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ASK Away: Mentors Outside of Chicago

ASK mentors across the globe report on the career and employment landscape in their neck of the woods.

Australia

What I love about living in Australia: I have worked in Australia from 2011 to present with a one-year stint in Chile in the middle of my assignment here. I love Australia, as the people are very friendly, love their family time, but all the same are very hard workers. Australia has some of the best beaches in the world and where I am in Gladstone you can swim in the ocean all year round. There is lots to see and explore in this southern part of the world. You may not know it but the width of Australia is as big as the USA.

Some challenges living here: Probably the only challenge I found was learning to drive on the opposite side of the road from the U.S. I found some difficulty at first with how the Australians shorten up words in their language such as they call McDonalds "Macca's." Most of the small outlying towns all have names that are tied to the native peoples and they can be quite difficult to pronounce.

Lessons I learned relocating here: I have worked all over the world for various U.S. companies and I have found most important is to review carefully their international policies that are very specific for each country and assignment you go on. You need to know what you are getting into before you sign up and do not be drawn by the exoticness of some assignment.

Resources for relocating: Once your company has approached you about an international assignment, I would go to the internet and first learn all I can about that country (things to do/things not to do, demographics, religions, etc.) and then look at Google maps and find out exactly where the location is within the country you are going to be located. Do lots of research and be prepared.

My DePaul experience and how it positively affected my career: I think one of the greatest points in my life was my education at DePaul. The longer it has been since I graduated, the more I realize the quality and pertinent focus that I obtained from my education. Having put two kids through similar coursework at other universities, I have come to realize just how good the Finance and Accounting curriculum was at DePaul. I use what I learned almost every day in my work. I also think the diversity of DePaul has made me a more tolerant and a better person in every aspect of my life.

ASK Mentor Merrill Grogel, Cost/Change Control Manager at Bechtel in Gladstone, Australia (2015)​

Costa Rica

The Costa Rican economy slowed down last year in the tourism and construction areas mostly. The agricultural sector had significant swings, but overall impact depends on the product. Services and manufacturing did not show the growth from other years, but remained stable with modest expansion. Some specific areas like Contact Centers, F&A Shared Services, and IT Services have demonstrated resilience and keep employing people. DePaul students should know that large operations from HP, Intel, IBM, Amazon, Equifax, Citibank, Baxter, Oracle, P&G, and others have significant presence in the country and have positions posted in their websites. The new trend now has been the establishment of Indian companies that are looking to expand their presence worldwide and add near-shore capabilities. A good source of general information about the country and #1 site for job openings is www.cinde.org​.

ASK Mentor Julio Cruz, Costa Rica Country Manager for Global Services at Fiserv (2010​)

India

What I love about living in Bangalore: Bangalore is a great city to live in for expats. Being a Chicago native, I've grown accustomed to terrible weather. I'm used to having a blizzard in January, followed by 70 degree weather two days later. Bangalore is the exact opposite. Every day, it is between 65 and 85 degrees. During their summer, it got up to 95 for about a week and everyone was complaining how it was the worst they've ever experienced. Another thing I love about Bangalore are the people. Everyone I've encountered is extremely nice. Strangers will help me navigate traffic or communicate with the occasional person I encounter who doesn't speak English. People randomly approach me and strike up a conversation, and they are smiling the entire time. It's hard to be homesick when everyone around you is happy. Finally, Bangalore has a very modern/cosmopolitan culture. They have a great social scene filled with a diverse set of really smart people. The city attracts people from all over the world because it is a hotbed for technology jobs, so it is filled with transplants. This has led to a very open-minded, integrated population which I find very welcoming.

