Engineering’s career services gets double boost
New career services director Irvin Hutcherson oversees the new co-op program, in which students work in industry jobs
|Irvin Hutcherson (right), director of career services for the College of Engineering, chats with Dean Keya Sadeghipour (left) and engineering senior David Best at the college’s career fair Oct. 12. The fair — the second organized by Hutcherson since joining the college last November — attracted 26 companies and 175 engineering students.
Irvin Hutcherson, the director of career services for the College of Engineering, is a self-described “people person.”
“I love helping people,” said Hutcherson, who joined the college last November after working for five years as a recruiter/staffing specialist for the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp. “I get a lot of joy out of seeing people succeed, especially young people.”
As director of career services, he is overseeing the college’s new formal cooperative education program in which students work full time in industry for two semesters and two summers during the five-year program.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for the students to get anywhere from a year to a year and a half of professional work experience,” said Hutcherson, who added that 40 to 45 companies have expressed an interest in hiring Temple engineering students for co-op jobs.
During the current semester, Temple students are employed by six companies, including Turner Construction, Verizon and Remington & Vernick Engineers, according to Hutcherson.
Hutcherson has been speaking at College of Engineering open houses “to let the students know that this program is a viable option for them,” and said he has been getting tremendous interest from the prospective students.
Hutcherson said that currently enrolled engineering students who opt to participate in the voluntary program fill out questionnaires about their employment interests, and based upon employers’ needs or wishes, he sets the students up with job interviews. Students also have the opportunity to arrange their own co-op jobs with viable companies.
“I try to send at least two to three potential candidates per job request to give employers the opportunity to chose the student they feel best fits their needs,” he said.
Hutcherson said several companies have expressed interest in Temple engineering students for summer internships, particularly juniors and seniors who aren’t eligible to participate in the co-op program. This past summer, for example, two engineering students interned with SEPTA.
A native of South Philadelphia with a passion for basketball, Hutcherson played collegiate basketball at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa., and was a Sonny Hill Summer League teammate of former Owls hoops star and current men’s assistant basketball coach Mark Macon.
“I was very familiar with Temple when I applied for this job,” Hutcherson said. “I played in the Sonny Hill Leagues at McGonigle Hall from eighth grade through college. I took SAT prep classes in Curtis Hall. And my wife is an alumna.”
Before working at the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp., Hutcherson, who earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Eastern, worked for three years at the Philadelphia Jobs Corps, where he served as a placement specialist and career development counselor. He also earned certification in human resources from La Salle University.
“I wanted to start working with young adults again,” he said about his decision to come to Temple. “I worked with 16- to 24-year-olds at the Philadelphia Jobs Corps, so being director of career services for Temple’s College of Engineering kind of puts me back in that mix again.
“I’m a motivating type of person,” he added, “and I also enjoy being a role model for young people.”
In addition to overseeing the co-op program, Hutcherson is handling the College of Engineering’s other career development duties such as internships, career skills refinement and job placement. He has been holding monthly workshops on résumé writing, interviewing skills and workplace development skills.
Last March, Hutcherson organized the first career fair held at the college exclusively for engineering students, with 15 employers and 163 engineering students attending, along with some Temple engineering alums. A second career fair, held Oct. 12, attracted 26 companies and 175 students.
- By Preston M. Moretz