Fires of interest were left burning brighter for Rocklin High School engineering students after receiving a tour through the Harris & Bruno International manufacturing facility.
“It was fun to see this crazy big machinery shop,” said RHS Junior Samantha Martin, 16, who’s looking forward to a career in engineering or medicine. “Seeing operation of the 5-axis CNC machine, the water jet machine and all the equipment was the best part of the tour.”
Senior Hugo Le Rouzo, 17, also was among the 11 RHS Engineering Support Technologies students at the Harris & Bruno facility on Oct. 18. Hugo is planning to pursue an engineering degree, but he’d never seen the workplace of such a career before. “It’s good to see what you’re going to do,” he added.
RHS teacher Dan Frank said his favorite parts of the visit were when students’ eyes darted to him with a new understanding of the real-life applications of their classroom activities.
“I’m getting so many looks and so many comments from my students, like, ‘Wow, I’m starting to understand what you’re trying to do,’” Frank said. “It was so beneficial for our students to be able to talk with adults in the engineering and machining industry so that they could see themselves in these professions.”
In addition to touring the facility, meeting engineers and talking to employees about the equipment they operate, students benefited from advice from Harris and Bruno managers.
Jim Riga, Director of Engineering & Service, explained how getting involved in campus clubs and competitions at college exposed him to companies seeking interns and to professors who often are aware of employment opportunities. An internship led to a job after he graduated. He was able to advance his career through several promotions by demonstrating his desire to contribute to the company.
“Businesses are looking for employees with a good attitude and who are happy to come to work,” said Riga. “You must have a desire to add value, demonstrate a good work ethic, believe that good enough isn’t good enough, be solution oriented and ask, ‘What can I do to help the company be successful?’”
Ed Lee, COO/CFO, urged students to do well in school. “Your grades tell others your ability to learn,” said Lee. “Good grades create opportunity.” He also urged students to demonstrate through their actions that they have a good attitude about work. “Don’t waste your time; do everything you can to be a valuable employee. If your contribution results in a 50 cent raise early in your career, that is equal to $1,000 per year and $30-40,000 over the length of your career.”
Students gained interview advice from Courtney Wickens, Human Resources Manager. “When you are being considered for a job, you are likely to talk with Human Resources first,” said Wickens. “Making it through to the next interview is about character and drive to be part of the team as well as your ability to do the work. Show your passion, be dynamic and communicate that you want to contribute to the company.”