Jeremy Duston (BSE CE ’12) met GreenLancer, a web-based engineering company that designs green energy systems, at the MPowered career fair as an undergrad.
“They are working in one of the fastest growing industries in the country, and I saw huge potential for a technology company to really take advantage of an emerging market,” Duston says.
Today, Duston creates drawings and engineering designs for solar panels systems at GreenLancer, in addition to earning his Master of Engineering degree at CEE.
Duston says the thing he enjoys most at his job is collaborating with his colleagues.
“We’re able to share ideas and freely critique what can be improved on. No matter what issue comes up, we all want the company to be successful. It encourages a collaborative work environment that really benefits everyone. I enjoy designing systems, but I’m able to work closely with everyone from our web developers to our sales team to ask questions and give feedback.”
The MPowered career fair takes place every January. It’s the only start-up-focused career fair at U-M and it introduces potential hires to high growth, early stage ventures from around Michigan. Duston says he was interested in working for a start-up because of the opportunity to learn multiple parts of a business.
“Being part of a start-up means taking on multiple roles in the company rather than being just one piece of the puzzle. Knowing how other parts of a business run adds value to the work you do, and in turn helps other people do their jobs better and more efficiently.”
He also enjoys the office environment.
“My first few months there were spent working out of my boss’s loft in downtown Detroit. It was definitely different than other jobs I had applied for, but it was a great way to get to know everyone and how the company worked from raising investments to building our website.”
Duston’s advice for other young alumni interested in entering the world of a start-up is to connect through networking and social media.
“It is so important to network. Reach out to everyone you can and be passionate about your work. You never know what opportunities you’ll come across that will have a huge impact on what you’re trying to accomplish. Social media is a very powerful tool that led me to meet the right people. I was invited to the MPowered Career Fair through Facebook, and got hired through LinkedIn. You never know who you’re going to meet or what may come of it.”
To prepare for his career, Duston got involved in programs outside of the classroom.
“I worked hard in school, and I was proud of what I accomplished. But it’s equally as important to be involved with people from all walks of life. What I learned working with elementary and high school teachers and students to starting a new club with friends proved to be equally as valuable. ”