Some challenges living here: The toughest thing about living in Bangalore is getting random stuff done. Opening a bank account requires you to sign your name about 15 times and takes 3 hours. Paying bills is tough because your contractually agreed-upon charges are rarely correct and getting things fixed is a trying experience. Everything has a process, and getting an employee to deviate from that process for any reason is almost impossible. Another thing that is challenging about Bangalore is driving. Despite all of my Indian friends advising me otherwise, I purchased a car and took to the road. I sit on the opposite side of the car and drive on the opposite side of the road. And people here have no lane discipline, there are potholes everywhere, and you never know when an animal or a tractor or a push cart will be in the middle of the street. Every time I get behind the wheel, it feels like I'm playing Super Mario Kart. The only other challenge I have is work-related. My team and employees have a hard time speaking up when they disagree with my opinion, even if they have more knowledge or background on the issue than I do. Disagreeing with your boss, especially in public, is a big no-no here. We are working through this, though.

Lessons I learned relocating here: The relocation process was actually pretty simple. My company set me up with Graebel, who took care of most things for me. It took two months for my furniture to arrive, and shipping my dog was arduous. But getting an apartment, phone, car and utilities was very easy. Local people are always willing to help. Of course, I cannot speak for those who do not have company support. What I'll recommend to anyone considering the move to do is speak to a relocation specialist — you do not want to deal directly with government agencies.

ASK Mentor Christopher Huberts, Manager of Product Management at Amazon.com in Bangalore, Karnataka, India (2014)​

Ireland

Ireland has dealt with the financial crisis that began in 2008 in different ways. The local government has made numerous tax adjustments and is still struggling to reduce the high rate of unemployment set at 14%. However, the authorities have intelligently looked after the local businesses and multinational corporations domiciled in the country. It also maintained the tax benefits for companies willing to move to Ireland and settle their European Headquarters here. The island is a hub for professionals in IT and Finance. Hundreds of international companies manage their European operations from Ireland making this country a real centre for job opportunities. The organization of the country and its society, and the openness to different cultures and citizens from all over the world, make Ireland an interesting place to work, progress and live lovely and peaceful life.

ASK Mentor Pablo Mondino, Finance & Payment Relations Manager at J.P. Morgan Chase Paymentech. Dublin, Ireland (2013)

Jordan

Jordan just recently joined the IPv6 Forum. The forum's objective is to promote deployment and swifter uptake of the new internet using the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). The IPv6 Forum Jordan will attract key stakeholders from government, industry and academia to design the IPv6 roadmap and vision together for Jordan to be among the first to embrace the New Internet World based on IPv6. New internet technology comes with new risks. The power of a country lies in its ability to impose "Security Standards + Promptly Receptive to Counter-Measures Reactions." With the rapid development of globalization, predicting international instability and achieving international security are becoming increasingly difficult. No country can act alone. Cyber security is a critical topic in the Arab countries. Jobs in these areas as an internal employee of a corporation in Jordan are few, as most enterprises outsource these services to foreign vendors. The best option for technology job seekers is to find companies that provide the outsourcing services to these enterprises.

ASK Mentor Alaa Al-Din Al-Radhi, consultant engineer and President of IPv6 Forum Jordan (​2010​)

Mexico

What I love about living in Cancun: I love that this place combines beautiful white sand beaches with history of the Mayan culture. I also enjoy the diversity of the city and having access to all the benefits of a big city while still getting the feeling of a small place. You can find people from all over the world and direct flights to many hubs around the world. And I love the fresh seafood.

Some challenges living here: Services are expensive compared to other parts of Mexico. Everybody warns about the heat and humidity during summer months and high electricity prices (AC on most of the time). I'll experience my first summer in 2015. The airport is extremely crowded during high season.

Lessons I learned relocating here: I negotiated a six-month transition with my old employer and my new employer. It was too long. Never again.

Resources for relocating: Facebook was a great resource to learn about lifestyle, cultural activities, nightlife, local cheap eateries, meeting people, etc. I strongly recommend contracting a real state agent or apartment finding service if you are not familiar with Mexico's market. Try to stay as close to downtown as possible.

