May Day: I’m Graduating Soon…Now What?

It’s mid-May, so you know what that means: the four best years of your life are coming to a close. Even if you have the perfect job lined up, graduating is always bittersweet. You likely started out with zero connections, spent years building friendships and professional networks, and now you’re leaving them all behind. Starting over is never easy—especially if it involves assimilation into the “Real World” while potentially moving back in with your parents.

The question remains: …Now what?

My name is Melissa Nau and I was in your shoes exactly two years ago. I’m here to offer tips and advice on how to prepare, search, apply, and interview for jobs that I wish I had discovered a lot sooner.

What to do if you’re graduating in a matter of days – The Basics:

1. Take care of the obvious: Update your resume. This is easy to do and can be a nice break from studying for the six finals you have to take within three days. By now you’ll know things you didn’t know before: your final GPA, a list of every class you’ve ever taken, whether or not you’ve graduated “summa cum laude,” all of the necessary information to describe your internships, and awards you may have won. This is exactly the kind of content you want on your resume. Make sure to insert “May 2016” as the end date on your current education (instead of “August 2012-Present”), or simply write “Class of 2016.” Same goes for any internships and relevant work experiences that will be ending when you graduate.

2. If you haven’t already, make a LinkedIn account. If you’ve conquered step one, step two is just a few clicks away. LinkedIn is extremely easy to create and navigate—I call it Professional Facebook. You can take your updated resume and upload it directly into LinkedIn where it will list your experiences in the following format:

Roux, LinkedIn

You can list every job you’ve ever had, schools you’ve attended, volunteer programs, publications, awards, and more. It’s essentially a more extensive and easy-to-read online resume. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn will find “people you may know” to add as connections and expand your network. While you most likely will not use LinkedIn as a platform to have a casual conversation with your friends, you can help each other out by “endorsing” one another for credible skills. This shows potential employers that other people actually recognize your abilities. The number on the left corresponds with how many people have endorsed me for each skill:

LinkedIn, Roux

Odds are that you do not have a professional head shot, and that’s okay. You can always look for a nice Facebook picture in which you are smiling/appropriately dressed and cut it out to use on LinkedIn. If your Facebook photos aren’t professional enough, get a friend or parent to take a quick shot of you in a dress shirt in front of a blank wall—whatever gets the job done.

Once your profile is in order, you can immediately begin searching for jobs on LinkedIn. Their advanced search options offer a large variety of industries and functions to choose from, and you can always narrow down your search by region:

Roux, LinkedIn

If this is your first time seeing what a job search looks like, congratulations! It’s just as easy as it looks, and almost all other job searching platforms will look similar to the one above.

3. Help employers help you. Now that your resume is updated, you can post it on different job sites where employers can find you. Do this immediately; if you’ve already updated your resume it’s the easiest, fastest, and potentially most beneficial first step in your job search. The best sites to post your resume on are CareerBuilder and Monster. I’ve attained two jobs after being contacted through CareerBuilder. In my experience, these sites are the most credible. Other sites include, but are not limited to, Indeed, Mediabistro, and even Craigslist. I know Craigslist sounds…less than credible, but they have pages that are solely dedicated to employment. One of my friends had his resume on Craigslist and it led him to a publishing job at McGraw-Hill in New York City. (Miracle? Maybe. True story? Yes.)

Keep in mind that if you choose to put your resume on Craigslist, there are different pages categorized by region—so if you live in New York, you may want to post your resume on the Long Island Craigslist and New York City Craigslist job pages. Sites like CareerBuilder prompt you to create an account in order to post your resume, which requires very basic information (name, email, address, etc.). On any site where you’re posting your resume, make sure you choose the option to “Display my Resume and Contact Info”:

Roux, CareerBuilder

If you hide your phone number and email address employers will not be able to contact you directly, which is the whole point of this process. If for some reason you receive a lot of spam (which I have not) you could always go back and change this later.

If you’re already interested in a few companies related to your field, you’re ahead of the game. In this case, it’s always better to go directly to the company website and click on their Careers page.

