry is challenged to find employees who fit the culture of the company, are willing to learn, and will quickly be able to contribute. So how do students develop résumés and the qualities that differentiate themselves from other candidates? ISA has the mentors and resources to help them stand out in any industry or technical field with automation professionals-oil and gas, water and wastewater, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, pipelines, programmable logic controller systems, human-machine interface applications, distributed control systems, instrumentation, or any control system.
A 2017 "College to Career Mentorship Pilot Project" offers students an opportunity to build an ISA career plan and be mentored by someone with actual field experience. The program offers an employer a look at a potential team player who takes responsibility for his or her career, can be coached, and has a mentor for support and encouragement. Working with their mentors, program participants develop a career plan and complete action items that support their plan. Action items include involvement in ISA activities; reading books on technical topics, leadership, and business; taking classes; and reviewing resources in areas of interest. Terms of the program are one year, with options to expand to additional years. Francis Tuttle Technology Center (FTTC), SAIT Polytechnic, and another school yet to be determined will participate in the pilot. Most of the mentors in the pilot program are former ISA presidents.
Marty Bince, ISA vice president, image and membership, comments that ISA's local sections have senior ISA members willing to pair with graduating students for one-to-three years in their early careers to have an experienced voice guide them to ISA resources, such as ISA standards, books, and webinars. Further, the senior member can offer invaluable advice for working with teams and projects and for finding specific resources or people to accelerate their careers.
The College to Career Mentorship Pilot Project was introduced at the January 2017 FTTC ISA student section meeting. The topic for the meeting was "Preparing for a Job Interview," and one of the speakers was Nathan Wright of John Zink Hamworthy Combustion. "In today's competitive job market, anything a person can do to set themselves above the crowd is a plus. There is nothing like having an experienced mentor helping someone get started. I would certainly consider it an advantage for someone to go through this mentorship program, especially for recent graduates entering the workforce," he said. All six of the spring graduates immediately asked to be in the program.
Plans are underway to expand the program throughout ISA in 2018. For more information about the College to Career Mentorship Pilot program, sections can contact Marty Bince (email@example.com).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leo Staples, retired from OGE Energy Corp. after a career of more than 38 years. He is an ISA Fellow, book author, and was ISA president in 2011. He is currently president of Automation Solutions Advisors LLC.
Qualifying for and passing one of ISA's certification exams is a noteworthy accomplishment. The exams are rigorous and require a solid command of various disciplines in automation and control. Below is a list of individuals who have recently passed either our Certified Automation Professional (CAP) or one of the three levels of our Certified Control System Technician (CCST) exam. Congratulations to our new certification holders! For more information about the ISA CAP and CCST certification programs, please visit www.isa.org/training-and-certifications/isa-certification.
Certified Control System Technicians
|Chad N. Allen||None||U.S.|
|Ronald J. Clemons||Lyondell Bassell||U.S.|
|Michael P. Linder||None||U.S.|
|Zac Q. Opong||None||U.S.|
|Ben J. Peart||None||U.S.|
|Cody Sakry||Excel Energy||U.S.|
|Kyle A. Berggren||NIC Systems Corp||U.S.|
|Carlo P. Marchi||NIC Systems Corp||U.S.|
|Matthew W. Scott||None||U.S.|
|Eric J. Huizenga||None||U.S.|
|Evan C. Berggren||None||U.S.|
|Timothy L. Ebelhar||Control Specialists Inc.||U.S.|
|Jeff Wojaczyk||PCI Pharmaceutical Calibration Instrument||U.S.|
|Christopher J. Angeletti||None||U.S.|
Certified Automation Professionals
|Umesh Gyawali||Fluor Canada Ltd.||Canada|
|Othman Taha||None||Saudi Arabia|
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