The Search That Led to Cedarville

by Hohna Hartley

As a high school student, Chris Byus ’08 knew he wanted a college that would support his Christian faith and provide him with an excellent engineering education. So, he typed “Christian school” and “engineering” into Google. The results took him to schools across the country, but after visiting Cedarville he was convinced it was the place for him — a university that was spiritually encouraging and uncompromising in its standards for a quality engineering program. And though he seemingly landed at Cedarville by the luck of the “search” results, it turns out that Byus would one day have a role to play in leading others to Cedarville as well.

At Cedarville, Byus tackled his tough engineering courses and became a member of the Formula SAE program, in which students design and build their own race cars. “It was a really good program,” he says, “and I gained a lot of engine experience. I was able to spend a lot of time doing engine testing and tuning.”

Byus also took advantage of opportunities outside the school. With his eye on an internship at The Boeing Company in his hometown of St. Louis, he visited the career services office at the University. After working through several revisions of his resume with Jeff Reep, assistant director of the office, Byus finally had a finished product he could confidently present to Boeing.

As a result, Byus landed an internship at Boeing for not only one summer but two. During his internship, he worked at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, where he took part in the F/A-18 and the F15 fighter jet programs.

In order to secure an internship for two summers during college, Byus had to start his resume development and search for professional opportunities as a sophomore at Cedarville. Lew Gibbs, director of career services, says that’s exactly what he and his team want to see.

“We start from day one,” says Gibbs, explaining that Cedarville students are encouraged early on to take advantage of career services. “First-year students are instructed to take a Career Direct assessment by their second or third day on campus.” Career Direct is a comprehensive tool that helps students identify their strengths, values and personality type, so that career services staff and college advisors can guide students down a career path that will be satisfying and purpose-filled.

The combination of extensive career services and an excellent education equips students like Chris Byus to make an impression on their employers. After graduation, Byus took a job as a mechanical development engineer with Cummins, a major corporation in Columbus, Indiana, that designs, manufactures and distributes engines.

With barely a few months tenure at Cummins, Byus found himself pitching a formal proposal to a leadership team about pursuing more engineering students at Cedarville University. With the leadership team’s approval, Byus and four other company representatives attended Cummins’ first Career Link Day at Cedarville and gathered resumes from interested students.

Recently, Byus and his team made another trip to Cedarville to complete interviews with 12 students whose resumes impressed Cummins management. It seems that in the near future there will be more Cedarville alum joining forces with the engineering minds at Cummins — thanks to Byus, the “random” search that led him to Cedarville, and the success he’s found as a result.