Roux, Careers

If you don’t want your resume displayed on the Internet, you can still use the websites above as resources to search for jobs. Most of them contain their own job blogs to help guide you along, as well as tips for writing resumes and cover letters. I’ll be sure to tackle these concepts later on—for now, check out the above steps and enjoy what’s left of your undergrad career, before your student loans find you.

Seven Tips to Prepare for 2016

The approaching end of any year brings about many to-do lists, festivities, and reflections. We scurry around to prepare for the holidays, connect with family and friends, think back on our year—the good and the bad—and think about what New Year’s resolutions we want to strive for.

In the midst of thinking about our personal life goals, we should also focus on our performance at work and what goals we want to pursue in our job. Sometimes it can be difficult to start that self-evaluation and brainstorming process.

I wanted to share with you some tips that help me prepare for the New Year:

Start the year with a clean slate…


Clean out that desk

Organization can help clear your mind. Clean off the top of your desk and clean out the desk drawers. Get rid of anything hanging around that is no longer needed. File away anything important that you will need in the future or need to keep a record of. Folders and labels are a big help. Make 2015 labels and begin archiving! Also, begin setting up your 2016 files.

Personalizing your desk is also important. Put up photos of your family or the special people in your life. Tack up inspiring quotes. If you have done this already, then revamp your space with new photos and quotes from the year. It’s the simple touches that can motivate you and get your creative juices flowing.

Clean out your email

Delete unwanted email and archive email that is needed for future use. With a cleaner inbox you’ll start the year less overwhelmed. Use folders to organize your tasks and projects. In these folders, file away the necessary received as well as sent emails so you can follow your conversation. This can help in future situations whether you need to remember important information, find attachments, or need clarification; you have your full conversations to fall back on.

Ask for a mentoring session

Ask your manager or a fellow colleague for a mentoring session. They can give you tips or feedback on your performance in the workplace. Welcome both compliments and helpful critiques. This can help you focus on your approach and work ethic at the start of 2016. You can start on the right foot knowing if you need to alter or strengthen any aspect of your work approach. Plan for a 6-month review meeting with your mentor to touch base and go over your progress since the start of the New Year.

Review

Write down all your accomplishments from the last year. What did you do that made it a success? What did you learn? What are you proud of? It is always good to look back on our successes and see what worked for us and what we should continue to pursue doing in the future.

Sometimes the greater lesson can be analyzing what did not go as well. Write down what may not have been a success. What made it fall short? What can you improve on? Try to focus on aspects of your job that you can improve on and focus on those for the upcoming year.

Educate yourself

Education is a great way to improve your knowledge of the field you are in. New knowledge can help you set new goals and go for them.

 

Set goals and objectives…

 

Think about: What do you want to do in the future differently? What new approaches do you want to try? Are there new projects that you want to start? What will better you as a person? What will better your company? Set proactive goals that will benefit you and your company.

 

And don’t forget…


Network yourself

Do you use LinkedIn? It’s a great way to connect with colleagues, past colleagues, future connections and more in the business world. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and showcases your best qualities. Join business related groups and join the conversation. Use your social media channels to grow connections and stay in the loop on current industry news.


Take time to celebrate with your family and friends and relax!

It is important to spend time with our loved ones during the holidays. Make sure you take that time. This in itself is also a great way to reflect and refresh for 2016.

The Roux Family and I would like to wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

-Lauren Rosella, Marketing Coordinator

Recruiting @ Roux: Schools & Career Fairs

As a recent graduate of undergraduate and graduate school, I can easily remember that figuring out what school and what career path to choose can be difficult. I remember asking myself—how do I choose a career and invest in something I’ve never done before? How do I know if I am going to like my choice in career? Can I truly know my passion before I really start learning about it? What school will best prepare me for the field I want to pursue?

To help answer these difficult questions, consider your interests, your goals, your abilities, and your talents. This can lead you to a field that you will enjoy working in and point you to a field that you can shine in and contribute to. The next step is to do research on schools and programs. With thorough research you will be able to confidently select what school and program is the best fit for pursuing your career. Getting an education at a quality school is also something to take into account.

