Spring ’21 Grads Get Jobs Before Diplomas

Crediting Their Florida Tech Experiences, Several Graduates Accepted Full-Time Positions Before They Even Graduated

At Florida Tech, we know that most people go to college with just one goal in mind: Get a job.

So, we help students do just that—oftentimes, before they even graduate.

Just ask some of our most recent graduates who were honored at the Spring 2021 Virtual Commencement Ceremony May 1.

Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a cyber operations concentration and a computational mathematics minor, Sam Hartle ’21 has accepted a cyber reverse engineer position with ICR Inc. He interned with ICR last summer after learning about the opportunity through Handshake, Florida Tech’s job and internship resource database for students. 

At the end of the internship, one of my mentors told me that the main reason they decided to extend a full-time offer to me was because of my ability to take a vague description of a problem, break it down into one or more simpler problems and come up with an effective solution. I feel I developed this skill by being curious in assignments and projects both in and out of the classroom during my time at Florida Tech.

I initially chose Florida Tech because of the variety of courses and depth of faculty in the computer science degree program. It went above and beyond what I had expected.

Sam Hartle ’21, computer science

—Sam Hartle ’21, Computer Science

Sam’s story isn’t unique. Our co-op and internship programs connect students with major employers and industry leaders, frequently resulting in full-time job offers before they graduate. 

Like Ethan Kennedy ’21. Ethan interned at Raytheon Technologies for years before the company offered him a full-time research engineer position when he graduated.

Throughout that time, Ethan took what he learned in the classroom and lab and applied it to his internships—a practice, he says, is what persuaded the company to extend the job offer.

Showing initiative, curiosity and enthusiasm for every project I worked on at Raytheon while also coming up with ideas and proposals that would benefit the company sealed the deal on the organization wanting to hire me. All of these skills I learned from watching the daily example set by the chemical engineering staff at Florida Tech.

When I began college, I did not expect to receive a job offer before my senior year. However, after my first internship experience, I knew with the right amount of hard work, securing a job before I graduated was an achievable goal I could work toward.

Florida Tech gave me the opportunities to grow as a student and as a leader and to discover my own interests outside of academia. I am excited to share these experiences with my new employer.

Ethan Kennedy ’21, chemical engineering

—Ethan Kennedy ’21, chemical engineering

Muhammad Khan ’21 received a job offer that didn’t stem from internship experience but from proactive outreach. After he applied for the thermal engineer position at Concept Group LLC, he started reaching out to current employees via LinkedIn to learn about their experiences with the company. This, he believes, is what got him the interview that ultimately led to his hiring.

Muhammad, a mechanical engineering alumnus, doesn’t know how to put into words how amazing it feels to have secured a full-time job in his dream field before graduation.

I did not expect it, but it is something I’ve always wanted. I knew that all the experience I have gained at Florida Tech, plus my internships, would help me stand out. I have worked hard in the last four years to reach this point.

I am really happy to start my career, and I know Florida Tech has already given me a strong base/foundation, which will definitely be helpful in my future endeavors.

Muhammad Khan ’21, mechanical engineering

—Muhammad Khan ’21, Mechanical engineering

Haley Gilmour ’21 agrees that her Florida Tech experience helped shape her into who she is today.

As a student-athlete and graduating senior, Haley had a lot to juggle in her final semester. So, she couldn’t have been happier to strike “Get a job” from her to-do list. And while it was bittersweet to graduate, she felt ready for the next chapter thanks in large part to the people she met here.

Florida Tech has introduced me to some of the best people in my life: roommates, teammates, classmates, advisors, professors—all of whom have helped me get to where I am now. It’s a huge relief to already have received and accepted a job offer. As a senior, I already have so many things on my plate; it’s hard to imagine I could add anything else to it all. 

While I’m excited to enter the job force, become a ‘real adult’ and start the next chapter of my life, I’m a bit sad to be closing this chapter so soon. I have loved my time at Florida Tech and would’ve loved to have a little more time here.

Haley Gilmour ’21, mechanical engineering

—Haley Gilmour ’21, Mechanical engineering

Stephen Chang ’21, an ocean engineering alumnus who has accepted a job as an engineer on Manson Construction Co.’s Gulf & East Coast Dredging Team, echoed this sentiment in a reflective post on LinkedIn.

I would like to start off by thanking Florida Institute of Technology and the ocean engineering department for the countless resources they have provided throughout my college career to help me learn and grow. 

For a small school, Florida Tech had a huge impact on my life and did a great job in helping reach my potential. 

Stephen Chang ’21, ocean engineering

—Stephen Chang ’21, Ocean engineering

College may be only four years, but a Florida Tech education is an investment that will pay off for a lifetime. 

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