Alumni & Donors

Early Job Offers: Stevens Seniors Find a Great Return on Investment

College-bound students are attracted to Stevens Institute of Technology for many reasons, not the least of which is Stevens' excellent career placement record. By commencement this spring, for example, 80 percent of the Class of 2011 had received job offers, and this percentage increased to 85 percent in a snapshot taken only three months out from graduation. What's more, the average starting salary of a Stevens graduate stands above the national average across the board.

College-bound students can predict that getting a healthy return on investment in higher education for their money, time, hard work and passion is extremely rewarding. But imagine how especially satisfying it would be to accept an exciting job offer in your field even before you finish the first semester of your final year.

Meet several Stevens seniors who've done just that. Their stories reflect the success of many Stevens students in the context of an outstanding legacy of broad-based, hands-on education and opportunity afforded our students for generations.

Nicole Portner

Senior Business and Technology major Nicole Portner accepted a full-time job offer from JP Morgan Chase just one month after her internship ended there this summer. After graduation this spring, she'll be working in an elite rotational program at the company, tracking to higher-level management duties after a series of six-month stints in various facets of fund management. The summer internship at JP Morgan Chase was Nicole's third through Stevens, and she said she's grateful to have had the opportunity to use the internship placements to develop her skills and gain experience, but also to discover her interest and focus well before graduation. The opportunities at Stevens, she said, foster independence and confidence and make for what she calls an "empowering environment overall."

"The open-door policy of the Career Development Office at Stevens is so key," Nicole said. "My counselor was always available and knew me very well. Career Development held events and workshops that were extremely helpful, and they take a holistic approach to our development from day one. My advice to incoming students is to definitely use all the amazing resources here. It's up to students to pursue the opportunities. If you do, it really pays off."

John Ziggy Ziegler

As a Stevens Scholar, John Ziegler entered Stevens with high academic achievement in high school and was able to complete a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in systems engineering in just four years.

This opportunity gave him what he calls “a great advantage among other graduates seeking jobs.” At the start of the school year, John accepted an offer from UBS in a prestigious leadership program within the company and will begin shortly after graduation. John is also a member of two honor societies, president of the varsity golf team and a fraternity, freshman orientation leader, and an admissions ambassador.

"It not just about Stevens' reputation as a great engineering university," John said. "It's also about the important companies who know who Stevens students are and what we bring to the workplace. This connection between Stevens and top companies in industry is very beneficial for us."

Yunus Atlas

Yunus Atlas, a senior Civil Engineering major who is also pursuing a master's degree in civil (structural) engineering, accepted an offer from the company at which he served several co-op positions over the course of his career at Stevens. At Railroad Construction Company, Inc., a large bridge, highway, tunnel, and road construction company in Paterson, N.J., Yunus will be employed as a junior estimator, moving on to project engineer and manager.  Yunus said he is fortunate to have garnered in five years at Stevens what traditionally takes ten years to accumulate - referring to a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and two years of sophisticated work experience through the Stevens co-op program. Compared to other universities, Yunus added, Stevens' co-op program and in-house career development support give Stevens students a tremendous advantage.  

"It was hard work and of course stressful at times, but it was all well worth it," Yunus said. "I was nudged to my limits, I'm sure of that, but in a good way and all with great results. I did amazing work, was paid well, and got to discover before graduating what I really want to do with the next 10-15 years of my life."

Looking forward to a well-earned break this spring between commencement and the start of his full-time position, Yunus will travel to Turkey for a month to relax and visit family. 

Brittany Crosby

Presenting outcomes from a project she led at BP Lubricants as a formulary technologist co-op student proved to be one of the steps that resulted in a full-time position at the company for Brittany Crosby, senior Chemical Engineering major. After graduating this spring, Brittany will join BP Lubricants in a management fast-track as a formulations technologist on a global lubricants technology team.

Originally from Manahawken, N.J., Brittany became interested in chemical engineering while a junior at Southern Regional High School. Her long-term goal is to work on alternative energy solutions, particularly in bio-fuels. Brittany said the education she received at Stevens along with the high-responsibility positions she held in her co-op placements (owning complex projects and getting a broad view of all stages of the supply chain, for example) over time all helped her to develop an impressive resume and prepare her well for the technical questions she was asked in job and other co-op placement interviews. 

"I'm fortunate to have had great mentors in the workplace," Brittany said. "Each group I've worked with has been receptive to what I bring to the table and also to teaching me what I need to know. I was so fortunate to have such great, positive experiences outside the classroom."