A highly accredited school in your field can have a large influence on your entire career path. When applying for a job or internship, your alma mater can be considered heavily when an organization is making a decision on hiring you. A strong education gives you knowledge which can lead to opportunity.

The U.S News & World Report released “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs Rankings” that lists the top undergraduate schools from a survey in 2014, for engineering programs. You can click here to view the article.

If you want to attend graduate school to further your skills in environmental engineering, the U.S News & World Report also released “Best Grad Schools Engineering 2016” that lists the top 10 ranked schools for Environmental / Environmental Health Engineering. You can click here to view this article.

Reviewing lists like these is a great starting point for researching and choosing a school with the right program for you. Being proactive in your search to pursue your interests and skills takes you steps closer to where you want to be.

Roux Associates, Inc. is a professional services firm providing a broad range of consulting and project management services to solve complex environmental issues associated with air, water and land.  We have been providing these services to an impressive list of Fortune 500 and public sector clients nationwide for over 30 years through six offices, which are located in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

We welcome engineers, scientists, and support personnel with backgrounds in environmental engineering, earth sciences, and civil and chemical engineering. If you have an interest in Roux Associates, visit our Careers page to view available positions and to learn more about working at Roux.


When considering schools and career paths, it is also extremely beneficial to attend career fairs if you want to meet future employers and learn about the industry you may want to pursue. Below is a list of career fairs we will be attending:

9/30/2015
Tufts University Career Fair
http://careers.tufts.edu/employers/events.asp

10-1-2015
Thayer School of Engineering @ Dartmouth – 19th Annual Career Fair:
http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/careers/events/fair

10/7/2015
University of New Hampshire – Career & Internship Fair
https://www.unh.edu/uacc/career-fair

10/8/2015
Drexel University – Fall Career Fair
http://www.rouxinc.com/upcomingevents/drexel-university-fall-career-fair/

10/15/2015
The University of Maine – Engineering Job Fair
http://www.rouxinc.com/upcomingevents/the-university-of-maine-engineering-job-fair/

10/23/2015
Columbia University – Engineering Consortium Career Fair 2015
http://specialevents.cce.columbia.edu/engineering-consortium-career-fair-2015

Check out our Recruiting Calendar to view more details on these events.

Roux’s Work at a Glance

The diversity of work at Roux Associates allows you to be a part of many different projects for many different clients. You can work on projects from start to finish, or start on a project that has been through previous remediation. You can be involved with large projects in New York City, or small scale projects located in a suburban strip mall — one like this former dry cleaner site in northern New Jersey where Roux was needed.

A former dry cleaner site was put into our hands after it was previously undergoing an ineffective remediation for over 10 years under the direction of another consultant. Roux developed and implemented a cutting edge remedial program utilizing pneumatic fracturing using the injection of Zero-Valent Iron (ZVI) and Emulsified Vegetable Oil (EVO) to remediate groundwater and saturated soil, and using Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) to address unsaturated soil impacts. Our approach was implemented in less than two months, allowing the future tenant to occupy the retail space within the required schedule. In addition, no businesses in the active strip mall were interrupted by the remediation work.

Our remedy was very successful in remediating chlorinated solvents (over 95% reduction in mass), and this project is on track to be closed out years ahead of schedule, at a fraction of the cost of the previous consultant’s far less effective traditional remedial approach.

From our experiences, we have gained a true understanding of our clients’ needs, and we provide them with responsive project management and focused technical expertise. We are able to complete projects on time and on budget.

If you would like to read more about this example of Roux Associates’ work, click here to download the case study.

Choosing an Environmental Science Career

It is important to find a job that we can look forward to everyday, find reward in, and ultimately feel good about ourselves. Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what company and what career will help these things become a reality. Here at Roux Associates, we have many career options for someone interested in the environmental field—one of which is an Environmental Engineer. The article, “What is an Environmental Engineer?” from EnvironmentalScience.org, tells you everything you need to know—from what exactly an Environmental Engineer does, where they work, what their average salary is, to how to pursue the career.

