Career advice from an alumnus

Photo courtesy of Aaron Traywick

For Aaron Traywick, the road to graduating from Tech’s sister campus in Savannah with a B.S. in CE was full of twists and turns. And his road to working for Google? That was another winding journey.

Traywick’s atypical college experience began with him pursuing a BME degree at Mercer University in the hopes of becoming a doctor. However, after a few technical introductory courses, Traywick quickly found that he was more inclined toward the business side of engineering and decided it was time to make a change. Seeking a balance between business and engineering, Traywick decided to instead pursue a degree in IE.

Due to personal circumstances, Traywick was not able to complete his undergraduate degree with the rest of his peers. He was, however, able to gain industry experience from one rotation as an industrial engineering intern at Gulfstream Aerospace. 

Despite this halt in his academic studies, Traywick never lost sight of his educational dreams and goals. After a five year gap, Traywick was ardent to resume his undergraduate career. 

Once he completed his transfer to Tech’s Savannah Campus, Traywick had originally planned to pursue IE. Upon discovering that a majority of classes were conducted online through a web camera, but that other majors like Civil Engineering had full-time faculty on campus, Traywick switched to the CE program. 

“I wanted a more intimate learning environment where the professors were more available and there was more hands-on experience,” Traywick explained.

Despite graduating with a B.S. in CE, Traywick’s zeal for industrial engineering never left him. Nevertheless, his formal background in a different field of engineering added an additional layer of friction during his job search. While searching for a job at a university career fair, Traywick was rejected from the same company he had earlier interned with as an IE major.

“The recruiter at the booth told me that even with previous internship experience in the field, it wasn’t enough for a full-time offer since I didn’t have the corresponding degree,” Traywick explained.

Fortunately for Traywick, J.C. Bamford Excavators Ltd (JCB) saw potential in him.

“Finding the right first job is difficult,” Traywick admitted. “So try not to get discouraged especially if you are in a non-traditional situation, just as I was.”

During his ten years with JCB, Traywick worked his way up from a lower level manufacturing engineer to an operations manager. As a higherlevel manager, Traywick had responsibilities such as process improvement, developing bills of material structure, setting up production lines, tooling and fixturing. 

This broad range of tasks allowed him to expand his knowledge base and expertise and would eventually assist him in his more demanding roles at the bigger corporations he would later join — specifically Google where he currently works. At Google, Traywick is able to apply the knowledge and skills he gained to launch proprietary products and facilitate team building.