Student last year, recruiter this year: Halma job gives Trout opportunity for globetrotting


Tori Trout, BE'15, stands next to the Halma sign discussing job opportunities at Engineering & IT Industry Career Day. (John Russell/Vanderbilt University)

Tori Trout smiled and chatted persistently, hour after hour, as hundreds of young engineering students lined up to listen to her pitch for working at Halma plc — the same pitch that convinced her just a year ago.

Trout studied chemical engineering at Vanderbilt, graduated with her bachelor’s degree in May and jumped into a career that will put her into vastly different jobs around the world over the next two years.

Halma plc is a U.K.-based holding company and developer of products that protect personal and environmental safety and improve individual and public health. Trout is in its leadership development program.

Thursday’s Engineering & IT Industry Career Day, a massive job fair for School of Engineering students, was mildly surreal for her. She didn’t even worry about losing her bright smile or loud voice during the three-hour marathon event, held in the Student Life Center.

“To be able to come back here just one year later and do the same thing for other Vanderbilt students that was done for me — it’s insane,” Trout said.

Her current post is with surgical and medical instruments manufacturer Diba Industries in Danbury, Connecticut, where she’s spending six months working on a new quality management system. After that, she’ll be off to rotations in process safety, product development and marketing and sales. Because Halma has businesses in 23 countries, she’ll likely get to experience life outside the U.S. over the course of those rotations.

Toward the end of the program, she’ll have a decision to make about where she’d like a more long-term position, with Halma’s virtually limitless offerings for engineers in front of her.

“I didn’t just choose this company for the travel opportunities,” Trout said. “It was to try new things. Maybe I’ll enjoy product development more. Maybe I’ll enjoy operations and stay there.

“Vanderbilt not only gives students a great engineering degree, they learn how to have effective conversations with people. It blows up those stereotypes that engineers just want to sit at their computers and be left alone.”

Trout was recruited to Halma by a fellow alum — Morgan Amsler, BE’12, who also returned on Thursday for the career day. He said recruiting at Vanderbilt is a no-brainer for Halma executives, who need candidates with diverse skill sets to address the company’s broad-based operations.

“Vanderbilt’s engineering graduates go into the workforce ready to take on leadership roles,” Amsler said. “They’re not just saying, ‘Look at this little tech thing that I’m doing.’ They naturally see how their projects fit into the larger role of finding solutions.”


Heidi Hall, (615) 322-6614
On Twitter @VUEngineering