CNDE Sponsored Event Leads to NDE Minor Student’s New Career

CNDE hosts their Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) meeting twice a year, over three days.  During each meeting, CNDE sponsors an event, Pizza with Students, where students get the opportunity to engage with our members in an informal setting.  They hear about what each industry has to offer and could even lead to the success one NDE Minor student, Tyler Hall, had this past October.  He shared his experience with us below:

“When Professor Wendt announced to the class that there would be a CNDE sponsored event, I was on the fence about whether I would attend or not. I was looking forward to taking my girlfriend out to dinner that evening, but this ‘free pizza event’ seemed like something I wanted to attend. Ultimately, I decided to step out of my comfort zone, get some free pizza and talk to at least one employer. At the time, I had no idea that I was making a life-changing decision. Upon arrival at the event, I found a seat and met some students that were also taking classes for the NDE minor. It was refreshing to be in a room full of students and professionals in the NDE community because about 90% of the time, people don’t know what I’m talking about when I tell them that I’m pursuing a minor in NDE. I enjoyed listening to representatives from companies such as Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, John Deere, Delta Airlines, and NASA talk about their companies and their application of NDE to their industry.

There was one company that I had never heard of before, ATI, that caught my attention. When David, a metallurgical engineer at ATI, spoke about the company, I was shocked that I had never heard of this company before. ATI produces titanium and nickel alloys and components for aerospace and defense. This was right up my alley as a materials engineer specializing in metals. After grabbing a slice of pizza, I introduced myself to David and asked him more about what he does as a metallurgical engineer. We talked for a few minutes, and I became enthralled with what ATI does. They do everything from producing specialty alloys component manufacturing to nondestructive inspection. At some point during the conversation, I expressed my interest in moving out west, and David introduced me to his colleague, Todd. Todd is a level III nondestructive inspector at the Albany, Oregon, location. The three of us chatted briefly and they told me they were hiring for their Early Career Leadership Program (ECLP). I loved the idea of traveling around the country and exploring different career paths as an engineer at ATI. I thanked them for the information, and they gave me their business cards in case I had any other questions.

That night, I applied for the ECLP program. To my surprise, I got a call back from their talent acquisition team the next day! After making it through a virtual interview (by the way, they saw a ton of value in the NDE minor), I went for an on-site interview in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I got to tour their forged products facility where they produce helicopter rotors, jet engine discs, and armored roof hatches for tanks. I knew after seeing this facility that I had found my dream job. I was elated to get the job offer and was so glad I decided to attend the event. Although I had to postpone our dinner date, the career opportunity resulting from that small sacrifice was well worth it!

I want to thank everyone involved with organizing the CNDE sponsored event and providing an opportunity for students like myself to network with professionals in the NDE community. I’d also like to thank Scott Wendt for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and attend the event. I wouldn’t have known about such an opportunity without him spreading awareness. This informal event is a great environment for students in the NDE minor to chat with professionals, ask questions, learn about how NDE fits into industry, and seek career opportunities. I hope many more students will take advantage of this great networking opportunity. You never know; you might make a connection that will open the door to your future.”

The next Pizza with Students event will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 5:30pm – Student Innovation Center, Room 2221