Xiaobin Zhang

What excites you about your new position?

The most exciting part of my new job is the genius of the individuals with whom I will be working. I really like the collaborative environment at United Technologies Research where I will be able to utilize my expertise to contribute to solving real-world engineering problems and learn from each of my colleagues.

What steps did you take and/ what resources did you access to land this particular opportunity?

There are two things that I think played an important role in my job search process. First, I started early. I made up my mind to find an industry job while I was a first-year Ph.D. student at Notre Dame. I had discussions with my advisor early on and planned each step of my journey.   For example, I found an internship last summer which provided me with lots of hands-on experience. I started the job application process early, and my career documents were both professional and polished--not because I had all the answers up front, but because I worked with my Graduate Career Consultant and sought professional advice from others. Secondly, networking is very important. I attended career fairs and conferences to talk with various people from different fields about my research, which both gave me a good idea about what kind of candidates companies are looking for and helped me to be more confident while communicating with experts during the interview.

Looking back on your job search experience, what advice would you give to current students?

First, step out of your comfort zone and explore all the possibilities that might help to land a job. Second, be prepared, not only the technical details of your research, but also the application materials and interview skills.  Graduate Career Services offers great resources, insight, and events which were super helpful in the preparation process!