Mechanical engineering senior speaks with on landing her first job

For many college students getting a job in today’s economy may seem like a difficult feat, especially for those with little to no professional experience. Everyone’s heard the same advice: Network, use online search engines and go to the career center. But the way you utilize these tools is just as important as the resources themselves. spoke with several college students including Vanderbilt mechanical engineering senior Ashley Simakas who landed interviews — and jobs –- and asked them to share their strategies.

Ashley Simakas
Ashley Simakas

Simakas told that she landed her first job with Westinghouse in Pittsburgh after two internships with the company. Simakas, who was one of more than 230 students interning with the company, said she believes she got the job offer with Westinghouse because she networked while she was there.

“When I would meet people in the company or work with different managers, I would make sure to establish a contact with them by getting a business card or an e-mail address,” said Simikas.

Simakas contemplated using online jobs search engines and major corporation websites to apply for positions in her field, but she said she felt networking with contacts in a company she had experience in would be more lucrative.

“I can’t imagine the number of resumes that file in daily,” Simakas told “Corporations must get hundreds of online submissions a day. My resume would most likely have gotten lost in the mix, and that wasn’t a chance I was going to take.”

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