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January 20, 2017

fathom-careers-banner_600px-width_225px-heightWalking up the stairs in FATHOM’s Oakland-based 3D printing facility, I notice a group of small greyish objects along the stairwell. Leslie Ugarte, head of HR and UCSB graduate, tells me that FATHOM doesn’t bother with employee photos; instead, it uses 3D printers to create a bust of each person to highlight their unique—and growing—workforce.
Housed in a great location near Jack London Square in a classic manufacturing/brick loft-type structure with a youthful vibe, FATHOM is currently undergoing its largest expansion to date, doubling the size of its production center at its headquarters to accommodate the growing need for accelerated manufacturing services. The applications of 3D printing are almost limitless and cross all industries—biomedical, automotive, entertainment, industrial, aeronautical, retail, to name just a few! FATHOM works with companies large and small, creating parts, developing products, and providing equipment for organizations ranging from the largest Silicon Valley titans to startups looking to secure funding.
The team members at FATHOM seem to relish the fresh and exciting challenges that come with much of their work, as many of the projects they work on entail creating something that has never before existed.polyjet-technology-fathom-3d-printing-services-600px-width_96px-height



3D printing, or as it’s called in the industry, “Additive Manufacturing,” is an umbrella term for creating parts through adding material layer by layer. In one of the most common processes, PolyJet 3D printing, the part is made somewhat similarly to 2D inkjet printing. Controlled by a computer model or 3D scan, the 3D printer creates a part by laying down material as slim as one-tenth of a millimeter, then lowering the build tray, and repeating the process until the three-dimensional part is complete. FATHOM 3D prints parts in a variety of materials, including thermoplastics, metals, and even circuitry!
FATHOM is looking to hire UCSB students in a variety of positions including design and engineering roles (for those with technical skills), lead generation, customer service, and many more. Specific majors and types of experience will vary by position and focus. Leslie Ugarte ( welcomes outreach from UCSB students to discuss their interest in working at FATHOM (
Recent CNET feature on FATHOM’s work with Mercedes, Oakland facility, and 3D printing processes:


Find Your Career: Information Interviews and Shadowing

January 16, 2017

The best way to explore a potential career choice is by speaking with and/or following someone who works in that career.

  • Do an information interview. Learn first-hand about your chosen profession by asking questions about tasks, business environment, and educational background.
  • Shadow a professional. Follow someone in your career choice as they go through a typical day or week on the job. Ask questions and observe the work.

Finding a Profession(al)

Finding someone to interview or shadow is not difficult. Ask your parents and your friends’ parents if they know someone you can interview. Ask your professors for recommendations of professionals in the field. Go to your career center: Many maintain lists of alumni and employers who are willing to help in your career exploration.

Next, call or write a letter requesting an information interview or job shadowing. People who like their jobs tend to enjoy talking about them. You compliment the professional by expressing an interest in the career. In your phone call or letter, explain how you found the person you want to interview and request time for an appointment. Emphasize that you want to find out more about the career—you’re not looking for a job. If you’re lucky, the professional you contact may have other colleagues you can interview also.

Asking Questions

Takes notes during your time with the professional. Here are some questions you might ask:

  1. What is your typical workday like?
  2. What do you like most (and least) about your job?
  3. What skills/abilities are most important to succeed in this job?
  4. What is your educational background?
  5. How did you get started in this field?
  6. What courses were most helpful to you and which would you recommend?
  7. What is the best way to get started in this field?
  8. Do you have any additional advice to help me prepare?

Following Up Your Interview

Review your notes. What was your impression? Did you leave the interview feeling as if you can envision a future in this occupation or were you discouraged—you don’t feel you learned enough about the occupation or the job description doesn’t sound appealing any longer?

Take your thoughts and concerns to the career center staff and get feedback on the next step to take in your career exploration. You may want to do additional information interviews in this career path or you may want to reexamine your goals and find a different path for your interests.

