Alumni Advice

Cindi Hoover, PhD 1995

Director of Applications R&D, Praxair, Inc.

I would spend more time and effort on building stronger relationships with my peers.

If I could go back to college and do it over again there are a few things I would do differently. First, I would keep my eyes open and take advantage of more opportunities to obtain practical engineering experience outside of the classroom. This is offered at UB through extracurricular clubs and through internships or summer jobs.  

Secondly, I would spend more time and effort on building stronger relationships with my peers. As you move out of college and into your careers, it is nice to have deeper contacts/friends in other companies and industries. These relationships will serve you well both personally and professionally.  

Lastly, I would look at the breadth of what UB has to offer and take some time to develop professional skills outside of the core engineering program. As my career has progressed, I would have benefited from taking a finance class and professional speaking/presentation class – not just from an engineer’s perspective but from a business perspective. Much of my time is spent communicating with business-orientated professionals and having a better understanding of what they are looking for would have helped. When I was in college, I did take advantage of the UB career development office, particularly with resume writing and interviewing skills. This was well worth it. I also made sure I learned everything I could from my professors, taking full advantage of office hours, to ensure I received a high GPA and started my professional career with strong fundamentals.