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The Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science

Exploring Your Potential


A life long journey starts with exploring what opportunities are available and planning your path.  Watson School students can learn essential skills, methods to build your portfolio, and how to discover these opportunities that will serve you well during your professional journey. 

Essential Skills

Any employer can tell you that landing a successful job involves more than just obtaining good grades.

Watson 105 course "Ready for Takeoff!" is an essential part of your first or second year here at Binghamton.

  1. Career Horizons
  2. Pre-Career Horizons
  3. Watson Bingo Career Checklist
  4. Watson International Student Career Checklist


Networking is connecting with peers, alumni, and professional contacts with the goal of growing your professional connections as it pertains to your career path. It is a powerful tool that can help you to find employment and get ahead in your career.

Check out the Alumni Association's Career-Toolkit on networking.

All the people you know: friends, family, peers, professors, coworkers etc. are part of your network. Reaching out to the people you know is the easiest and first step to establish a professional relationship.

Did you know that you have the ability to see Binghamton alumni and what companies they work for?

Use this presentation for guidance.

Some ideas to expand your network:

  1. Join student groups and attends conferences
  2. Attend Insight On-Sites
  3. Attend Informational Sessions
  4. Visit the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development
  5. Visit Watson Career and Alumni Connections
  6. Attend Career Fairs
  7. Attend Industry Visits

Finally, face-to-face contact will lead to many being more likely to remember you when you apply on E-Recruiting.

Get Involved

Good grades are vital in career preparation, but alone will not provide all of the skills you will need to be successful. 
Getting involved in clubs, organizations, and interests will create opportunities for you to challenge yourself in team settings while encouraging you to utilize transferable skills.  As you challenge yourself and move out of your comfort-zone, you will gain confidence that can carry you further in your career.

Building Your Portfolio

To summarize who you are and demonstrate that you are a worthwhile candidate to be hired is not an easy task.  When utilizing self-reflection, recording progress, and organization you begin to make a path towards accomplishing this task.

The portfolio can be digital or physical. The type of content in the portfolio will most likely determine whether it is digital or physical.  A digital portfolio can be a website that provides the content outlined below, a digital presentation, or a file of digital copies of your work on a flash drive.

Portfolios provide visual proof of what you can offer to your potential employer, stand out from your competition and market yourself professionally.

Here are some good ideas for portfolio contents

Self Assessment

Work – Professional

  1. Resume
  2. Thank you notes, letters of recommendation
  3. Testimonials from LinkedIn
  4. List of professional references
  5. Personality type assessments and/or Strengthsfinder assessments
  6. Past reviews
  7. Work samples from current and previous jobs (non-proprietary)
  8. Class projects and educational development
  9. Processes or procedures created
  10. Sample forms or templates created
  11. Evidence of specific soft skills (writing, leadership, communication, conflict resolution)
  12. Evidence of specific technical skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, website development, databases, event planning)

Education and Training

  1. Training you've attended
  2. Course descriptions of training completed next to the certificates of completion
  3. Workshops, seminars, conferences attended
  4. Degrees
  5. Certifications
  6. Licenses
  7. Awards you've received
  8. Academic honors
  9. Internships
  10. Transcripts
  11. Activities and Volunteer Work
  12. Non-profit / Charity work (personal or corporate sponsored)
  13. Volunteer work
  14. Photos from events you coordinated
  15. Leadership office held in professional/community organizations or on related boards
  16. Community service project participation
  17. Proof of professional affiliations and leadership roles held

Personal – Interests (if appropriate)

  1. Special training or independent (self-taught) learning
  2. Learning a new skill (e.g. website development or Office 2010)
  3. Learning a foreign language
  4. Writing skills (e.g. Showcase blog posts on a certain career topic or special interest you have, if appropriate.)
  5. Personal or professional mission statement
  6. Public speaking opportunities
  7. Flyers or newsletters you've designed or written articles for
  8. Research Projects
  9. Travel or Vacation Planning Projects

Your professional portfolio will never be complete. This is a dynamic piece that you will continually update.

Explore Research

Undergraduate Research and Professors

Research during the semester is also available. Take a look at their profiles on their department's

Take a look at their profiles on their department's web pages to see if their research fields interest you. There may also be professors in different departments that you would want to do research with, so don't limit yourself to your major.

Department Research Pages
  1. Mechanical Engineering
  2. Electrical and Computer Engineering
  3. Industrial Systems Engineering
  4. Biomedical Engineering
  5. Computer Science

Summer Research at Binghamton University

  1. McNair Scholars Summer Research Internship Program
  2. Binghamton University Summer Scholars and Artist Program
  3. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Program
  4. Binghamton University Undergraduate Research page.

National Science Foundation (NSF) and Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

The National Science Foundation funds undergraduate students in science and engineering fields to do research with different departments throughout the United States over the summer.

The research experience is typically about eight to ten weeks and often concludes with a poster and formal presentation.

For different REU opportunities.

Explore Employment 

Industry Visits

Thanks to all the students who joined Watson Career and Alumni Connections and the Fleishman Center for our trip to Washington D.C. from March 4-7 to visit employer sites and network with Binghamton alumni. See you next year!

Binghamton in D.C. 2018

NYC industry visits for our Watson students occur in January. These visits give students the chance to learn about career possibilities, network with professionals and explore various industries. Companies provide a 1 – 2-hour session combining presentations, info sessions, networking opportunities and tours.

Past visits:


American Express


Blue Wolf

BNP Paribas

Brand Networks

DayNine Consulting


Digitas LBi



Fisher- Price (Mattel)





Marks Paneth

Mount Sinai Medical Center


MSG (Madison Square Garden)

Perry Capital



Silver Lane

Syska Hennessy Group


The Brattle Group




 Wieden & Kennedy

 Willdan Energy Solutions/Nyserda

Internship / Full-Time Jobs for Current Students

There are many students who have found success in obtaining internships or full-time employment. See More>>>

Alumni/Industry Insight

The Alumni/Industry Insight program allows you to network with an alumnus or industry representative and pull upon their career knowledge. This is held in the Watson Dean's Suite in the Engineering and Science building.
We schedule 20-minute, one-on-one appointments with students, during which you can ask questions and get to know the industry professional and their organization.

Info sessions

We schedule info sessions (both in-person and virtually) for organizations with groups of Watson students often. The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development assists with these sessions.

Career fairs

The Fleishman Center holds both a Fall and Spring career fair.

Explore Graduate School 

Continuing education may be needed at different stages of your professional career. 
Graduate School can be a path that provides potential to advance your career. 

  1. Watson Graduate Programs
  2. Binghamton Graduate Studies

Be sure to review Chapter 18 (p. 184) in Ready for Takeoff!, for additional graduate studies guidance.

Last Updated: 5/11/18