Industry Leaders Connect with University Students about Technology Careers

Industry Leaders Connect with University Students about Technology Careers

College Student photo

When the SEMI Pacific Northwest Steering Committee re-convened earlier this year, it identified workforce development as a critical gap facing member companies in the region. Under the leadership of chairman John Grimshaw of Applied Materials, Rudy Kellner of FEI, and Janet Teshima of Symitree/ONAMI, the committee set about to create a platform where industry leaders could meet with university students interested in math and science and enhance the perception of the semiconductor and high-tech industry.  

On October 26, 45 undergrads, grad students and Ph.D. candidates from Oregon State University (OSU), the University of Oregon, and the University of Washington met at the HP campus at OSU to meet face-to-face with industry leaders.  Students were seeking guidance  about technical tracks leading to technical or management positions in SEMI member companies, rationale for focusing on foundations in education and what it will mean in a career, the importance of finding a good first job, and how to establish a career path. Topics covered included:

  • Jobs in the Micro- and Nano-Electronics and High-Tech Semiconductor Industry
  • Strategies for Landing a Job in High Tech
  • The Interview: Telephone and Face-to-Face Interview Formats

Students participated in breakout sessions which included:

  • “A Day in the Life of a High-Tech Engineer” — Hear about the semiconductor industry from Applied Materials and Intel engineers
  • “Working on the Business Side” — Using your technical skills for a career in sales, marketing and human resources
  • “Jump-Start your Career” — Commandeering a successful job search
  • “Is a Career in High-Tech Startups, Business Operations, and General Management right for me?” — Managing people and the bottom line

Industry presenters included:

  • John Grimshaw, director of Operations, Applied Materials
  • Doug Hahn, director of Marketing, FEI Company
  • Rudy Kellner, VP and GM of Electronics Market Division, FEI Company
  • Tyler Leishman, director of Financial Operations, ESI
  • Rob Mattin, senior technical recruiter, FEI Company
  • David Myers, technology manager, Applied Materials
  • Soley Ozer, senior process engineer, Intel
  • Easwar Srinivasan, director of Product Marketing, Lam Research
  • Janet Teshima, president at Symitree LLC, ONAMI, Inc.

College Students photo2

When evaluating the session, one student stated, "Thank you for the opportunity to meet with professional leaders in the semiconductor industry. I learned a lot of valuable information and insight into the hiring process for these companies. I commend these wonderful, highly accomplished people for taking the time to offer their advice to those of us just starting out.” Students recommended that SEMI continue to organize events like these, stating that it was inspirational, educational and a wonderful opportunity. Many noted that they would definitely like to participate and attend future events. 

While this workforce development session was organized by the SEMI Pacific Northwest Steering Committee, other workforce development programs are organized by the SEMI Foundation. The SEMI Foundation supports education and career awareness in the fields of high technology through career exploration programs — SEMI High Tech U for high school students and SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition for teachers.

For more information about regional workforce development programs, please contact Lin Tso at  For more information on the SEMI Foundation or the High Tech U program, please visit  

November 6, 2012