Networking to Internship at Ask an Employer Event

Ask an Employer, an annual event hosted by the O’Brien Center for Career Development, is an opportunity for Merrimack College students to network with some of the region’s top life science and engineering companies and learn about available internship and employment opportunities. Nine companies attended the event in late February, including Pfizer, VHB, Pare Corporation, Draper Labs, Silvertech, CreaGen, United Civil and EMD Serono. One company in particular, Straumann, an implant and esthetic dentistry company, was of interest to sophomore student, Peter Xerras.

Peter Xerras, Mechanical Engineering student at Merrimack College

Peter Xerras is a mechanical engineering student at Merrimack College with plenty of experience in manufacturing, setting him apart from his fellow peers when networking at the event. Xerras went to Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School, where he was a part of the Advanced Manufacturing Program. By talking about his two years of co-op experience at Essex, he connected well with Straumann representatives, ultimately landing him an interview and co-op position for the summer of 2019. “His background of studying Machining technology at a Vocational High School, work experience at a Machine shop, and now studying Mechanical Engineering at Merrimack College is ideal for us,” says Doug Fogg, Vice President of Operations, North America for Straumann.

Straumann, located in Andover, MA, is the “global golden standard in implant and esthetic dentistry” (Straumann, n.d.). The company focuses on implant, restorative and regenerative dentistry while continuing to improve mechanical processes and machinery. Their mission aligns well with Peter’s new co-op position in Process Improvement and Technology. “The position is a bridge between manufacturing and engineering, where I can help improve processes within Straumann.”

Although Peter has a plethora of experience, as he also serves as a Technician Assistant in the Mendel Fabrication Laboratory on-campus, he cannot stress enough the importance of networking and connecting with representatives at events like Ask an Employer. “Any experience to talk with employers is valuable because they are asking about what they are looking for in an employee”, Peter says.  “If you have related experiences to the position or company, then stress your network. If you don’t, then connect your experiences to your interests when networking.”

Straumann representatives at the Ask an Employer event, February 28, 2019

Xerras notes preparedness for networking events is critical to make a lasting impression. For this event in particular, he researched companies attending and arrived at the event ready to jump on any opportunity. He recommends, “Go in with a revised resume, even if you add one extra project or lab.”

For more information on becoming more involved in career and networking events, please contact the O’Brien Center for Career Development at Merrimack College.

Straumann. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.straumann.com/en/dental-professionals/about/the-company/who-we-are.html

By Ashley Archangelo
Ashley Archangelo Events & Operations Specialist Ashley Archangelo