ASK Mentor (Rodrigo) Antonio Merino, CEO of Latin American and Caribeean Alliance of YMCAs in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico (2015​​)

Saudi Arabia

Since I am working in the health care industry, I have noticed that the number of professional educated Saudi women is increasing every year. For instance, in the department that I am managing 18 positions out of 31 are occupied by Saudi talented female professionals from various backgrounds (IT, Public Relations, Arabic and English Literature and more). Read more about a successful Career Expo for Women in Riyadh held at the Prince Sultan University-College for women in May 2009, which offered valuable career workshops and attracted 30 employers interested in recruiting women in various sectors.

ASK Mentor Madian Al Mughamis, Director of eHealth at the Saudi National Guard Health Affairs (NGHA) in Riyadh (2009​)

Switzerland

What I love about Zurich: The size, family life, lake.

Some challenges living here: The Swiss German language is difficult to learn. Local people are not easy to get to. There's not enough time to explore the country since there are many things to see.

Lessons learned in relocating: Find more time to explore the country, spend more time to get to know locals, live a bit outside the city.

Resources for relocating: ASK Mentor Erik Antos, Divisional Controller - EMEA Emerging Markets at Covidien in Zurich, Switzerland (2013​)

United Kingdom

In November 2009, The Telegraph (UK) reported that a monthly survey paneling 400 UK recruitment and employment agencies revealed the fastest permanent job placement increase since October 2007. Engineers were most in demand, followed by secretarial, IT and computing, nursing, financial, hotel and catering, executive and blue collar workers. While three months of upward employment shows signs of economic recovery in the UK, in a December 2009 article in the Daily Telegraph (UK), it was revealed that 16-24 year olds (many of them recent graduates) "not in education, employment or training — has topped one million for the first time [in the UK]." In some cases, charities are cashing in on the trend by staging auctions for placements [unpaid internships] at top companies. The NSPCC recently "sold" a month-long placement at Christie's, the auction house, for £4,600, while a week at Rothschild investment bank went for nearly £1,500. I myself found my job with the UK's gas and electricity regulator, OFGEM (Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets), through a London temping agency. After three months of temp work I was then signed to a one-year (minimum) contract with the organization. I know many other students in the UK who finished up their MA degrees in fall 2009 have also found employment this way.

ASK Mentor Claudia Saric graduated with an MA in International Politics from City University London in Fall 2009. She started her 1-year contract at OFGEM in January 2010.​​

United States

California

What I love about Long Beach: The collaboration — I find that people are much more apt to build business connections and strategic partnerships in Southern California than in any other place I have lived. The weather — hey, I love Chicago but don't miss the winters. The ocean — It's great to live one mile from the Pacific."

Some challenges living in Long Beach: The traffic. The pizza — not a lot of deep-dish out here. The four-hour flight to get back to my hometown of Chicago."

Lessons learned in relocating: I made a point to keep in touch and in regular communication with friends and family back in Chicago once I moved out to CA. Knowing they were only a phone call or text away was a big help in the transition.

Resources for relocating: Long Beach Chamber of Commerce​

ASK Mentor Ken Bator, President of Bator Training & Consulting Inc. in Long Beach (2014)

What I love about San Francisco: Huge number of creative and intelligent minds. Healthy work/life balance. Booming technology sector.

Some challenges living in San Francisco: Having many qualified candidates creates a competitive job market. Securing housing can be cutthroat. Overall cost of living is more expensive than Chicago.

Lessons learned in relocating: A good number of people living in the Bay Area (myself included) are not originally from here. Many relocated for jobs or came wide-eyed with dreams of incubating the newest startup. That means all those people know what it's like to be the "new guy." My advice: don't be afraid to ask for help. People are generally happy to assist because they've all been there too. Meet new people, try new things, and escape your comfort zone. Sometimes getting lost is the best way to find yourself.

Resource for relocating: Most companies in the Bay Area recruit via LinkedIn. Get on it. Or if you already are, keep your profile updated. Take a look within your professional network. Chances are you already know someone here!

