Advance Technology developed several intern positions—sales, finance, design engineering, technician and remote engineering. After weeding through 50 applications submitted through Internships.com, Johnson estimates that she interviewed 15 to 20 candidates and ultimately filled two of the positions. “They’re doing awesome,” she says.
Simopoulos just wishes Advance Technology took the step sooner. “We made a mistake not to build an apprenticeship and internship program within the company in earlier years,” he says. “We have been growing quickly and it would have been great to have had early career people growing within our company rather than always needing to go outside for additional talent.”
Gateways to Careers
Networking and recruiting are the keys to technical students being able to achieve their desires in their prospective careers, which is one reason why Lincoln College of Technology EST program chair Chancer Smith brought students to the NSCA event in Atlanta. Events like that where students can meet employers make the careers they’re training for feel “attainable” and give “them a roadmap to success,” he said.
Many students are only aware of job possibilities at well-known, large companies and have no idea about the “thousands of small companies, family-owned businesses, local businesses that are looking to hire students,” Wilson added.
The mindset of those students, by the way, isn’t so different than that of a generation ago. Asked if he can envision a career in AV, “yes,” said Lincoln Tech student Rishawn Trench. “I’ve always had a passion for sound.”
Asked why he’s interested in a career in AV, “I like music and I like watching movies,” said Jose Acosta. “You can’t have a good movie without good sound.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Meanwhile, integration firms that are truly finding it hard to find good help ought to change their recruitment strategies and connect with the students that don’t realize they exist.
Here’s a thought: Tweet job postings at @LincolnTech or any of the 22 schools involved with ESPA.
Watch Lincoln College of Technology EST program chair Chancer Smith discuss the importance of student networking.