Engineering management alumna lands position at Aqua Pennsylvania

Nuhamin standing by Aqua sign
Credit: Nuhamin Getachew Gebremariam

MALVERN, Pa. — Nuhamin Getachew Gebremariam, a native of Ethiopia, was looking into graduate options in Europe when an uncle based in the U.S. sent her information about Penn State. Her search for engineering management programs ultimately landed her at the Penn State Great Valley campus — the only U.S. academic institution she applied to.

"It is one of the best-rated schools for my chosen degree program,” she said.

Gebremariam graduated in December with a master of engineering management degree, and shortly thereafter, landed a job at Aqua Pennsylvania as a project engineer in the new business department. She completed an internship there last summer and said she was hoping to return.

“The internship was my first glimpse into the corporate world in the U.S., and it was such a pleasant experience," Gebremariam said. "I enjoyed going there every day, learning new things about the utility industry and interacting with the people I worked with. I was also able to put my skills to practical use. So, when I was approached with the opportunity for a full-time position, I was very excited. My new role is well aligned with my career aspirations, and I look forward to bringing my skillset to the utility industry and continuing to learn every day.”

She credited Penn State Great Valley’s Office of Career Services and alumnus Bill Teodecki for helping prepare her to land her internship and full-time positions at Aqua.

“I utilized the resources available through career services at various stages," Gebremariam said. "I visited [Karen Carli] several times while I was a student at Great Valley. She helped me elevate my resume, learn the importance of networking, apply to jobs meaningfully, keep track of and manage my applications, and improve my interview skills. I’ve gained so much from her personally, and I am very grateful for her support and guidance. I am also very grateful for Bill who paved the way for my internship at Aqua — which eventually led to a full-time position.”

Gebremariam also participated in career service’s job search team, where students nearing the end of their program come together in a group led by Carli once a week to discuss strategies, ask questions, share tips, etc.

“We could keep each other accountable in terms of how many positions we applied to, how much we networked and were actively looking for opportunities," Gebremariam said. "Job searching can get pushed to the back burner when you have projects and exams to worry about — so the team meetings helped us stay on track.”

Gebremariam said she enjoyed her time at Penn State Great Valley — and that it was a good fit for her.

“It is a unique campus that is geared towards professional studies and hence, not your typical university experience," Gebremariam said. "But that also means a lot of resources, be it academic or institutional, are catered to you. The attention and level of engagement you feel from staff to lecturers is personal and makes students’ experiences a priority.”

She said she would recommend Great Valley to other students and encourages them to first fine tune their needs and goals and talk to current or former students who can help them understand what it’s like on a day-to-day basis.

“There are a wide range of resources readily available to help you succeed including great academic programs, career services, networking opportunities — and the treatment is more personal and intimate," Gebremariam said. "If that is what you are looking for, then Penn State Great Valley is a great place for you.”

Gebremariam called her journey “life changing."

"I am grateful for my uncle who encouraged me to follow this path, for my incredibly supportive mom, brother and the rest of my amazing family and for every opportunity and support I received from Penn State Great Valley, including my scholarship" Gebremariam said. "I am also grateful to the management team at Aqua for giving me not one but two incredible opportunities to be a part of their company.”