Empowering the Next Generation of STEM Professionals

by Emily Rhoden on November 18, 2014

Empowering the next generation of STEM professionalsHere at Burns & McDonnell, we have a deep-rooted love for all things STEM that drives everything we do, especially when it comes to getting young minds interested in these exciting industries. We’re committed to helping students discover the endless possibilities that come with a career in STEM, which is why we’re thrilled to host Your World: Empowered — an event to empower the next generation of STEM professionals — on Tuesday, December 2.

Your World: Empowered is a great opportunity for Kansas City area students in grades 7-12 to explore the possibilities of a career in engineering, architecture, environmental science or construction management.

The program will include:

  • An overview of the variety of STEM-related careers
  • Seeing how classroom education is relevant to the real world
  • Learning about job shadowing and internship opportunities
  • Gaining real-word perspectives from Burns & McDonnell employee-owners

Students — as well as parents and interested teachers — are invited to spend the evening with our team of engineers, where they’ll learn about the industry and gain an inside look at the engineering experience.

A panel of employees from several engineering and technical disciplines will be available for a Q&A session, exposing young minds to the real-world perspectives of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — professionals. Our team will share personal experiences about making the transition from high school to college to a lifelong career, and they’ll talk about the steps students can take now to get to where they want to be in the future.

So why are we so passionate about encouraging the next generation of STEM professionals? Well, we’re probably slightly biased, but we think engineering is pretty awesome. In the past decade, STEM jobs grew three-times faster than other industries — a trend that is expected to continue into the future.

If that’s not enough, recent studies show that engineering tops the list of college majors with the biggest lifetime earning potential. STEM professionals have more job opportunities and can earn up to 26 percent more than other workers. We’ve piqued your interest, haven’t we?

If you’re thinking about a career in STEM — or if you’re unsure if engineering is the right fit for you — we hope you’ll join us on December 2 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Burns & McDonnell Auditorium. Be sure to register here to secure your spot, and if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me at k12outreach@burnsmcd.com.

Emily Rhoden heads up Burns & McDonnell’s K-12 educational outreach initiatives. She works regularly with students and teachers to inspire an interest in STEM education. If you want to learn more about working with Emily, connect with her on LinkedIn.

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How to Find a Job Using Twitter

by Mike Myers on November 4, 2014

How to Find a Job Using TwitterWhen thinking about social networks, most of us view LinkedIn as the most professional outlet, but what about other platforms like Twitter? Can job-hunters tweet their way to career success? You bet!

Twitter can be a valuable resource for sharing content and can help you build awareness of yourself as a professional. Although it isn’t always the first social network people think about for job searching, there are some definite advantages over other social platforms. Here are a just a few useful tips for leveraging this social media platform during your job search.

1. Showcase your personal brand

Twitter’s openness makes it a useful platform for showcasing your talents, personality, style and interests. Recruiters can get an idea of who you are and if you would be a good fit at their company.

Think of your Twitter bio as an online business card that you can use as a jumping-off point to your more detailed online profiles — like a personal blog or website, online portfolio or LinkedIn profile, for example.

2. Follow companies and people

Twitter is also great for connecting meaningfully with people and companies you don’t already know, which is much more difficult to do on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You can develop a rapport with people you may not have access to in real life.

Many companies and recruiters have job-related Twitter handles. Following those is a great way to keep tabs on job openings, rather than searching the company’s website.

Once you’ve built up a good list of people and companies to follow, start conversations with them by using the @ symbol and their Twitter handle. It’s a great way to build relationships and let them know you’re interested.

3. Engage your followers

Simply having a Twitter handle isn’t enough when trying to attract recruiters’ attention. They’re looking at what kind of content you share on your account, so you want to share a good mix of interesting and thought-provoking content, as well as tweets that give them a taste of your personality and show what you’re passionate about outside of work.

But don’t just use Twitter as a means of self-promotion — be interested in what other people are doing and engage with them. Share others’ stuff before you share your own. The more relevant contributions you make, the more others will want to continue to follow you.

4. Network

Don’t forget to actually network — it is a social network, after all. Build lists for people across different disciplines. Interact and start conversations. Initiate discussions with people who inspire you. It’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone. Participate in Twitter chats, and interact and respond to the people in your networks. Add value to your community.

Minding your manners is essential when using any social media platform, and it becomes even more important when you’re looking for a job. Use Twitter to communicate with others and to contribute your knowledge to those communities. Doing so will help build your capital in those networks, and then when you’re the one with a question, people will be much more willing to help you out. Only promoting yourself will never help you build a strong network.

The Future of Recruiting

So how will social media affect the recruiting process in the future? Many believe resumes won’t become obsolete, but rather, candidates’ online presence will supplement their traditional resumes.

Traditional resumes will still be useful for screening large pools of applicants, but having an online presence goes a long way toward reinforcing your personal brand and enhancing what you have to offer as a job candidate.

As long as your content is professional and used with purpose, social media — and Twitter in particular — can be an incredibly valuable asset to your career.  Have you started using Twitter as part of your job search? Let us know in the comments!

Mike Myers is a recruiter on Burns & McDonnell’s HR team. He actively uses social media to find new talent for the firm. If you’re interested in learning more about Mike or about opportunities available at Burns & McDonnell, connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter (@MSMrecruiter).

photo credit: The Daring Librarian via photopin cc

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