Connecticut’s thriving manufacturing industry offers countless opportunities to students, university administrator says

December 04, 2023

Headshot photo of John Bau wearing a black blazer against a gray backround.

Despite being one of the smallest states geographically, Connecticut is one of the most powerful when it comes to manufacturing. 

Quinnipiac’s Director of Career Development John Bau helps students land jobs in this growing and evolving field.  

“As a college career director, I’m always focused on workforce development,” said Bau in a press release encouraging industry professionals to become manufacturing ambassadors. 

“In my ‘day job’ I work to connect my computing and engineering students with jobs and internships in industry, but I’ve long been an advocate for manufacturing careers in my community, too,” said Bau. 

“The Northeast – and Connecticut, in particular – is the birthplace of manufacturing in the US,” said Bau. "You’ve heard of Yankee ingenuity – that’s us! From the introduction of mass-produced interchangeable parts (Colt’s Manufacturing Company in Hartford) to the production of more efficient airliner engines (Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford) or AEDs for public safety (Defibtech in Guilford), Connecticut manufacturing is one of the most important industries in the country.” 

Quinnipiac has long been a leader in creating manufacturing opportunities for students and helping them land roles. 

“To work in these industries, you just need to be curious and want to make something – have a career focused on real, tangible results,” Bau said. 

When it comes to applying to jobs, Bau encourages students to realize that it’s not a one-click process. Students need to be prepared to put in the work, starting with making connections.  

His biggest piece of advice is to follow companies on LinkedIn and Handshake. 

“Our digital world has fooled us into thinking that everything in life is just a few clicks away.  It started with online shopping for books and DVDs via Amazon in the 1990’s, and it’s expanded to all parts of our lives – rideshares, food and grocery deliveries, you name it!  Even applying to 20 colleges at once via the common app can be done from a phone,” said Bau. 

Bau also advises students to follow the state association Manufacture CT and the Chief Manufacturing Officer of Connecticut, the first ever in the country, Paul Lavoie. 

“Getting a job or internship is an inherently human endeavor. You must interact with real humans – get a recruiter to take notice of your resume, interview with the hiring managers – to build your career,” said Bau. “It can be messy, inefficient, and involves both emailing and talking to strangers – yikes! But it’s not really all that hard, it’s just unfamiliar. And it’s a process, not a transaction.” 

Despite the job search being an unfamiliar process for most new students, Bau is there to guide them to success. He engrains the truth that it is not an easy process and takes effort. 

“Satisfaction will certainly take more than three business days,” he said. 
Although the work needs to be put in, Quinnipiac’s industrial engineering and mechanical engineering majors full of opportunities to learn about manufacturing and job opportunities, but the university provides opportunities for students to get involved in the manufacturing sector. 

“Manufacturing doesn’t just encompass engineering,” Bau said. “Manufacturers need accounting, finance, communications, marketing, economics, and other majors to work in all aspects of the industry.” 

Bau realizes the unique advantage that Quinnipiac has over other universities with our location and opportunities for students. 

“The future is made here in Connecticut,” he said. 

Many iconic brands and products are manufactured within a short drive of campus. 

“We make big things like submarines and small things like microchips – and everything in between,” said Bau. “I use Schick brand shaving products – because they’re made in Milford.  I buy Bigelow Tea and Blue Buffalo dog food, because they’re made here. So is Pepperidge Farm stuffing. Stanley Black & Decker tape measures are still made in New Britian, and they’re all I would ever even think of buying,”  

Students who are interested in manufacturing are invited to attend the CT MET Fair on Thursday, April 11

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