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DDs First Job Offer
Old 11-15-2008, 08:44 PM   #1
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DDs First Job Offer

DD will graduate in May with a degree in biomedical engineering.

A month ago she went to a job fair on campus. L'Oreal had a booth, and she went over to score some free cosmetics (what a cheapskate -- don't know where she gets it). She was shy about taking free samples without talking to anyone, so she chatted a bit, and they convinced her to do a telephone interview. They then flew her to Little Rock, Arkansas, wined and dined her and offered her a job ($60K/year). She had to decide by Nov 14.

I had no opinion one way or the other, although DW made sure that DD was aware of the current economic environment. It was interesting that in addition to designing new drugs or prosthetic limbs, she's also considering making lipstick.

DD was also flown out for an interview with another company in Palo Alto, but was not offered a job.

In any case, she turned down the L'Oreal offer. It will be interesting to see what other jobs turn up.
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:39 PM   #2
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Al, I'm curious. I've never had to make that kind of decision before, let alone have any idea how a young adult thinks it through. What factors were on her pro/con list, and what tipped the decision?

It's interesting that L'Oreal needed to make a hiring decision more than six months before she was available. That would stop a job search in its tracks, too, and require a huge amount of faith in the job still being available when you graduate into a recession...
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:38 PM   #3
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Al, I'm curious. I've never had to make that kind of decision before, let alone have any idea how a young adult thinks it through. What factors were on her pro/con list, and what tipped the decision?

It's interesting that L'Oreal needed to make a hiring decision more than six months before she was available. That would stop a job search in its tracks, too, and require a huge amount of faith in the job still being available when you graduate into a recession...
We make all new grad hiring decisions by beginning of october for the following year. All that's left beyond that are the crumbs, and hiring decisions here stick, so once the offer is made, there are very few ways out of it.

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Old 11-15-2008, 11:13 PM   #4
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I once heard of a mid-size telecom company in town, facing a bad downturn, reneged on job offers made to college graduates. Worse, they let the new hirees know just weeks before they were supposed to show up at work. I was not able to follow up to see what happened next. This was >20 years ago, and this company no longer exists. Perhaps when you are going into bankruptcy, the least worry is some college graduates going to sue you.

When I graduated (near 30 years ago), I was having an internship at a megacorp in town. Learning that I was finishing up graduate school, they made me an offer which was reasonable. About to get married, I was too overwhelmed with other aspects of life, and did not even bother to go to job fair. So, it worked out great for me, because the pay was competitive, and the job wasn't bad - I was learning to do it already. My employer already knew me, and did not have to go to the hassle of finding another worker. They did not have to pay for my relocation either. Don't you love it when both sides win?

So, when my children face that kind of decision (DD's a senior and may want to go to graduate school, DS's a sophomore), I will listen to them, but try not to influence them too much. It's their life and career after all, and I will support them whatever their choice.

It sounds like T-Al's DD did not like the work or the locality in order to make up her mind already.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:55 AM   #5
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My two cents: I do not anticipate she will have employment issues. It is my observation that most in her field obtain advanced degrees, finding a position in a firm near where she will seek an advanced degree might be the best strategy. This is why there are a number of bio-science employers around UC-B.

I don't know who she talked to in Palo Alto but has she looked around Hercules or South San Francisco/Vacaville? Much will depend on how good a match her interests are to their businesses. If she isn't interested in pursuing at least a Master's degree then they might not be a good fit for her. She should have a heart to heart talk with her advisor to make sure that her goals mesh with her employment search.

Hats of to your DD. Her field is one that I cannot fathom. I caught part of a lecture today where bio-science is using viruses to build nano-circuits. Materials science and bio-science merging. Singularity indeed.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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You must be very proud of her - an impressive degree and a frugal nature. I agree with the comments about working somewhere near a university where she can work on her master's. You can work on-line to obtain degrees these days but, call me old fashioned, the campus experience is still valuable IMHO.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:29 AM   #7
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$60k / year would probably go a long way in Little Rock. She could start saving most of it and be well on her way to FIRE. However, if I were a biomedical engineer (great career choice by your DD, IMHO!), I'd view designing lipstick quite a drop in status. I suspect that there are far more interesting and worthwhile jobs out there somewhere for someone with her background. Getting a Masters or PhD is an excellent idea, if she doesn't have one already.

My first engineering job sucked (nuclear weapons in South Carolina), but it got me some of that all-important initial experience.

Good luck to your DD!
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:26 AM   #8
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Al, I'm curious. I've never had to make that kind of decision before, let alone have any idea how a young adult thinks it through. What factors were on her pro/con list, and what tipped the decision?
Well, we're not really in the loop anymore, so I don't know the details. I probably would have discussed it a little more, but I didn't want to influence any decisions.

My understanding was that the L'Oreal job would have probably been in management. She's got some interest in that.

Her boyfriend is part of the equation also, which is OK with us, because we like him and hope that they get married at some point.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:48 PM   #9
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That's pretty gutsy, I am not sure how many $60k jobs there are going to be for new grads in May of 2009. I think there is a risk of holding out for the "perfect" job (which doesn't exist). But if the job wasn't right, then better to keep looking.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:21 PM   #10
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In that field $60k is in the ball park. Remember that is about $30/hr for a 40 hour week and most are exempt from overtime. When you consider the brain power behind that degree $60k is a bargain.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:31 PM   #11
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$60k seems a little light. I'll bet she can do better.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:53 PM   #12
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Sounds great!

I've got a job waiting for my graduation
Sixty thou a year will buy a lot of beer
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades


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Old 11-16-2008, 03:03 PM   #13
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When I looked at the comp of a bio-science employer I wasn't impressed. If we really paid people for their smarts then these folks should be on top financially. What I learned is that the field is a passion for its practitioners and that it takes a lot of time for these employers to bring something to market - which suppresses salaries. I wail just like every one else about medical costs but it isn't the result of the wages of bio-scientists.

The $60k for someone on the management track was a reasonable offer with her CV. She probably has greater potential return on her education investment with L'Oreal than in basic science, sad to say.
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:53 PM   #14
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She probably has greater potential return on her education investment with L'Oreal than in basic science, sad to say.
"Her" education investment? Wouldn't that be Al's education investment?
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