By Kayla Turbyfill
Our first spotlight for our Career Success Stories Series is Alia Zaki!
Alia is a very resourceful, adaptable, and tenacious Malaysian woman who recently graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Alia is currently employed in an IT Engineering position at Micron Technology. She is excited to share her experience and advice for job searching and how she was able to find her best fit during a global pandemic as an international student and worker.
The Journey to Find a Best Fit
Alia’s journey to find her most recent position at Micron began with visits with organizations on The University of Utah campus. These organizations are designed to support and empower students as they set foot into a world of opportunities beyond and within their collegiate experiences. She frequently met with an advisor in the office of International Student & Scholar Services (ISS) to make sure she was on the right track as an international student and worker setting out into the career world. She also met with a Career Coach at the Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC) to develop her professional documents and explore her options as a Mechanical Engineering major.
"The first step is the most important one as it is the hardest to take. I chose to take an informed one, which meant identifying the rules and the hows to navigate the job process."
After finding the support she was looking for and discovering the best “hows” for her, she set off into the job search process to find her fit. She found a wealth of paths that could fit her degree, goals, and passions and discovered that some of those options didn’t match the “typical” career path of a Mechanical Engineer. By opening up her options, she found IT Engineering.
One Takeaway from Working with the CPDC
Finding a knowledgeable mentor or contact in or around your field can make a difference. The experts Alia found include staff at the CPDC and faculty in her program. Alia encourages students to use the resources available to them at the U, especially international students, and would recommend the CPCD saying, “the best resource I know of [at the U] is the Career & Professional Development Center.” Gaining the tools to polish her professional documents, practice interviewing, and having conversations to discover her true interests were important steps in Alia finding her best fit opportunity and growing as a professional. Additionally, the support Alia found in our community played a role in her success today, and she would like to thank Dr. Mark Minor and soon-to-be Dr. Jon Aston from the Robotic Systems Lab in the ME department.
"The most important advice I can give you, however, is finding an expert at the start of your process."
Alia's initiative and resourcefulness ultimately led her along her journey to her current position at Micron. Alia has been a pleasure to work with and an inspiration to see as she pursued her interests and strove for excellence. She is a great example to fellow alum and students of the U.