ASK Mentor John Wegner, Digital Production Designer at Epsilon in San Francisco (2014)

It is hard to watch the news and not hear about the bleak economic outlook in California. As reported by the NCSL and the San Jose Mercury News, the state of California has a 12.3% unemployment rate, which continues to rise and is substantially higher than the 9.6% national unemployment rate. That said, the economic forecast for Silicon Valley, home to many of the largest and most influential technology companies, is brighter with a declining unemployment rate, down to 11.2% from 11.8% last year. With the omnipresence of startup companies, anecdotally it seems like motivated professionals with relevant degrees and experience eventually find jobs in technology or in related fields, even if one's job was temporary lost. On the education front, with all the budget cuts in California, K-16 teaching positions in public-run schools are difficult to come by, with public school teachers often receiving pink slips at the end of the school year hoping to get rehired by the summer's end. In private schools, teaching jobs are not quite as scarce. While many private school teachers are waiting a bit longer to retire and are staying in their current jobs longer, hesitant to make changes in these uncertain times, that is slowly changing. Moreover, when private schools do have teaching positions open, experienced and knowledgeable math, science and computer science educators are in high demand as there is still a dearth of such specialized teachers with relevant experience. Regardless of the employment outlook, San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley, is a vibrant and intellectually stimulating place to live. According to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, San Jose was ranked as the 3rd most educated city in the United States, with nearby San Francisco ranked as the second. The reality of this statistic quickly becomes evident as one begins spending any amount of time in by area, interacting with the residents.

ASK mentor Jennifer Gargano, Assistant Head of School, Academic Affairs at The Harker School in San Jose (2010)

Colorado

The Denver market is littered with small- to medium-sized businesses. Compensation is lagging because employers know that many people move here for lifestyle and would rather trade salary for the opportunity to enjoy all the outdoor activities the area offers — the general attitude is life before work (much different energy/tension feel from Chicago). Many of my friends are independent contractors (legal, marketing, advertising, creative) and move from one gig to another — there is a very entrepreneurial spirit here. I do see a lot of jobs posted related to finance and IT. In addition, I tend to see a lot for medical device companies posted in the Boulder area (which would make sense with the university being anchored there) and government clearance-required positions (as there is a large military installation in Colorado Springs — NORAD & air Force Academy) for companies contracted by the military.

ASK Mentor John Filben, founder of DOWN Customer Consulting (2010​​)

District of Columbia

ASK Mentor and Foreign Service Officer Eugenia Sidereas (BA Political Science, 1996) encourages DePaul undergrads and graduate students with an interest in international affairs to apply for internships at the U.S. State Department. Internships are available in Washington, D.C. and overseas at U.S. diplomatic missions. The deadline for spring semester internships is July 1, while the cutoff for summer internships is November 1. For more information, click here. The State Department offers the Foreign Service Officer written examination several times per year. For more information on the exam, and how to pursue a career as a U.S. diplomat click h​ere​.


 

There are a lot of positions open in Information Assurance. One can search for federal positions at www.usajobs.gov. This will include departments and agencies such as the State Department, Department of Homeland Defense, Missile Defense Agency and the Department of Defense. There are also many contractor IA jobs for military and government come from large firms such as CSC, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE, Northrup Grumman and Booze Allen Hamilton. These can be searched via Dice.com or monster.com. In order to work for the government either as a contractor or federal agent, you are required by DODI 8570.01-M to be certified. In general, the certification that employers want you to have for most IA positions is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) as it is comprehensive. The link to more information about the CISSP cert and other IA certifications can be found here.


