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Rohan Jacob, BEngBioSci '10

(Chemical Engineering) | Co-op lets you test drive your career

While earning his degree in Chemical Engineering and Bio-Engineering, Rohan Jacob spent 28 months in co-op and internship positions. It was experience that the 2010 graduate says helped shape his career.

He urges students to seek out at least 12 months of industry work experience before graduation.

“It opens your eyes to what is really sought after in the industry,” he says. “And placing that on your resume makes you stand out.”

Rohan is currently a project manager in the capital projects group at INEOS Styrolution, a multinational petrochemicals company specializing in styrenics.

“My job is managing capital projects on site, ranging from $0.25M to $10M,” he says. “I’m responsible for the scoping of projects, from initial engineering and design to construction and commissioning. I also manage consulting engineering and construction firms that are directly involved with the projects.”

About five years ago, he started with the company as a contact engineer, reporting on daily production and assisting with daily operations of the chemical plant. His interest in projects led to his current work.

“The capital projects group has a wide-ranging impact on the site,” he explains. “We’re involved in physical assets, training and education, and even potential future employment opportunities in expansion-style projects.”

He believes staying with the same company – rather than indulging in the common practice of job-hopping in search of more money – is the best long-term strategy.

“It takes at least five years to really understand the processes at an organization and to make an impact,” he says. “Job hopping may give immediate short-term benefits that will hurt your career prospects in the long run.”

Along with seeking out work experience, he urges student to take advantage of the many events, seminars and networking opportunities that provide a free opportunity to connect with companies and get a sense of their workplace culture.

“You may not find value in the entire session, but if there are a few minutes of information that you can take away to enrich your career, it is invaluable,” says Rohan.