The Clarkson Connection
ECS recruits at several colleges and universities to identify and hire top-quality graduating students. The firm’s recruiting program and approach is successful, in large part, because of a well-thought out strategy. Alumni typically recruit from their own alma mater, thus initiating professional mentoring with candidates almost immediately. This level of engagement and personal involvement by and from ECS principals (and future principals) are critical components of this program.
One effort involves Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. Here is the story of one such recruiting experience – from the perspective of both parties – that led to a hire.
The Student –
I met Leo Titus at a Clarkson University career fair in September 2006 that included ~150 companies, such as government contractors, general contractors, and smaller Upstate New York firms. We briefly discussed potential employment with ECS, which led to a more formal one-on-one conversation with Leo the following day.
Leo asked, “What do you want to know about ECS?” In answering my barrage of questions, he was very open and described the company culture, work, and general day-to-day experiences I could expect. One item that impressed me most was Leo’s description of ECS as a firm that was different compared with more ‘typical’ engineering consulting firms. This was really brought home to me during interviews and job offers from other firms. Aside from being ahead in technology, ECS provides opportunities for its scientists and engineers to be involved with field work, project management, and business development – all right from the start. Many firms limit their entry level people to involvement with purely technical tasks.
After a formal interview in Chantilly, VA, I accepted a position and started with the firm in June 2007. The opportunities offered at ECS have led to both personal and professional growth, including obtaining a Master of Engineering degree and a Professional Engineer’s license. I have worked on a multitude of projects with varying degrees of difficulty. It has also led to several return trips to Clarkson with Leo to help with ECS recruiting. It’s a great way to connect with students, and we’ve hired some great employees from the university.
Stephen Patt, P.E. is a Senior Project Engineer currently based with ECS Capitol Services in Washington, D.C.
The Recruiter –
I graduated from Clarkson University myself, so naturally I think the candidates from my alma mater are a cut above. I started going to Clarkson to do recruiting around 2006, and I’ve been on several trips since that time with other senior managers and recent Clarkson graduates, including Stephen Patt.
I look for candidates who I think will fit into the ECS culture. I’m looking for certain qualities, including a desire and ability for business development, good technical skills, and a positive attitude. When I identify someone who I think will be a strong candidate, I encourage them to apply. I refer them to Trish Shelton and Steve Berkowitz (both in-house ECS recruiters) or to the appropriate senior-level manager.
Aside from the opportunities we offer as a company, I think ECS is very competitive hiring from Clarkson because they don’t get many firms from the Mid-Atlantic region. The school is very highly regarded, with an excellent engineering program, and they’re a great resource for us. We’ve developed a good track record of hires from Clarkson, so I expect we’ll keep making trips each year to hire more sharp candidates from the school.
Leo Titus, P.E. is President of ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Clarkson University, and a Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Maryland. He was awarded Clarkson University’s prestigious Woodstock Award, which recognizes young alumni who demonstrate career accomplishment, service to Clarkson, and service to their community.