Bombardier: Practice interview, communication skills with profs

What does it take to get a job after college?

That’s one of the most commonly asked question among college students.

Employees at Bombardier Learjet offer advice on things students can do now to increase the likelihood of landing a job or internship after graduation.

Dustin Thiry, an engineer and maintenance data analyst for Bombardier Learjet, said students might prepare for the possibility of finding a career not directly associated with the degree.

Thiry graduated from Wichita State in 2013 with an aerospace engineering degree and soon after received an internship position unrelated to it.

“I’m working customer support, so I don’t use my engineering degree a whole lot,” he said. “At first you have to deal with not getting what you expected because you think you’re going to get an internship in your degree. I think it was the best thing that happened to me because now I have a completely different outlook on the organization and aircraft itself.”

Thiry said his communication skills are what set him apart from all the other engineering students.

“You kind of know what other students are doing, so do something different,” he said. “For me, that was communication, getting really good at communicating because a lot of engineers aren’t.”

Kara Cornwell, customer service representative for component repair and overhaul for Bombardier Learjet, said the best piece of advice she’d give students who wish to start a career right out of college is to practice interviewing with professors.

“[Professors have] been in the real world and know what companies expect,” she said. “They’ve had that experience and I think that will help [students] develop better interview skills. A lot of the time, students are intimidated by the interview process and it’s just a conversation. You’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you.”

Campus and community involvement, obtaining leadership roles and developing skills in several different areas can increase candidates’ competitiveness for a job, Cornwell said.

Mary Clavo, customer service and account manager for Latin America at Bombardier Learjet, said she recommends students get an internship because it’s much easier to be hired internally for a full-time job.

Clavo also emphasized the importance of building relationships with professors.

“If you only go in and out of the classroom and you don’t interact with your professors, you’re never going to get anything other than what the professor is teaching you,” she said. “Try to create better relationships with your professors and try to ask more questions.”

Clavo, Thiry and Cornwell agreed participation in extracurricular activities, improving skills unique than other students, building relationships with professors and earning an internship are surefire ways to start a career after college.

“Try to create that relationship and go after hours to learn, Clavo said. “Get experience outside of the classroom. It worked great for me, and I think it’s great advice for students.”