ASK mentor Carla Kosciuszko, Information Assurance Officer (IAO) for Computer Sciences Corporation, works on military and government projects in Washington, DC (2010)

Georgia

Georgia and Atlanta are beginning to emerge from the deep recession that has plagued the nation and region for the past two years. Corporate relocation announcements have picked up, home sales are firming and several major companies have been able to tap the credit markets in recent weeks, allowing them to shore up the balance sheets and stabilize their operations. Most important of all, the state's core competitive advantages remain intact. Georgia and Atlanta offer a compelling value for businesses looking to operate in the heart of the nation's fastest growing region, with good schools and an unparalleled transportation network. Recent notable arrivals include NCR Corporation, which is relocating its corporate headquarters from Dayton, Ohio, to Duluth and First Data Corporation, which is relocating from Denver to the Sandy Springs area. Another notable addition is a new Kia plant in West Point. In addition to production workers, Kia is hiring salaried professionals in accounting, HR, IT, legal and administration.

ASK Mentor Bill Stankiewicz is the VP and General Manager of Shippers Warehouse of Georgia and also sits on the Board of Directors of Southeastern Warehouse Assoc. He can offer a wealth of information in the warehousing and logistics industry, as well as the Georgia business climate for any of your mentees interested in these areas. (2010)

New Mexico

Fortunately, New Mexico is not as heavily affected by the recession, primarily because our economy is based on a variety of industries and not just solely on those affected by the recession. Employers in our area include government, healthcare, education, agriculture, oil/gas, hospitality and space technology, all of which seem to be thriving. Large laboratories and leading space technology companies such as Boeing and Raytheon continue to hire local graduates. Another trend that we are seeing is the interest of the film industry in the area. Indiana Jones and both Transformers movies were filmed in New Mexico, which have brought business to our economy.

ASK Mentor Roseanne Lidle, Associate Director of Career Services at New Mexico State University. She has enjoyed the growing community of Las Cruces for over 20 years. (2009)

New York

What I love about NY: New York City is a high-energy, compact and market-leading city that many feel is the capital city of business, arts and entertainment. Not the leader in sports — we have the Mets. While a big city, it's often a small town when you segment out industry. Many leaders within a certain industry know "everyone." You could go to a different restaurant every night for seven years and not go to the same one twice. Brooklyn is the new Manhattan; Manhattan is the new Queens. The outer bouroughs are now cool.

Some challenges living in NY: There is a high cost to live here. Rent, taxes, cost of goods and services. Traffic is bad. I think other cities have it worse than we do (LA, Chicago, Washington for example).

Lessons learned in relocating: I have had to relocate to our Long Island office because still (as of May 15, 2013) there are several blocks in lower Manhattan that have been crushed by Hurricane Sandy. This has been both good and bad. Bad news is that I miss Manhattan; it kills a day for me to go into town for a lunch appointment, and I miss the buzz of the city. The good news is that not having to pay railroad and subway is like getting a raise. A 9-minute commute is better than a 90-minute (one-way) commute. You can stay up later and wake up later... and get more sleep.

Resources for relocating: If job seeking, Linkedin is the place to go. It's important to take advantage of networking opportunities in town. Get to know HR Recruiters and learn how to navigate towards them, and away from them, to reach decision makers and influencers. While social media is important, nothing beats old-school networking (face to face) and this is essential in fostering relationships that can help you advance toward your goals.

ASK Mentor Pat Tracey, SVP of Business Development, Computershare/Georgeson (2013)

New York City's employment landscape seems to have a generally upbeat tone, although the renewed sense of confidence historically experienced in post-recessionary years is noticeably subdued. More so than in many other cities, the hiring of new recruits to entry-level positions is concentrated around the May–June months due to prevalence of on-cycle hiring as the norm. That means that just by beginning your job/internship search early on in the school year, you can significantly improve your odds of landing the position you want. Living and working in New York City is an adventure. You will quickly realize that the overwhelming majority of people crowding the streets fall under the categories of "recently arrived" or "2-3 years in." For this reason, people are eagerly looking to create new friendships, share ideas and discover new experiences. The city fosters social interaction through its many restaurant, lounge and music venues, and there are many different areas that have their distinct histories and cultures, which will add to the diversity of your experience. The cons for living in New York City are the elevated cost of living and competition. Although there are more finance-oriented jobs in New York City, landing a position is not necessarily easier — competition cancels out this perceived advantage. Speaking from peripheral knowledge — the other big industries in this city (law, fashion, not-for-profit) share a similar dynamic.

