Posted by Willy Franzen on August 7, 2008. Jobs updated daily.
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Imagine getting a job as a MythBuster, except instead of debunking urban legend, you’re investigating real life problems that plague businesses and sometimes hurt people. That’s what you could be doing at Exponent. Founded in 1967 by five Ph.D.-level researchers, Exponent was originally known as Failure Analysis Associates. They started out in the energy industry studying stress and fracture mechanics, but very quickly they were “investigating and analyzing accidents and failures of all kinds.” They eventually became The Failure Group, and were listed on the NASDAQ with the ticker FAIL. In 1998 they realized that they had outgrown their name, and changed again to Exponent, because it means “one who expounds or interprets.” We don’t usually get so deep into how a company chooses it’s name, but with the popularity of the FAIL meme (see also: FAIL Blog), we thought that you might be amused.
Despite their fascination with failure, Exponent has a staff of nearly 800 people with backgrounds in over 90 scientific and engineering disciplines. In other words, people who work at Exponent deal with failure often, but they try to keep it at an arm’s length. Are you still not sure what we mean by failure? Here are some examples of projects that Exponent has worked on: investigating defects in automatic revolving doors; determining the path and altitude of Delta flight 191 which crashed and killed 134 people; recreation of the accident that killed James Dean for an NBC series, and testing the Suzuki Samurai for rollover vulnerabilities. There are many more projects that Exponent has worked on, and you can view multimedia presentations on many of them in the Exponent Multimedia Archive. We could keep writing about Exponent’s work for hours – it’s that interesting – but they have a plethora of entry-level job opportunities that we need to talk about.
Exponent’s web site is about as entry-level friendly as we’ve seen, although they could do a better job of making sure that new college grads can navigate to the right jobs. When you visit Exponent’s Careers Page, you’ll notice that they’ve prominently linked to their University Recruiting page. Their approach to University Recruiting on the web is really cool, but it’s not intuitive. There’s a text box that allows you to enter in your school name to search for current alumni from your school and to learn about upcoming recruiting events on your campus. There’s also a list of the 20 schools from which they employ the most alums. For instance, take a look at Cornell’s page (I’m not biased or anything – GO BIG RED!). It’s a really cool way to engage students, but it only works if the students go to a school that Exponent has a page for. A lot of students probably end up on the University Recruiting page and don’t know what to do next.
This is where a little searching helps. If you visit Exponent’s How to Apply page, you’ll see information for entry-level candidates. Here they direct you to contact their College Recruiter, Jenny Irwin, at firstname.lastname@example.org or to take a look at their entry-level job listings (these are opportunities specifically for new grads). Here you’ll find a ton of fascinating jobs in a variety of locations. We will warn you, however, that seemingly all of the entry-level jobs currently listed with Exponent require some sort of advanced degree (MS or PhD). Since so many Engineers seem to stick around and get a Masters, we thought it would still be appropriate to feature Exponent’s jobs today.
Some of the most recent listings on Exponent’s site include Engineers, Vehicle Engineering (Menlo Park, CA and Natick, MA); Scientists, Public Health & Industrial (Menlo Park, CA; Bellevue, WA; Wood Dale, IL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Irvine, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Alexandria, VA; and Washington, DC); and Engineers, Technology Development (Menlo Park, CA; San Diego, CA; and Washington, DC). There are many more opportunities listed on their site, and you can apply online through their applicant tracking system. If you want to work for Exponent but are just finishing up undergrad, then you better start thinking about graduate school.
Links to Help You Begin Your Research
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