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Blackboard Job Posting Leads to Job with EPA Contractor

Undergrad Kingsley Bonsu now works part time as a chemist with a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Date: 2/15/2012
By: Tom Robinette Photos By: Tom Robinette

Kingsley Bonsu has a message for all his fellow students: Don’t ignore the job postings on Blackboard. You just might end up with a job like his – working with the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Students should take job postings on Blackboard very seriously,” Bonsu said.

Blackboard, UC's interactive learning management system, reaches more than 20,000 students and supports more than 1,500 courses per quarter. It can be used to post course documents, discussion boards and grades; share extra material and job postings; give online exams; and more.

Bonsu, a biology major and native of Ghana, knew his advisors would often post information on Blackboard about professional job openings that might be of interest to students such as him. Late last year, he saw a job posting for Pegasus Technical Services, a contractor for the EPA and a research partner with the University of Cincinnati. The environmental services provider collaborates with science and engineering clients around the world to develop and test processes designed to protect human health and the environment.
Undergraduate student Kingsley Bonsu applied for a job he found on Blackboard and was employed within the same week.

When Bonsu noticed the job posting was still on Blackboard last month, he decided to apply. Things moved swiftly from there. He emailed his resume to Pegasus, was interviewed and offered the job the next day, and started work that week. He’s now working part time as a T1 chemist where he analyzes the levels of potentially harmful chemicals such as sulfate and bromide in solid waste samples gathered from landfills, construction sites and other areas where humans might come in contact with these toxins. The data Pegasus gathers helps the EPA determine whether further investigation or potential site closure is needed.

In just a few weeks on the job, Bonsu has seen how the skills he’s learned working at Pegasus have translated well to his chemistry lab assignments in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences. Techniques he’s honed at Pegasus have already helped him perform experiments such as titration and dilution, and graduate-level experiments involving chemical oxygen demand, total organic carbon, ion chromatography and gas chromatography. When he finishes his studies at UC, he hopes to get into academic medical research. For now, he’s thankful for the opportunities the university has provided him in and out of the classroom.

 “The university and my professors are always stepping up and helping students,” Bonsu said. “They definitely put students’ priorities first.”

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