No matter what you decide, send a thank-you note to anyone you interview or shadow. Whether you decide to forge ahead on that career path or find another one, this professional may be a good person to network with when you begin your job search.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, copyright holder.

Learn more about Researching Career & Industry and the Informational Interview.

Gaucho finds his dream job in aviation w/ the US Marines

January 11, 2017

image1-2Michael Wu is a UCSB graduate of the Class of 2016 and a recently commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.

Growing up in Southern California as the son of Taiwanese immigrants, Michael has always had a humble mindset and a deep appreciation for having what he deems “a great upbringing in a country where I don’t take my opportunities and rights for granted“. However, it wasn’t until college started that he put serious thought into service within the military. “I was immediately drawn to the discipline and pride the Marine Corps had in its traditions, values, and high physical standards” he states. Michael was also interested in flying fixed wing aircraft, which the Marine Corps offers to officers selected for its aviation branch. After talking in depth with an Officer Selection Officer and learning more about the program, he applied to the Platoon Leader’s Course (PLC) his sophomore year. The PLC program involves a highly selective application process and requires a student to pass Officer Candidates School, a military school designed to screen and evaluate potential junior officers.  “Marine officers have the responsibility of leading and being accountable for the Marines under them” he states “and it is humbling to know I’ll be in charge of and working with such highly motivated and proactive people.” Michael passed the aviation exam and was selected as a flight contract for OCS soon afterwards, graduating with class PLC-219 the summer after his junior year.

Michael returned for his senior year and earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Accounting. With a job ready for him out of college, he spent his senior year leading the Semper Fi Society, picking up new hobbies, and maintaining a high GPA. Michael was also an active member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, volunteering at several marathons and participating in philanthropies such as Greeks4Kids and Habitat for Humanity. Owing much of his success to the support of his friends and family, he remains close with many of his fraternity brothers.

Michael plans to continue his education while in the military and transfer over to the business and financial sector after his service.

MY VISIT TO SKECHERS (Manhattan Beach, CA)

January 9, 2017

skechers-couple skechers-relaxing24 years ago an exciting idea became a reality when Skechers was officially incorporated in Manhattan Beach. Business was conducted from a beach house and the only style available was a practical work boot. Now the 2nd largest athletic shoe retailer (behind Nike), the company is on track to have 1,600 locations globally and has grown from that beach house to 4 large buildings in Manhattan Beach, with significant expansion coming in the near future.

Skechers has made its brand on having shoes for everyone, toddlers, children, teens, working folk, parents and grandparents. They are broadening significantly and are entering some very high-end markets, including men’s dress shoes, performance walking shoes, basketball shoes, cleated shoes and the list goes on. They are also entering the apparel market and will be bringing lines of athletic gear to their stores.

Skechers is looking to recruit UCSB students and bring them into the company in pre-management and management roles. They are open to different majors depending on the position, but are interested in those with creative backgrounds (design, marketing, and advertising), business backgrounds, technical expertise, and sales/retail experience. This year they will be adding UCSB to their formal summer internship program which brings together a cohort of 8 – 10 interns to the Manhattan Beach headquarters to fill various roles depending on organization need for a 10 – 12 week structured experience. Please find their listing on GauchoLink.

Additionally Skechers is always interested in hiring college students during the academic year, school breaks and the summer at their retail stores where skills in customer service and management are readily developed. Obviously experience in the retail industry and Skechers specifically is highly desired in the hiring process.

Blog written by Diana Seder, Employer Relations Manager, UCSB Career Services,

Top 10 Career Strategies for Freshmen and Sophomores

January 2, 2017

You control your career destiny! Just going to class and picking up your diploma after four years doesn’t cut it. You need to become active on and off campus.

Becoming marketable to employers or graduate schools is a four-year job. Here are the top 10 things you can do during college to make yourself marketable at job-search time. In fact, if you do all 10 of these, you’ll be unstoppable:.

