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E-Splash June 2013 - Young Professionals
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash - June 2013

Young Professionals Committee
Brian Kooistra, Young Professionals

With record attendance and so many great things competing for time and attention, it was hard to go wrong at WATERCON this year. And what better way to celebrate the water industry than getting more people to join the party. To pair with WATERCON’s first Career Fair, the YPs focused our track on getting (and being awesome at) those first couple of jobs that lead to a successful career in the water industry.

First, Bethany Florek (Greeley and Hansen) took on the many angles of the application process from the HR perspective. As a YP or a student, it can be daunting to send 100s or even 1,000s of resumes out into the ether. Bethany gave tips on resume writing, cover letters, following up with HR contacts, and interviewing skills from the evaluator’s perspective. Second, Jason Kent (Smith-Root Inc.) gave an interactive presentation on being a leader, even from an early stage in your career, that was broadly applicable, but was custom built to address the many engineers and engineering students that were in attendance. The workshop environment had the attendees interacting with each other to develop plans for achieving career goals. Though it’s been recommended many times before, Jason’s enthusiasm finally convinced me to try Toastmasters, so I’m looking forward to world domination in another 2-3 years. As a finale, we had a career panel of established industry professionals that submitted themselves to an hour long interrogation from the hungry minds of YPs hoping to climb the ladder. Thanks to Michael Sturtevant (Deputy Commissioner, City of Chicago) Greg Swanson (Utilities General Manager, City of Moline) and Anant Sriram (Greeley and Hansen).

WATERCON is more than just a lecture series, however, and even though learning and networking take top billing there is plenty of fun and competition to be had. The tapping competition was a crowd favorite (and wet n’ wild as always). The YP Committee’s own Cameron Jones (Benton & Associates), headed up judging for the poster competition and awarded the win to David Jones with his poster, Potential for Catastrophe: Corrosion. David will represent the Illinois Section at ACE13. Thanks to everyone in attendance for my best WATERCON so far.



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