ASK Mentor Jerry Del Real, Leveraged Finance Analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He moved to New York after his 2010 graduation. (2011)

North Carolina

"The Queen city — Charlotte — has been one of the largest cities in the south east and the 2nd largest banking center in the U.S. A city with about 60% of its population moved to it from somewhere has something unique for sure. Charlotte has a very affordable housing with a cost of living that's below the national average. That makes it a perfect place for families or young professionals willing to start a family. The job market across the country was impacted by the downturn and Charlotte is not an exception. The good news is that Charlotte still has plenty of areas for growth other than the financial sector. Just to name a few, health care service, sales and marketing are growing very fast. I never thought after graduation from DePaul CDM in November 2008 that I would get a job in Information Technology in Charlotte for a company that's headquartered in California. The city has plenty of things to offer. It has the city-style life plus the suburban-style life as well. There are lots of lakes and parks for outdoor activities. Also, the city is not too far from lots of beautiful beaches of the Carolinas.

ASK mentor Mostafa Radwan, Technical Support Engineer for Esri in Charlotte (2010)

For years, Charlotte has been the 2nd largest banking city in the U.S. The financial crisis has obviously made a big impact in our economy. Our city's new focus is in diversifying its businesses to include the energy market and renew the manufacturing industry to produce clean technology. Public and private organizations are collaborating to help make Charlotte an energy capital. The local and regional Chambers of Commerce, utility companies, small businesses and academic institutions such as the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, are all working together to create a sustaining solution. In addition to technology and engineering, I see an opportunity for sales and marketing professionals to contribute greatly to this industry. The green jobs will come in greater numbers only when energy businesses are able to effectively market their products and services to create revenue. We want to lessen our dependency on foreign oil and we believe that Charlotte could be a strong player in achieving this vision.

ASK Mentor Deon Bradley, National Director of Sales & Marketing for Save Energy North Carolina (2010)

Tennessee

Biomedical research, like any other scientific discipline, is experiencing the effects of the economy, but fortunately most PhD programs in biomedical science partially if not completely support the students in their programs with tuition, a research stipend and health care. Over the last six years, Vanderbilt's incoming class into the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) has continued to grow despite the increased difficulty on a global scale to acquire federal funding. Although challenging, receiving project specific funding as a predoctoral fellow is not uncommon, and our programs at Vanderbilt encourage students to apply to both federal institutions within the National Institutes of Health as well as the National Science Foundation or private foundations such as the American Heart Association. Earning a PhD is not the only path a student interested in science can take but I would encourage students to explore graduate education. Participation in summer research internships during undergrad provide the necessary experience for students applying to graduate programs. PhD holders in biomedical research aren't confined to the bench. Skills acquired during the graduate school process are applicable for a variety of career paths such as teaching in academia, law or higher-level positions within the pharmaceutical industry or government.

ASK Mentor Sarah Parker received a BS in Biological Sciences from DePaul and is currently a PhD student in Vanderbilt University located in Nashville, Tennessee. She works within the Immunology department in a lab focusing on cytokine gene regulation by conserved non-coding sequences within the DNA. (2011)

Texas

What I love about San Antonio: 1) No Chicago Winters! 2) No Commute — In Chicago I lived in Lincoln Park, but commuted to Oak Brook. Now my commute is under 10 minutes. It's amazing how much more free time I have each day. 3) Cost of living is at least 20% cheaper than Chicago.

Some challenges living in San Antonio: 1) Texas Summers — We average about 95-105 degrees from June-September each year. 2) San Antonio has very little nightlife and cabs are hard to come by. If you're young and single, go to Austin instead. 3) Very few direct flights anywhere from San Antonio. If you travel a lot for work, you'll have to deal with a lot of connecting flights and layovers.

