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Patton Electronics CEO Lends Advice to Graduates and Students
June 24, 2011
Throughout the years, Patton Electronics has worked closely with Capitol College through scholarships, advisory boards, internships and by hiring many Capitol graduates. Patton President and CEO Robert Patton answered some questions regarding the value of a Capitol education and the relationship his company has had with the institution over the years.
Not all companies are hiring in this economy. Is Patton?
There has been a long-term shortage of engineers and people with technical backgrounds, and right now we’re definitely hiring in those categories.
What majors are you specifically looking for when hiring recent college graduates?
We’re looking for a broad range of majors and backgrounds. Computer science, electrical engineering, telecommunications and manufacturing engineering are all majors that are in demand. Technical skills, across the board, have been short for a while.
What positions are in the highest demand at Patton?
One area we’re hiring right now is in product development. Product assurance is another area where employees are doing product testing before the product is released to the market. Product management is also important and requires a mix of engineering and business skills.
We’re also doing a lot of hiring on the manufacturing side of our business. These jobs require engineers of various sorts in developing production test systems. We’re also hiring employees to provide tech support for the customers buying our products.
What are some of the traits you look for in a potential employee?
When it comes to the product development side [of our business], we’re looking for people with real technical skills, and a real understanding of the information. In other areas, we need employees who can interface with customers and other departments. Communication skills are very important.
What has been Patton’s relationship with Capitol College over the years?
Some of our earliest employees came from Capitol College and I served on a few advisory boards for the curriculum a while ago. We have also provided scholarships for engineering majors.
We’ve also had many Capitol interns work for us in the past and our current chief software engineer was actually once a Capitol intern at Patton.
What has been your impression of Capitol graduates?
The education is very practical and hands-on. We have never been disappointed by the caliber of education our Capitol employees have.
You mentioned the “hands-on” education of Capitol graduates. In your experience, how does that practical education translate to the workplace?
[The students] have more familiarity with tools in the industry and they have experience troubleshooting and solving problems.
What advantages do you see in hiring a recent Capitol graduate?
We have a knowledge of the school and the education the students are receiving. We know what we’re getting.
What advice do you have for a recent graduate currently on the job hunt?
They need a succinct resume that gets their information across quickly. A resume is really an employer’s first impression of you. It’s also important to get help when writing a resume – don’t try to do it all alone.
Network like crazy. You’ll normally be hired through a network of people you know, so it’s important to get yourself out there.
Make sure to look into the career services your school provides, because a lot of companies like ours will comb through career services departments at various schools looking for potential employees.
11301 Springfield Road
Laurel, Maryland 20708