For a general overview of careers you can choose in the Environmental Science field, click “Environmental Science Careers.”

At Roux, we will always make room for and welcome talented and motivated engineers, scientists, and support personnel with backgrounds in environmental engineering, earth sciences, and civil and chemical engineering. We love to recruit people with passion.

To learn more about Roux Careers, click here.

Recruiting @ Roux: The Other Side of the Interview

Prior to arriving at a job interview, many questions can cross your mind…

– What exactly is the company looking for?
– What should I prepare?
– How should I answer the questions?
– What is the company really like?

And the list can go on. So we sat down with Brian Woods, Director of Recruitment, and asked him for his thoughts and opinions about Roux and what he looks for in a candidate. This inside knowledge may benefit you when seeking a job in the Environmental Consulting field and better prepare you for an interview.


Q: What are the goals of our Environmental Consulting Firm?

A: Our goals are to help our clients with their environmental liabilities and to provide an atmosphere where people can earn a living, develop their professional skills, and grow their career.

 

Q: What type of people should apply?

A: Any environmentally inclined person or someone interested in the environment that has a degree in a related science or engineering discipline.

 

Q: What do you look for in a candidate? Are there any specific qualities you are looking for?

A: Yes. Beyond the degree and what school you attend, we try and identify qualities that can eventually attribute to becoming a Principal for the firm. We look for a great work ethic as a key characteristic. Also, someone who is organized, detail oriented, and has great communication skills.

Candidates should think about providing examples that show how they have managed tough situations whether at school, in an internship or work experience. We want to get a sense of ambition, initiative, and that they have a sense of business.

 

Q: What makes a strong candidate?

A: When considering a candidate, I ask these questions;

• How would this person make Roux better?
• What skills and technical knowledge can they bring that they can put to use at Roux?

If I can answer these questions strongly, then I look to see if the candidate is inquisitive about our industry and Roux, and if they have the ability to have a good “give and take” when discussing them. Providing specific examples of their academic and work experiences and being able to relate them to what we do is another example of a good candidate attribute.

 

Q: Why should people apply to work at Roux?

A: Working at Roux provides an opportunity to solve the most difficult environmental problems for a wide variety of clients. If you’re a problem solver, then Roux is a good fit for you. For people who have decided to become engineers, scientists and geologists, if their goal is to be challenged and work on those types of projects then Roux is a company that provides a great career.

 

Q: Do you find that new hires are happy joining Roux? What type of feedback do you get?

A: Roux is a place that is welcoming, challenging and very rewarding. Roux gets entry-level staff involved with many responsibilities early in their careers. People are happy because they feel included from the first day. The feedback that I hear is that this type of work atmosphere is not found in most firms. The best part about Roux is its cooperative nature; we are a company that has a family feel.

 

Q: What does it mean to be a part of Roux Associates?

A: You would be a part of a nationally known environmental management and consulting firm working on projects for Fortune 500 companies, attorneys, insurance companies, and real estate developers. You would be able to build a career and develop relationships within the industry.

 

Q: What advice would you give someone before they go in to be interviewed?

A: Some students will say, “I wrote this paper or I took this class…” to highlight their interest in the field. But in order to exhibit the attributes we are looking for, they should take the next step and say something like, “My thesis was on this topic because…” They should give the reasoning why they chose to do something. Or tell us how you went about completing an assignment. This would show the critical thinking and communication skills needed to be successful. Be prepared to provide examples and the background story to each situation. We want to see that creative critical thinking process and how someone has solved problems, and we’d like to see if this can be communicated accordingly.

Also, do your homework! Look up the company that you are going to be interviewed by, and have some questions prepared to ask about the company and/or the industry.

 


Click here to access our Careers page where you can learn more about Roux Careers and apply.

Or if you have any questions about Roux Associates, feel free to reach out to us through our Contact page that provides our office locations and contact information.