But it’s not the first time Nathan’s pursued a hands-on job. As a sophomore, he signed up for SPU’s Mentor Program through the Center for Applied Learning and the Center for Career and Calling, and was paired with a design engineer at Dynon Avionics.
“I was fortunate enough to have a great mentor, and without the Mentor Program, I wouldn’t have met him or about a dozen engineers I worked with,” Nathan says.
The following summer, he was offered a job at Dynon as a hardware engineering intern cabling, soldering, and troubleshooting projects.
He says the networking skills he developed in the Mentor Program helped him land the International Paper job as well.
“I got in touch with someone who was recently hired at another International Paper location,” he says. “I learned the company had a program for recent graduates with engineering degrees. I did some research and decided to get in touch with human resources.”
Several phone interviews and International Paper-sponsored flights to Charleston, South Carolina, later, Nathan was offered a job at the Charleston mill. He’s excited about the training programs International Paper offers for new employees, as well as moving to a new city.
“As an engineer, I’ll be spending the vast majority of my time in the field,” he says. “Fortunately, this job will involve lots of hands-on problem solving, including ensuring electric reliability for the mill machines and troubleshooting electromechanical problems.”
It’s the tangible things Nathan appreciated most about the CCC and the Mentor Program too.
“Sign up for the Mentor Program,” he advises. “That’s a great way to get your foot in the door. And bring a physical portfolio at job fairs and interviews. Employers want to see what work you’ve done.”