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Alumni News

Applied Science and Technology Alumni Mentors: "Hone Your Soft Skills"

November 16, 2012

Whatever field you enter, the ability to communicate and work with others is what will set the stage for your success, according to several alumni who shared their experiences with graduating students at the Davis Campus on November 13. 

Technical facility is “bread and butter” in the chemical and engineering disciplines, says Richard Edwards (Chemical Engineering, 1990) who works in logistics and training for the Xerox Research Centre. “However, the greatest asset in any business is and will always be people; particularly those with the ability to communicate well. So many problems can be eliminated if we can hone our interpersonal skills to communicate concisely.” 

Adds John Baird, Project Executive Enterprise VoIP Program & Barrie Data Center at TD Bank Group, “It's people and how they apply technology which make organizations successful. Be passionate about people. Focus on building people up and inspiring those around you.” 

You can do this by tapping into your own determination to succeed, says John, a 1994 Computer Science Technology grad. “Whatever your field, pursue it to the best of your ability with relentless energy and a contagious spirit to deliver results and win.” 

Amy Carter (Electromechanical Engineering, 2008) agrees. “I think personality is the most important quality in new grads today. Many job-related skills can be learned if the person has great drive, initiative and is very personable.” 

Adaptability also doesn’t hurt, adds Amy, who is part of the Technical Support team – Controls and Networking for Phoenix Contact Canada, which specializes in industrial automation technology. 

“Engineering grads can distinguish themselves by having non-field related knowledge. More jobs today are requiring cross department work and any extra skills are valuable.” 

Thanks to all FAST alumni who participated in the mentoring event for giving students such a valuable, bird’s-eye view of industry today.