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Posted by: peter jonak on 8/10/02 Title: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:601
I am a graduated engineer from the University of Windsor. I graduated from the Environmental Engineering program in 1995, since then I have been trying to work my way into the environmental consultant field or something related. I did work for Dupont Inc. Canada during that time which I think hurt me career-wise. The biggest problem I have and still continue to have is lack of field experience. I am constantly turned down due to insufficent direct practical experience. I am caught in a loop of I need the experience to get the job but can't get the job due insufficent experience. I hope this doesn't seem like I am complaining but it's very frustrating when there are opportunities you realy want and are turn down because of this. The question is how do you get around this to get that entry level position to start. Does somebody have some insite?


Posted by: gailsim on 8/13/02 Title: Re: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:603
I understand your situation. I am in the same boat. I have been trying to get into the field since my graduation in 1998. With no experience in field activities, I find that it's almost impossible to get a foot in the door. Right now I am working as an intern for the US Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management. No field training, but many other important skills acquired. I think the more you do, the more marketable you are. Take courses, go to conferences, call people. Hopefully all of these efforts will pay off and I will land a great job in Montreal in the near future. Good luck to you!

Posted by: Sara on 8/13/02 Title: Re: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:604
I am also having the same difficulties. I graduated in 2000 and spent last winter unemployed while trying to find work in the environmental consulting field. The best advice I was given was to network. Volunteer work, conferences, friends, family... you never know when you might meet someone. It seems it's not always what you know, but who you know. In fact I've managed to get some contract work through a previous employer who recommended me to my present employer. Who knows where I'm off to next... Best of luck!

Posted by: Frank on 8/23/02 Title: Re: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:612
Consulting agencies are looking for people with at least 5 -10 years experience. Sometimes its a matter of who you know, timing and how you present yourself that leads you a job. Consulting is just like contract work -work is never guaranteed and you constantly have to sell yourself and your skills. Conferences, Associations, workshops are all good places to network. Do a search of the agencies and the work they offer their clients, then market yourself!!!! Even if it involves some unpaid may work out in the end!

Posted by: Valentino on 9/7/02 Title: Re: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:613
Now it`s my turn...I have the same problem. I`ve just finished Environmental Management program and I have noticed how hard is to get an entry level position. In every branch of the environmental field... My suggestion is just keep going and never give up in our noble cause!!!

Posted by: peter Jonak on 9/22/02 Title: Re: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:617
I thank you all for your suggestions and different view points. I have to keep plugging away.

Peter Jonak

Posted by: Mike Johnston on 10/9/02 Title: Re: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:628
I have found that companies are more interested in specialized training and,(you guessed), experiance than whether or not you have a degree. The majority of these training courses are short, expensive, and necessary to get the door opened. In the US it is especially difficult to get past the first major job opening as most companies have found that very little of what is taught in the universities really applies to the real would of environmental compliance. Some courses you might look into include HAZWOPER, waste Site Supervisor, Water Treatment, and Water distribution. I currently am a the Senior Environmental Engineer for my company, a mid sized automotive supplier, but do not have an engineering degree at all. I do have an assortment of specialized training seminars, a water treatment license and 15 years experiance. You may want to start looking for entry level jobs south of the border as many consultant companies down here need engineers on staff for their brocheres and will give you the experiance. That is how I got started.

Mike J.

Posted by: Stephen Ross on 10/24/02 Title: Re: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:652
I can tell you that I got a job within a few weeks. Yo uknow how? Dumb luck and going the extra mile. I called a branch office of a well known consultant company in Montreal. Dumb luck - they were moving into a bigger office that day. Going the extra mile = I showed up and helped them move boxes. They had to give me an interview!! Then I was able to use my personal skills to convince them to bring me on. Everything you do has to be geared towards getting your foot in the door for an interview. If you've had interviews, and you still do not get a job, then evaluate HOW you interview. It makes no sense for them to interview you after looking at your CV (knowing that you do not have experience), if they are not willing to hire "the right people". Sorry to sound blunt there, but it is true. If you're someone that they just can't let get away, they'll hire you and hope that you'll be good enough to justify it. Any company that waits for work before they hire someone is a dumb company that has no foresight. email me if you want any advice!!


Posted by: JJ on 8/3/03 Title: Re: getting started/first job
Postnum: 88 EntryID:913
As a recent grad myself, I know that frustration. I ended up taking a job, with a environmental firm I liked, doing basic labour for low pay. Once in the door a little initiative gets you noticed. Increased networking presents itself quite quickly.

It was a big slice of humble pie, but backing up dump trucks for a summer or two really paid off. I have since moved upwards in pay and job satisfaction. A rewarding position as a field technician and data analyst is where I am now, and I graduated in 2000.


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