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Rinzova Renthlei ND '17 ENVIRONMENT

AUTHOR: Allison Preston

PUBLISHED: October 20, 2017

Q: When did you graduate? 

Renthlei: I graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Engineering. 

Q: Were you anxious about searching for a job your senior year? What did you do or wish that you did to prepare? 

Renthlei: I started to become anxious about job search the second semester of my senior year, especially when my friends started getting job offers while I had nothing figured out. One thing I wish I had done better during my college days was to create connections with people. I wish I had paid more attention to networking, not just with people from the university but, even with people who were not affiliated with the university. Grab every opportunity you can to create connections with alumni, guest speakers, employers, and professors.

Q: Did you have any internships while in school? How did that impact your job search?

Renthlei: I did not have any internships mainly because I was very busy with college work. Apart from having a degree from Notre Dame, I was also double majoring in a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Goshen College, Indiana. This made it difficult to squeeze in internships.

Not having any internships made the job search quite difficult, as the majority of employers were looking for applicants who had some sort of work experiences. I would say that doing an internship is definitely advantageous for job search.

Q: What did you do to prepare for your job interviews, and what advice would you give to current students preparing for interviews?

Renthlei: I did detailed searches on the company I was interviewing for beforehand. It is always great to know about the company that is interviewing you, rather than having a vague idea about who they are or what they do. I also asked my friends to perform mock interviews. Look for interview questions online and ask someone to interview you. This really helped because I was asked many of those exact questions in my real interview.

I know many people say that you should get a good sleep the night before an interview but this is not as easy as it sounds. Having said that, if you are well prepared, do not worry too much because you will do just fine. Just try your best and things work out eventually. Nothing is ever a dead end and know that when one opportunity closes, new opportunities arise.

Q: When did you find out you were hired by PSI-Intertek?

Renthlei: I was contacted about my employment offer in mid-September. I started the job a few weeks later, as there were a lot of formalities to be taken care of before starting work. 

Q: What has the first week and month on the job been like? 

Renthlei: I was quite nervous the first week because I felt that I had forgotten many of the things I had learned in college. I worried that I would not be able to do things correctly or that I would look like I did not know anything. I am sure many seniors have this fear as well. Don’t worry. Employers know that you are fresh out of college and they will guide you step by step. They will help you and train you. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it is from making mistakes that you learn.

Q: Looking back, were there any classes that have helped you in your current position? 

Renthlei: As an environmental engineering student, groundwater hydrology and hydraulics really helped regarding my present career. And I would say that all of my core subjects, in some way or another, contributed to building my knowledge. 

Q: What are your future goals now that you have started your first job?

Renthlei: My long-term goal is to eventually go back to my home, Mizoram. It is a small state in northeast India where there is still a lack of environmental education and a lack of environmental quality control measures, mainly due to the unavailability of resources and trained personnel. My dream is to contribute my skills in this field and give back for the betterment of the people and the land. 

Q: Any final words of advice for students preparing for the job market?

Renthlei: Do not lose hope, and be confident. God has already planned a job for you and it is waiting for you somewhere. You must learn to be patient until you find that job. That being said, try your best and keep searching for new opportunities even if you get rejected for multiple job openings. Don’t give up and don’t limit your opportunities. 

More on the practical side, update and review your resume with the college career advisors. They are very helpful and try visiting ND’s career office as often as you can. Don’t wait too long to look for jobs, as processing can take a long time. Start to apply for jobs in your senior year. Look for opportunities to strengthen your resume and prepare for an interview beforehand.

Rinzova Renthlei is an environmental engineering technician at PSI-Intertek in Fairfax, Virginia. As an environmental technician, he visits construction and remediation sites in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Renthlei completes environmental surveys, and remediation and quality control measurements on groundwater and soils. He also writes environmental survey reports. 

Categories:  Alumni

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