International Student Success Stories, featuring Xingyi Zhou
by Guest Student | November 10, 2016
Today's blog features an OSU international engineering student who has been successful in their job search. Xingyi Zhou is a 2016 BS Industrial Engineering graduate who now works as a sales engineer at Dell Software.
Tell us about your role at your most recent position:
My last internship was at XPO Logistics as a Network Analyst. My job was to analyze the shipment rates in the market and compare the rates between XPO’s and its competitors’. In addition, I was working on my Lean Six Sigma green belt project at XPO.
After graduation, I joined Dell Software in Dublin, OH as a Sales Engineer. My main role includes demonstrating the software to clients and answering their questions. I’m very excited about it.
What resources did you use during your internship/job search?
I used ECS job search engine a lot, and that was how I obtained my internship. The reasons I liked it were that it was very convenient to use, and all companies listed are really interested in hiring OSU engineering students.
In addition, I went to every single career fair held by ECS. The career fairs were not only the chance to land a job, but also the chance to practice talking to an interviewer. For me, this was one of the best ways to eliminate the tension and anxiousness.
What core skills or qualities do you think employers find most useful?
Most of my interviews were behavioral instead of technical. Thus, being able to communicate clearly became one of the most important skills I needed to convey to the employer. As mentioned above, practicing talking to people that work at a corporation can help you to improve the quality of formal conversation.
Moreover, many interviewers told me that they always seek out whether the candidate can think like an engineer or not. This means that when the candidates answers a question, it is very important to express the thought process in a logical way. For example, first think about the question for a moment. Next, tell the interviewer why you would do what you said – explain your reasoning. Finally, tell a story or highlight events that could support your answer.
What would you tell your peers they need to do to find a great internship or full-time position?
In my opinion, GPA is an important and obvious scale to measure a candidate. A higher GPA can always help you to stand out.
Moreover, I think engineering students should keep an open mind when looking for opportunities. Being an engineer doesn’t mean that you have to work for big name companies like Ford, GE, or Microsoft. There are so many other neat companies and industries that want engineers. Ultimately, work hard and act fast during the job search because chances are limited. Don’t regret anything!
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It's like riding a bicycle or typing. If you're willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”