1. Keep your grades up

Employers and graduate schools want candidates with good grades. That will probably never change. Doing well academically not only proves that you have a good knowledge base, but indicates a strong work ethic—a trait that employers value.

2. Identify your interests, skills, values, and personal characteristics

The first step to clarifying your career goals is to go through a process of self-assessment. Visit your career center and take advantage of the self-assessment instruments it has to offer.

3. Actively explore career options

You owe it to yourself to find a career that enriches your life, not one that brings you down. Actively exploring careers means talking with professionals in occupations of interest and observing professionals on the job. Your career center probably has alumni and other volunteers who are willing to talk to you about their careers. Also, attend any career expos, career fairs, and career speaker panels that are offered.

4. Become active in extracurricular activities and clubs

Active involvement in activities and clubs on campus is highly valued by employers and graduate schools. Joining a club is fine, but becoming active within that club is what matters most. Become a leader, hold an office, or coordinate an event. You will develop your skills in leadership and teamwork—skills that recruiters covet!

5. Get involved in community service

It’s important that you begin to understand and appreciate the importance of giving back to your community, and that you live in a larger community than your college or hometown. Typically, students look at community service as a chore. After they’ve served, however, it’s usually one of the most rewarding experiences they’ve had! Recruiters love to see that you’ve volunteered to help in your community.

6. Develop your computer skills

Take advantage of the computer courses and workshops your college offers. You can also learn a lot by just experimenting with different software packages on your own. Finally, you should learn how to develop your own web page or web-based portfolio. There are many web-design software tools that make it real easy to develop your own web page! Contact your college’s information technology office to see how to get started.

7. Develop your writing skills

Over and over, company and graduate school recruiters complain about the lack of writing skills among college graduates. Don’t avoid classes that are writing intensive. Work at developing your writing skills. If there is a writing center on campus, have them take a look at your papers from time to time. Remember, the first impression you give to recruiters is typically your cover letter or personal statement.

8. Complete at least one internship in your chosen career field

More and more, internships are the springboards to employment and getting into graduate programs. Many recruiters say that when they need to fill entry-level jobs, they will only hire previous interns. In addition to making yourself more marketable, internships also are a great way to explore careers and determine whether or not certain careers are for you. When you work for a company as an intern for three to four months, you get a really good feel for whether the field (and company) is one in which you want to work day in and day out!

9. Gain an appreciation of diversity through study abroad, foreign languages, and courses

We are now, more than ever, working within a global work force. For you to be successful at work and in your life, you must stretch yourself, and learn about people and cultures different than yours. Take advantage of the wonderful study-abroad opportunities and the courses relating to diversity. This is your time to travel! Most people find it harder to take time to travel as they begin their careers and start families.

10. Use the career center all four years

The college career center can help you throughout your entire college career. Here is just a sampling of what your career center can help you do:
◦    Choose your major and career direction,
◦    Explore career options,
◦    Obtain an internship,
◦    Write a resume and cover letter,
◦    Develop your interviewing skills,
◦    Identify your skills, interests, and values,
◦    Develop a job-search or graduate school plan,
◦    Connect you with prospective employers (career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and more), and
◦    Connect you with alumni mentors.

Remember, you control your career destiny. Don’t wait until your senior year to start realizing your goals. Your career train is on the move. Jump on board now so you can reach your destination!

By Bob Orndorff. Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, copyright holder,


December 16, 2016

NuVasive Inc., based in San Diego, California, is a global medical device company focused on transforming spine surgery by empowering surgeons with technology to approach procedures in the least disruptive way possible. NuVasive’s solutions include access instruments, implantable hardware and software systems and reconciliation technology that center on achieving the global alignment of the spine. NuVasive has 1900 employees globally, has offices in 30 countries and is a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ (NUVA). They are the #3 player in the $9 billion global spine market.

