On Thursday, September 28, MBX Systems will be on campus for the Milwaukee School of Engineering Career Fair, from 2:00pm – 7:00pm. It’s a great opportunity for MBX to connect with top-notch talent pursuing computer engineering degrees as well as MSOE alumni and familiarize these bright minds with MBX. Headquartered in Libertyville, IL. MBX Systems is a designer and manufacturer of custom computer hardware systems for software developers who deploy their technology as on-premise systems.
Two MSOE graduates working at MBX are integral members of our engineering team: Roger Lam, MBX Director of Engineering, and Andrew Barth, Lead System Verification Engineer. Roger came to MBX about a year and a half ago, while Andrew started with the company 17 years ago! They will both represent MBX at the Career Fair, along with our HR department.
Computer and Software Engineering Careers — Food for Thought
We asked our MSOE grads to give their perspective on what it’s like working in engineering and share a little food for thought to those exploring computer and software engineering careers.
What advantages did MSOE give you in pursuing a computer engineering career?
MSOE was one of the original accredited universities offering computer engineering and software engineering degrees and, at the time, the only one located in the Midwest. The curriculum at MSOE was (and still is) much more relevant in these disciplines than the universities that only offer traditional engineering majors, such as electrical or mechanical engineering.
Also, MSOE educators have real world experience. Being taught by professors with career accomplishments in hardware and software engineering is rare, and it also makes the curriculum more challenging because they hold their students to very high standards! The result that MSOE graduates bring much more than textbook learning to their first job.
What were your biggest surprises when you started your professional career?
College gives you a great base of knowledge to start your career, however different industries have worlds of differences in terms of their technology. For example, computer engineering for military or law enforcement is very different from the medical industry. So no matter where you choose to start your career, expect there’s still a body of knowledge you’ll need to learn.
Also, when you start your career it takes more than smarts to be successful. You’ll find out quickly that you have to be resourceful and show perseverance. It’s frustrating — but normal — to run into problems, like not knowing why something you try isn’t working. But you can’t throw in the towel; you have to keep working at it until you find a solution.
What were your goals when you graduated from MSOE?
First and foremost, to pay off student loans!
Honestly, finding a job that focused on computer engineering was a priority and a challenge, because at the time, they were not that prevalent. There were specializations in some engineering fields, and once the digital economy grew, so did specialization in electrical engineering. Gone are the days where electrical engineers were also programmers. Now there are many types of computer and software engineers.
What general advice would you give students beginning the interview process?
- Read up on the company, the position, and the people with whom you’ll be interviewing.
- Understand the role of engineering within the company.
- Prepare a brief synopsis of what you have to offer the company and why you are a good fit for the position. Sell your skillset!
- Be articulate in the way you speak — don’t answer questions with just a “yes” or a “no.” Prepare and practice.
- Be able to convey what you’re looking for in a position and what you’re striving for.
- Make sure the company is a good fit for you — the people and culture are as important as the job, considering the amount of time spent at work.
At the Career Fair, what positions will MBX be recruiting MSOE graduates for?
We’re looking for a broad spectrum of candidates, from hardware engineers, software engineers, and engineering technicians, to positions targeted to electrical and mechanical engineers. MSOE alumni might be a good fit for our Platform Engineer and Engineering Technician positions. Even students still studying in the field will be of interest to us! The detailed job descriptions can be found on our website.
What traits will help new graduates be more successful in their job?
Resourcefulness, drive, and perseverance..plus a passion for technology.
Being successful is not all about being smart; it’s also about being resourceful and knowing how to troubleshoot and figure things out. Challenge yourself to look at different possibilities for a solution, and have the drive to uncover the best answer rather than settling for the first thing that works. Be a continuous learner and let it fuel your passion for your work.
Choosing your first job when graduating from college is one of life’s major milestones. Listen to the advice of people you trust and those who have walked in your shoes. Look forward to the journey of getting settled in the “real world” as you’re adjusting from life as a student to an employee, and trust that the life skills you’ve learned so far will be immensely helpful during your transition. If you’d like to check out the job requirements for the open positions on our Engineering Team, go to our Careers page.
Like what you’re reading and want to learn more about MBX Systems? Stop by our stand at the Career Fair and meet Roger and Andrew in person — they’d enjoy meeting you, too!