Lessons learned in relocating: Research your movers and check out their BBB page. Our movers showed up 3 weeks late and broke a lot of our stuff.

ASK Mentor Bob Berchtold, Sr. Financial Analyst (Corporate FP&A), Clear Channel Media & Entertainment (2013)

Austin has managed to stay above the fray both on the job and real estate fronts. Ask CEOs, entrepreneurs, educators and researchers why the Austin region has stayed hot through more than two decades of business trends and you'll hear one common theme — workforce. It's all about people, highly skilled, innovative and energetic talent supplied from the local university and likeminded individuals willing to relocate to the area. Austin's biggest employers include the State of Texas, the University of Texas, Dell, IBM and Freescale Semiconductor. Other companies in Austin include Apple Computer, Vignette, AMD, Intel, Motive Inc, Cirrus Logic, Samsung, National Instruments, United Devices and Sun Microsystems. In fact, I did a query of marketing and advertising positions listed online for the city of Austin and found 93 positions ranging from internships at IBM, entry-level and experienced positions in the area. There's also a fantastic site from the Austin chamber of commerce which provides great information if you're considering relocating to the Austin area; be sure to check it out.

ASK Mentor Denise Nelson, Global Brand Strategist at Dell Inc. (2010)

The recession in Texas has lagged the overall U.S. economy. It is only recently that employers are downsizing. There is a seeming tightness in the employment market recently with pockets of hiring in technology and in engineering. Those that are recent graduates are having an easier time than middle-management. Raytheon, Nokia, Alcon Labs and Microsoft all continue to grow their headcount with specific niche skills. Additionally, stronger banks such as Wells Fargo continue to hire in the area. Raytheon is currently looking for Cyber Ninjas and Cyber Warriors to join its new Cybersecurity practice based in Melbourne, Florida and Baltimore, Maryland. Students will be able to contribute to securing the nation's information sharing architecture and engaging our adversaries in an offensive and a defense manner. This truly innovative culture is a perfect fit for CDM [Computing & Digital Media] graduates looking to utilize their software and network engineering skills in a fast-paced, challenging environment.

ASK Mentor Michael Crawford is Principal Financial Analyst at Raytheon, which has 80+ jobs that have cyber/security components. In addition to Melbourne (Florida) and Baltimore, there are also jobs in San Diego, Tucson, Dallas, Northern Virginia, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. (2010)

Wisconsin

I think the employment situation in Wisconsin has held up slightly better than the national average, but it also depends on what industry we're looking at. Similar to the rest of the country, manufacturing industry is hurting; companies like GM and Harley-Davidson are laying people off in the state. Where I live, in Madison, WI, it is better overall. Largely because the area's biggest employers are state government, University of Wisconsin and a few bio-tech/health care corporations. So, I think it depends on the industry, as well as job candidates' skill sets. People with strong skills in specific areas, especially computer science and engineering, seem to have an easier time finding employment. Considering that it's only two and a half hours away from Chicago, Madison is not a bad area for students to search for jobs.

ASK Mentor Fumin Yang, Creative Director at TCS Basys Controls in Madison, Wisconsin (2009)

Virginia

Northern Virginia/Metro DC continue to buck national unemployment trends. With seasonal adjusted unemployment at approximately 4.5%, this region of the country continues to hire extensively out of all service sectors; although, wage growth has stagnated in place of layoffs. With the close proximity to Washington, DC, the financial services, consulting, engineering and accounting firms all maintain major presences in the area. Continued hiring in DC for government employment should continue to provide contracts and revenue sources for services firms in the medium term. On a relative basis, the employment outlook appears positive for the region. Read more from the Northern Virginia Unemployment Trends: April, 2009.

ASK Mentor Tim Payne, Senior Associate at Capital One in McLean (2009)