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Take Time to Answer Field Research Questions from College Students

Brian Bourgeois By: Brian Bourgeois, HR/Employee Development Manager

Did you know that over 187 Billion emails are sent daily? It’s no wonder we feel like our inboxes need constant attention.

Unfortunately, email is often the first way students contact business professionals. You’ve seen these emails before, usually asking for feedback on field research as a required part of a course. How do you respond, given the daily on-the-job thoughts that consume your work? Is it worth your time to help a student you’ve never met complete his/her assignment? Or do you hope someone else on their list will respond?

At ChemDesign, we want to be the first company a student hears from. Along with providing presentations on our website about our industry, custom chemical manufacturing, we answer emails with quick insights on specific roles within our organization. We share our feedback to the standard list of questions across our organization to help others on our business team provide thoughtful answers when they receive requests from students.

In my role, I keep up-to-date on the entry and advanced salaries in our industry. Most surveys that I have participated in ask for salary information, both as a national average and specific to our region. I also have employment outlook information the positions available with us, which is especially important for students entering the job market within 2 to 4 years.

We always provide students a taste of our culture when responding to their questions. For example, there is a very high level of autonomy in my position. However, there are many checks and balances. Besides understanding Federal and State Laws, I need to be conscious of ChemDesign’s vision, goals, and position on certain topics.

We want to assist others to reach their maximum capabilities, and that shows in how we are honest about the entire experience when answering career questions. This helps a student decide what’s best for them well before their first interview. Students often hear all the great things about a job, but they also want to know the heartaches. For me, the least favorite part of my role as a human resources (HR) manager is knowing that I will never please everyone no matter how fair and objective I am.

At ChemDesign, our supervisors are trained to handle many HR issues on the floor. The HR department then puts things in context and works with others on defining long term corrective actions to eliminate the problem from reoccurring. I like to share with students that issue resolution is very rewarding and you can make an impact in the lives of others.

In sharing final thoughts with students, we want them to enter their careers with a desire to understand expectations of the employer, and be fair in determinations. As an employee in just about any discipline, you must be strong in your decisions and be prepared to defend your position with facts that are backed with proof as well as links to the company’s vision.

On behalf of ChemDesign, I wish college students good luck on their final exams and projects. Keep asking questions beyond your field research projects and know that if you come to us, we will be here to respond!

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