by Dione RiveraIn our monthly Staff Highlight series, a staff member at Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership shares insights about their job search experience and career journey with Master of Engineering (MEng) students and Fung Fellows. This feature focuses on Jennifer Mangold: Innovation Coach, Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations at UC Berkeley. Jennifer leads the lab sections of the course and coaches the Fung Fellows in team dynamics, effective communication, and innovation. She also manages strategic partnerships and community engagement for the Fellowship. We had a chance to sit with Jennifer and ask some questions about her career.
What was the best career advice you received?Don’t expect your career to be linear. Having dynamic and varied experiences will ultimately give you a broader perspective that you can bring to any organization or future role. Trying out different things allows you to find what you ultimately enjoy doing and where you might want to take your career. Taking advantage of varied opportunities has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally.
What was your most memorable job search experience?Not sure how memorable they have been but they have always included in-person interaction. My first job out of undergrad was for Nissan North America and I submitted an online application. It felt like a black box where no one would see — let alone read — my application. So I took the reigns and decided to make some phone calls, which ultimately led me to several in-person interviews and subsequent job offers. I was able to choose which department within Nissan that I wanted to join. The moral of the story is people>paper. Always, always leverage your network and make the time to reach out to hiring managers or other employees at the company, especially if it’s your dream job.
When did you realize your “Aha” moment in your career?There hasn’t necessarily been one “aha” moment during my career, but several of these throughout the course of my career. I’ve never been someone who could just “have a job”, I need to feel fulfilled with the work that I’m doing. Whether working on a farm or starting graduate school to pursue a PhD, I’ve had to find roles that allow me to use my skills to make a positive social impact.
In retrospect, what is the career advice you would like to give to our MEng cohort and Fung Fellows?Try out different roles and organizations until you find what works best for you. There will be many twists and turns which ultimately make your career fulfilling. During your career you’ll have many opportunities to take risks and have new experiences. Think about this time as exploration not the finish line. Working across diverse organizations and with a variety of individuals will help you hone your technical and interpersonal skills, ultimately benefiting your career. Most importantly, have fun. The job search can be intense; however it isn’t everything and you will have many roles throughout your career. Sometimes you find the dream job that you didn’t even know you wanted. Jennifer holds a Masters and PhD in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley. To support her own health and well-being, she enjoys the outdoors, practices mindfulness, and spends time with friends and family. Connect with Jennifer.
Staff Highlight: Jennifer Mangold, Innovation Coach at the Fung Fellowship was originally published in Berkeley Master of Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.