Making the jump from school to work is a major transition for students. What real world career opportunities are there for someone with my training? What kind of emerging technology should I know about? How do I craft the best resume?

Recognizing this challenge, the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) invited a group of university students from across Ontario earlier this month for an industry engagement day hosted by the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA).

It was the second in a series of engagement events SOWC is holding for a select group of graduate, PhD and post-doc students to learn about water technology innovation, with a focus on biosolids, and what it takes to be successful in the field. The students, all specializing their research in biosolids, visited South Peel’s GE Booth wastewater facility on March 1, where they presented a summary of their thesis to a panel of OCWA judges and received technical feedback.

Following the presentations, students attended an OCWA panel discussion on “Advice from Industry, Making the Transition from Academia to Corporate Life.” Its aim was to help the students understand the differences, challenges and pitfalls they will typically face when transitioning from academia to industry. Panelists offered advice, tips and best practices through their own personal stories and anecdotes. The students then finished their day with a facility tour.

“I found the three-minute thesis and career panel session in particular to be beneficial” said one student. “It was good to have a variety of views and experiences shared during the career panel.”

SOWC’s series of student engagement events are funded through the provincial Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science’s Business Growth Initiative. Twenty-four students from eight post-secondary institutions have been selected to participate in the SOWC event series. Nominated by their academic supervisors, they come from civil, chemical and environmental engineering and biology programs.

OCWA was pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with SOWC on this event and would like to thank our experts who took the time to participate: Jim Nardi, Regional Hub Manager; Lucyna Mroczek, Process & Energy Specialist; Sangeeta Chopra, Director of Engineering Services; Don Hoekstra, Director of Innovation, Technology & Alternative Delivery; Hank Andres, Senior Project Manager; Alicia Fraser, VP, Engineering, Capital & Support Services; Courtney Drew, VP HR; Shawn Qu, Water and Wasterwater Engineer; Iman Hashemi, Senior Operations Manager.