ECS Career Center
Now more than ever, the anxiety for students transitioning out of their undergraduate experience into professional or graduate academic pursuits can be a grueling experience. The dedicated staff of the Baylor University Career Center step into that chaotic process to offer a bridge of resources and tools to help identify and secure the next step in each student’s career path by graduation.
Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science students have a long history of successful partnerships with the Career Center, including two senior ECS students who have some reassurance of their next steps before they cross the stage at the spring commencement ceremony.
Luke Battershell is taking advantage of the joint degree offering in the mechanical engineering program, allowing him to begin graduate work on a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Baylor while he finishes up his undergraduate academic slate this year. He credits the opportunity to work as an undergraduate research assistant to professor David Jack, PhD, as the source of the confidence and reassurance of pursuing a graduate degree.
“It was a huge blessing from the Lord that he was willing to hire me for the summer after my freshman year,” Battershell said. “I have been working with Dr. Jack ever since that summer. My classes helped me learn essential concepts that my job with Dr. Jack gave me an opportunity to apply in some ways before I even got an internship. My time with Dr. Jack has allowed me to get a glimpse at what graduate school would be like and it has also allowed me to show Dr. Jack my abilities that made it easier for me get into the joint degree program.”
Battershell will not be taking the summer off, as his work with Jack also helped earn him an internship with Bell for the 2021 summer.
“I interned with them this last summer for a shortened time due to the pandemic and they invited me back for this following summer,” Battershell said. “I really enjoyed my time there so I decided that I wanted to go back this next summer even though at that point I will be a full-time master's student.”
Meghan Bibb took internships with Google during the summers of both her sophomore and junior years and has high hopes of landing a full-time position as a software engineer in the corporation’s California headquarters following her graduation. Her experience with services from the Career Center played a key role in focusing her efforts and sharpening her preparations to pursue those internship opportunities and, now, her full-time dream job.
“I frequently visited Tom Brooks and Emily Dalak in the ECS Career Center to get interview advice, resume critiques, and help building a LinkedIn profile,” Bibb said. “I really enjoyed having the one-on-one appointments to focus on my career goals and how to make them happen.
Battershell had a similar experience with the wealth of resources and support provided by the Career Center before pursuing his internship opportunities and graduate school applications.
“For my internship last summer, the Career Center really helped me refine my resume and practice my interviewing skills as I was trying to get the internship,” Battershell said. “The main way in which the Career Center helped me was by helping to boost my confidence as I was working on getting the internship.”
As incoming and current students look at the successful paths of students like Battershell and Bibb, the steps and processes offered by the Career Center can help light the way to similar results.
“The biggest piece of advice that I would give incoming students is to pursue a position as an undergraduate research assistant with a professor here at Baylor,” Battershell said. “Start talking to different professors about what research is being performed by them and their colleagues and find an area that interests you.”
While this process may sound simple, perseverance and determination are still necessary traits to keep in your tool box when chasing internship opportunities, graduate school applications and full-time careers.
“I highly recommend applying early and often,” Bibb said. “I applied to 50-plus internships and only got two responses my sophomore year. It can be very discouraging to send out so many applications, but I think it’s so important to just keep putting yourself out there until something clicks. I also think it’s really important to make sure to get your resume revised before every application season. Every time I went to the Career Center my resume evolved so much and helped me be more competitive.”
For more info about the Baylor University Career Center, visit baylor.edu/careercenter or call 254-710-3771. The ECS-specific career office can be found at Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building, Suite 311.