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Career Panel Answers STEM Questions

Spring 2015 | Article by Kirby Messinger

Career Panel Answers STEM Questions

STEM Panelists included (left to right): Carl Camden
(Past Parent) President and CEO, Kelly Services;
Taylor Riche (E ’00) Staff Software Engineer,
LabVIEW FPGA; Cristina Carlis (N ’91) Executive
Marketing Director, Amgen; Robert Ryan
(A&S ’79, G ’88) Vice President Global Exploration,
Chevron; Bryan Reuter (E ’85, G ’92) Partner,
Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton, and Alford LLC;
Angela Zeringue (E ’88) Baton Rouge Polyolefins
Plant Manager, ExxonMobil Chemical

On Saturday, February 7, science and engineering students packed into a crowded auditorium to listen to a diverse group of alumni and parents talk about careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The panel “I don’t want to be a doctor. What else can I do with a STEM degree?” was part of Career Wave, a day-long conference for Tulane University students. The conference was started in 2013 for students to develop career planning skills, hear from some of the country's most recognized and respected speakers, and network with alumni and parents.

Career Wave has grown from just 400 participants to over 1,200 this year. But when looking at the participants, Beth Wee, associate dean of undergraduate programs, realized that science and engineering students weren’t part of the undergraduate participants. After conducting a focus group, they found that science and engineering students wanted programming surrounding STEM careers.

“We realized that the current programming just wasn’t appealing to our students,” says Wee. “We needed to create something specifically for science and engineering students. We are lucky enough to be able to utilize our talented and experienced alumni to help us create programming that answered their specific needs.”

With the help of alumni and members of the School of Science and Engineering Board of Advisors, a STEM specific panel was created for this year’s Career Wave conference, and students showed their appreciation by turning out in large numbers for the successful session. Topics discussed ranged from what careers were in high demand to what fields require graduate education.

“The panel showed students the myriad exciting careers that one can achieve with a STEM degree, and with various majors as well,” says panelist Taylor Riche, a 2000 computer engineering and mathematics graduate and software engineer at LabVIEW FPGA. “The panel will hopefully inspire them to think differently about their career paths and to find a career that is exciting to them and tailored to their strengths, but still building on the expertise and skills only a STEM degree can provide.”

Panelist Carl Camden, a past parent and SSE Board of Advisors member, encouraged students to think outside of just a career path. He challenged students to investigate a topic or problem in the world where they could make a difference. As a recognized thought leader on talent management and president and CEO of Kelly Services, he said taking that path would help students find job fulfillment and not just a career.

“I’m so grateful for the talented alumni and Board of Advisors members that were behind the creation of this panel,” says Nick Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering. “We were able to respond to student needs and create content that was specific to our students. I think this will be a great addition to Career Wave for years to come.”

School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764 sse@tulane.edu