With the economic downturn, many organizations are focusing entirely on maintaining their own infrastructure. Many nonprofit organizations have noted the decline in financial giving to charity. Economic troubles in our nation and abroad continue to create an unstable and unpredictable job market. Parents across this country tell their children “get a good education and you will get a good job.” However, in this economic rollercoaster, this is not always true. U.S. manufacturing jobs continue to evaporate as global outsourcing becomes the norm for businesses that seek to increase their profits.
The economic picture has caused many organizations to reduce their presences on universities across the nation. To a shrewd executive, it probably doesn’t make sense to hire young graduates when the economic picture for the company may be uncertainty. According to some business estimates, employers are expected to cut 2.7 million jobs in 2009 (2 million were cut in 2008). David Milan, CIH, is a top level manager, working for one of the premier research labs in the world. He is the Emergency Management Group Leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
Milan has been involved with recruiting new hires, visiting colleges and universities, and mentoring students for over 10 years. He is from Dyersburg, Tennessee. Currently, he resides in Knoxville with his family. At 57 years old, Milan has a wealth of experience to offer to communities. His involvement demonstrates his view on the social responsibility to local organization. Recently, he completed an assignment as a visiting professor at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina for the National Urban League’s Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP). ORNL is a big supporter of these programs. The Knoxville Examiner sat down and talked with Milan during this BEEP assignment about helping students compete in the future.
Describe what most people say are your best qualities.
Faithful, loyal, honest, thoughtful, compassionate
Discuss your professional career and education (your progression as a professional).
I completed my undergraduate degree in 1974; my master’s in 1978. I started out as an Industrial Hygiene technician and progress to the level of Corporate Director for Safety and Health with Lockheed Martin Energy Systems.
Discuss your organization and position in it.
I am currently the Group Leader for the Emergency Management Program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. ORNL is the Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory. ORNL was established in 1943 as a part of the secret Manhattan Project to pioneer a method for producing and separating plutonium.
Today, the lab is a multiprogram science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Battelle, LLC. Researchers conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation’s leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.
Describe what most people say are your best qualities. Discuss the key principles that you live by (example “treat people with respect,” integrity in decision-making, etc.).
I attempt to look to God’s word as guidance for the way I live my life. Treating others as I would expect to be treated; seeking God’s wisdom in my decision-making process; being patient; and listening prior to speaking or committing.
Discuss the challenges facing today’s college student as it relates to job employment.
Competition; networking; inflexibility (not a willingness to accept a position when it’s not ones “dream job”)
Discuss how students can create a personal brand.
Know who they are; assess their talents and dislikes and market the identified personal attributes. What are your suggestions? Personalized student/business cards; obtain help from career councilors in resume development
Describe the character traits organizations looking for in new hires.
Demonstrated ability to work in teams with a diverse group; commitment; innovative; the ability to be able to express one’s self verbally and in one’s writing.
Please provide as many tips as possible for positioning a student for employment in the future.
Internships; a good resume; networking; don’t limit the employment search to one specific business sector.
© 2010 by Daryl D. Green