During my visit to the San Diego headquarters site, I was toured around a very current, comfortable, and forward-thinking organization. Particularly interesting was the on-site cadaver lab in which exploratory surgery and training is done using the techniques, devises and software being developed. The San Diego site also houses a manufacturing facility for the instruments designed and used in their surgical procedures.

NuVasive will be posting a variety of internship positions on GauchoLink starting in January 2017. They are targeting students with a variety of majors and interests.

Internship Program Details:

  • The NuVasive Summer Internship Program takes place at our headquarters office in San Diego, CA
  • Intern candidates must be currently enrolled at an accredited college or university pursuing a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. program
  • Students must have successfully completed 2 years of undergraduate studies with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Candidates are responsible for their own housing and transportation during the internship
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States (CPT is OK).
  • Summer intern positions are normally full-time (40/hrs.) week for 10 to 12 weeks with a flexible start date depending on the academic calendar.

Interns have access to the lab as part of their summer experience and will be exposed to cutting edge technology, research and systems design in addition to business and management best practices, leadership and networking activities.

NuVasive internships often result in exciting career opportunities, challenging leadership experiences, and rewarding projects. Interested students should create a profile on the NuVasive career site to ensure that information is on file with the recruiting team,


Blog written by Diana Seder, Employer Outreach Manager, UCSB Career Services, diana.seder@sa.ucsb.edunuvasive-surgeons-and-interns


A Career Planning Course for Parents

December 12, 2016

Your son or daughter just left for (or returned to) college but doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what he or she wants to major in, let alone choose as a career. Don’t worry, this is not unusual, although you might wish your child had a little more sense of direction.

Choosing a career is a process students need to go through—and they go through the stages of this process at different rates of speed. The steps include:

  1. assessing skills, interests, and abilities (an important first step to choosing an appropriate career);
  2. exploring majors and career options;
  3. experimenting with possible career options; and
  4. organizing and conducting a job or graduate school search.

You can assist and support your child in each of these stages. But what can—or should—you do?

Here’s your own career planning timetable.

Careers 101—for parents of first-year students

During their first year or so of college, students will be involved (formally or informally) in assessing their skills, interests, and abilities. They will do this through finding success (or failure) in courses they take, involvement in campus activities, discussions with their friends and faculty, and by being exposed to and trying out different ideas and experiences.

Most students enter college with a very limited knowledge of the vast array of courses and majors available to them. When they begin to delve into studies that are new to them, even those who entered with a plan may be drawn to different options. This is an exciting time for students.

What you can do to help

  • Support your child’s exploration of new areas of study and interests. This, after all, is what education is all about.
  • Affirm what you know to be areas of skill and ability he or she has consistently demonstrated. Sometimes students overlook these and need to be reminded.
  • Talk with your son or daughter about the courses and activities he or she is enjoying. Students discover new things about themselves throughout the college experience. Your willingness to listen and be a sounding board will keep you in the loop.
  • Don’t panic if your child is excited about majoring in something like English, history, or art. These can be excellent choices, particularly if they are a good match for a student’s interests and skills.
  • Support your son or daughter’s responsible involvement in campus activities but urge this to be balanced with maintaining achievement in the classroom.
  • Urge your child to seek assistance in the campus career center. Most institutions have assessment instruments and counselors to help students to define their skills, interests, and abilities.

Careers 201—For parents of second-year students

Generally, during the second year of college, a student begins to explore majors and career options more seriously. Many colleges and universities require that new students take a broad range of subjects to promote this exploration.

What you can do to help

  • Don’t insist upon a decision about a major or possible career choice immediately. If you sense that your child’s indecision is a barrier to positive progress, urge that he or she look for assistance in the career center. Students often have difficulty making a “final” choice because they fear they may close off options and make a wrong choice.
  • Suggest that your son or daughter talk with faculty and career advisers about potential choices.
  • Direct your child to family, friends, or colleagues who are in fields in which he or she has an interest. “Informational interviewing” with people can be extremely helpful at this stage.
  • Steer your child toward a source of information. Many campuses have a career consultant or mentoring network of alumni in various career fields who are willing to share information with students about their careers. These resources are invaluable both in this exploratory stage and later as students are seeking internships and jobs.

