Sabrina Ridenour Talks About her Success with SWE’s Career Center
Sabrina Ridenour is a TRACK Engineer at General Motors. She found her full-time job as a mechanical engineer through SWE’s Career Center.
“Before I started applying for internships, I uploaded my resume to the SWE careers site, and much to my pleasant surprise, I was sought out by one of my dream companies. Two years later, I have had an internship with GM at Arlington Assembly down in Texas, and I am half a year into my full time job with GM’s “TRACK” rotational program within global propulsion systems in Michigan. I owe a lot to SWE for helping me make those connections to land my dream company straight out of college.” – Sabrina Ridenour via Facebook
Sabrina is a recent college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University. She has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers for more than four years. She was encouraged by her mom, who is also an engineer, to join SWE, and she’s glad she took her mom’s advice!
“In my freshman year, I started to make friends in SWE and realized what a big deal being a member of SWE was, and how it could really help me in my future career,” Sabrina said.
Sabrina found out about SWE’s Career Center when she registered for WE15, SWE’s Annual Conference in Nashville, TN in 2015, and she was prompted to put her resume on SWE’s Career Center in preparation for the conference.
“I hadn’t really started doing my internship search, and I started getting emails from companies that were pre-screening resumes on SWE’s Career Center. That’s when GM reached out to me – before I even had a chance to go and apply,” she said.
“It was a lot easier than filling out a lot of job applications,” Sabrina explained. “I really liked the fact that companies could go look through my resume and reach out to me. That’s always easier on my end.”
Sabrina found SWE’s Career Center easy to use, and she appreciated the features it offers.
“It was nice that I could go and check off what industries I was interested in. That way I could avoid wasting time with companies I didn’t have an interested in, and it would also save them time, too,” she continued. “I think it’s a really great tool, and when companies see your involvement in a Society as prominent as SWE is, that will boost your chances of landing a great job.”
During college, Sabrina was a member of West Virginia University’s SWE Section. She was active in the organization as Membership Chair and Social Events Chair.
“Every time I have friends who ask me ‘How did you land such an awesome internship or a full-time job?’ I always tell them to attend a SWE conference if they can, but I stress to them to upload their resume. I realize now a lot of companies are doing pre-screenings and booking interviews ahead of time for the conference,” Sabrina said.
“I got an internship with GM’s EXCEL internship program, so I spent the summer of 2016 working as a manufacturing intern at Arlington Assembly down in Arlington, Texas. That was a really cool experience. I learned a lot,” she explained.
“I did the EcoCAR competition, which GM is a big sponsor of back in school, and from that I was able to get into the Global Propulsion Systems Technical Rotational and Career Knowledge (TRACK) program. It’s a 2-year rotational program, and every 4 months I change jobs. That’s really good for me because I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do, and a rotational program is perfect for me to figure that out.”
When Sabrina moved to Michigan, she found SWE was a great way to learn about her new home and make new friends. GM assigned her a mentor who is a SWE member, and today they are best friends.
Sabrina minored in vocal performance in college, so she joined the Detroit Concert Choir. She was a runner-up in the WE15 Sing It to Begin It competition.
“Music is equally as challenging as engineering. It just uses the other half of your brain,” she said. “I auditioned for the Detroit Concert Choir, which is one of the premiere professional choirs in the city, and a lot of the members are automotive engineers as well.”
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