Environmental Engineer, R&D
Lake County, IL
Chemistry, Northwestern University
Engineer, R&D in Hazardous Waste Management
"When looking for a
job, network with as many professionals as possible. Remember
that even if a contact person cannot offer you employment, he or
she may know someone who can."
"At Abbott Laboratories, an
international pharmaceutical firm, I am responsible for the recycling or
disposing of approximately 400,000 gallons of hazardous waste. I work in
an 11-member department with eight operators who load the tank trucks
which carry our wastes; an environmental chemist who works with new and
odd waste streams; and a manager who guarantees that the department meets
federal, state, local, and corporate regulations.
Every month, I schedule an average of 86 trucks for the pickup of Abbott's
hazardous waste, and forecast waste by the year, month, and quarter. I
then compare the forecasts with the actual amount of waste disposed of and
resolve any discrepancies. This data becomes part of Abbott's Toxic
Release Inventory Report for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
I also give advice to production support staff about safe and most
environmentally friendly disposal methods. Often our division tries to
modify processes to isolate environmental pollutants. Obtaining a
background in hazardous waste management through summer internships and
classes has been essential for this work."
His advice to students? "When looking for a job, network with as many
professionals as possible, and spend time writing letters and calling
contacts. Always remember that even if a contact person cannot offer you
employment, he or she may know someone who can. Also, do not underestimate
luck. You may just happen to be in the right place at the right time. So
stick to your goals; they will be your compass. And remember, even
part-time employment in your field beats no employment; many times you
will make other contacts which could lead into a full-time job."