Careers 301—For parents of “mid-career” students

During the sophomore year and throughout the junior year, it is important for students to experiment with possible career options. They can do this in a variety of ways: internships, cooperative education programs, summer jobs, campus jobs, and responsible volunteer experiences both on campus and in the local community. This is a critical time for your support and understanding.

What you can do to help

  • Encourage your child to use the resources available at the campus career center. Experts there can assist your child in preparing a good resume and finding opportunities to test career choices. Most career centers are in direct contact with employers.
  • Tell your child that you understand the importance of gaining exposure to and experience in his or her field of career interest. Broadening experience through involvement outside the classroom is a valuable use of time.
  • Internships or summer experiences may be non-paying. Also, a good opportunity may be in a distant location. Discuss your financial expectations with your child before a commitment is made.
  • Don’t conduct the internship or summer job search for your child. It’s a great help to provide networking contacts or names of people who may be helpful; however, making the contact and speaking for your child deprives him or her of an important learning experience—and may make a poor impression on the future employer.

Careers 401—For parents of graduating seniors

The senior year is when organizing and conducting a job search or graduate school search begins in earnest. It is also a time when students are heavily involved in more advanced courses and often have more responsible roles in campus and/or volunteer activities. Balancing these important pursuits and setting priorities is a constant challenge for seniors.

You are probably anxious for this young adult to make a decision—and yet, he or she may be moving toward closure more slowly than you would wish.

What you can do to help

  • Suggest that he or she use the campus career center throughout the senior year. These offices provide assistance in preparation for the job search. Offerings may include:
    • Workshops and individual help with resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, and other job-search skills,
    • Individual and group career advising,
    • Job-search resources,
    • On-campus interviewing opportunities, and,
    • Alumni career consultant or mentor programs.
  • Don’t nag your child about not having a job yet. This will often have the reverse effect. Use positive reinforcement.
  • Offer to assist by sending information you may have found about your child’s target career field and/or job listings that may be of interest. Listen for indications from your child that you are getting carried away—and back off.
  • Don’t call potential employers to intervene for your child. Contact with potential employers is the candidate’s responsibility.
  • Be prepared to support your child through the ups and downs of the job and graduate school search. It can be a bumpy road—not every desired job or graduate school acceptance will come through. Your student will need reassurance that for every door that closes, another opens.

Final Thoughts

The college years are a time of exploration, experimentation, and learning on many levels for students and their parents! Some student challenges may seem more positive than others, but all contribute to the educational outcomes of the college or university experience.

Throughout these years, students are developing a “record of achievement” that will be evaluated by employers and graduate schools as they move beyond college. There are several pieces of this record:

  • Academic achievement. The grade point average (GPA) is one factor considered by competitive employers and graduate schools. It is one of the few tangible indications of a student’s ability to learn and perform effectively, at least in the academic environment. Therefore, students need to do as well as possible in the classroom, especially in courses in their majors.
  • Responsible work experience. In today’s competitive employment market, many employers seek students who have related internship, summer, cooperative education, or part-time job or volunteer experiences. In fact, employers often look to their own such programs as primary sources for their new hires. These experiences are particularly critical for liberal arts students whose majors may not appear to be directly related to their areas of career interest.
  • Responsible involvement outside the classroom. Extracurricular activities provide the opportunity for students to gain many valuable and career-related skills, such as the ability to work effectively with others in a team environment; leadership; planning and organizational skills; and priority-setting and time management. These are part of the package of skills employers seek in their new hires.

Best of luck to you in navigating the challenging waters of parenting a college or university student.

By Sally Kearsley. Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, copyright holder.