Suzanne Sawicki’s position within the college’s office of Engineering Professional Practice is Coordinator II. That simple title only hints at the crisscrossing list of ways that she supports that office’s programs throughout the year.
She assists students with co-op and internship assignments and opportunities, resume writing, ambassador presentations, job-related seminars, and an alphabet of campus organizations including SWE, TLSAMP, ECAP, IEEE, BMES, NSBE, and MABE.
Sawicki’s secret weapons include inside tips on mock-interview success—how to leave a lasting impression.
“I’m a former recruiter in working industry for one of the world’s top defense contractors, Northrop Grumman,” she said. “Coupled with my 20-plus years of technical recruiting and HR experience, that positions me to help students from what we call ‘both sides of the playing field.’ Landing a position in working industry consists of a combination of items.”
Sawicki knows what recruiters are thinking and what they need from engineering students. She has traveled on the same college circuit with many of the recruiters that visit the UT campus.
“It has helped me in my almost 13 years here at UT to assist our students with not only their co-op or intern assignments, but also assist when it comes time to land the permanent job with a company,” said Sawicki. “A solid GPA, hands-on engineering experience, and a standout resume and interview position a student for multiple job offers.”
She is always happy to share her recruiting experience with staff, faculty, and students.
“Recruiting is not as easy as it looks or sounds,” said Sawicki. “You spend not only a large amount of time on the road marketing your company to potential students and future employees, but you learn the art of conversation.”
She guides students toward the key ingredients that potential employers are looking for.
“If you have passion, good communication skills, organizational skills, along with adaptability and—the most important skill—likeability, you are what is termed ‘golden’ in working industry,” she said.
Sawicki was born in Pittsburgh, where her father was a design engineer with US Steel. Her family moved to Columbus, Ohio, when she was young and she later graduated from Ohio University, where she majored in organizational communication minored in marketing. She has traveled—and recruited—around the world thanks to husband Robert’s military career. Their son, Mason, recently graduated from UT and works for FedEx Freight.
She maintains an active lifestyle even when not helping make career connections for students. Running, traveling, and water skiing are some of her favorite activities.
“I used to wakeboard,” she added with a laugh. “But now I’m fairly certain that would end in disaster.”