Reflections of a Badger: Larry Golding ’90, MS ’92

13 May

Larry _ Taylor Dyno photoLarry Golding ’90, MS ’92 shares his insight and experience at UW-Madison and how it helped him to create a successful career. Larry earned both his BS and MS in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison. He’s currently the engineering manager at Taylor Dynamometer, an engineering and manufacturing company based in Milwaukee, WI.

How did your time at UW-Madison prepare you for your professional career?

UW-Madison helped hone my time-management skills. Students are given a lot of work, and the professors expect you to get the work completed at the designated time. Therefore, you realize that you can’t procrastinate if you want to be successful. You quickly develop the skill to look at a project, gain an understanding of how long it will take to complete and then figure out how to get the work done over a set period of time.  This skill has really helped me in my profession because I have many projects that are completed over a long period of time. Knowing how to break them down and estimate the time necessary to complete them is critical to my success.

What were some of the lessons you learned while on campus that you’ve incorporated into your professional life?

UW-Madison did a great job of developing a foundation in the technical skills of engineering, such as being able to solve dynamic and structural problems. The course work is very broad and focused on teaching students the first principles of engineering. Once you gained a thorough understanding of these principles, you had the ability and confidence to apply that knowledge to more specialized cases with a little independent research. This has served me well throughout my career as a professional engineer, and I’m very proud of the technical aspects of engineering that I learned at UW-Madison.

Was there a class or professor that had a particular influence on you, and why?

My adviser in graduate school, Professor Gary Borman, was very influential. He taught me how to quickly analyze complex engineering projects by breaking them down into the simplest pieces.

While helping me with my research project for my graduate degree, Professor Borman would have me come up with a hypothesis for each problem in my research. Then he told me to gain an understanding of the basic principles involved with each problem. By doing this, we could quickly determine if our end goal was reasonable, rather than spending days running engineering calculations to come up with the same conclusion.

This is a skill that I use almost daily in my profession because I am constantly confronted with various engineering challenges. Having the ability to quickly analyze and assess problems helps me to be efficient with the various resources at Taylor Dynamometer.

Do your Badger connections continue to play a role in your daily life?

There are a few people that I run into occasionally. The most important Badger connection is my wife, who is a metallurgical engineer. We met while we were both studying engineering at UW-Madison.

Did you keep any of your textbooks?

I’ve kept almost all of my textbooks, which is something I’d encourage engineering students to do as well. Classroom textbooks are a wonderful resource for a professional engineer. I have more than a dozen textbooks from UW-Madison in my office at Taylor Dynamometer, and a lot more at home. I use one of these textbooks almost every week, either to look up a problem or to share with one of the engineers on my team.

What is your favorite memory of being on campus?

Spending my summers at the Terrace and sailing on Lake Mendota. Madison has a great campus atmosphere, which is one of the aspects that attracted me to the school. There are so many things to do outdoors at UW-Madison; it’s a beautiful campus and a great city.

What advice would you have for engineering students wanting to get into your industry?

Get some professional experience while you are in college. If you can get an internship or co-op with a company, that’s great. If you can’t get that, try to work with a professor in a lab. This gives you the opportunity to solve problems that are more abstract than those you get in a classroom.

As a student, I participated in UW-Madison’s co-op program and spent four semesters working for Caterpillar. This was a great experience because it enabled me to take what I learned in the classroom and see what applied to real-world situations. This experience really strengthened my understanding of the technical information I was learning in the classroom. The co-op added a year on to my education, but it was well worth it.

At Taylor Dynamometer, we offer engineering students internships, which give them the opportunity to work with professional engineers while they further their education. If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more, you can visit our website at

Do you or someone you know want to submit a Guest Blog Spot on the Badger Career Network blog? Contact Gina Jenkins at for more information.


Job Postings on Twitter

1 Mar

Recently, I presented at the Careers Conference in Madison on the effectiveness of using social media to recruit employees. As I was updating my research for the conference, I started wondering how long the life of a tweet is. Once out there, how long does it last in the Twitter-verse to be an effective way to recruit? And how does Twitter compare with other social media and online recruiting sources?

I stumbled upon the following article that argues a tweet has a 48-hour lifespan — meaning that within that time frame, almost 93% of any activity will occur.

If we use this theory when speaking with recruiters, the actual time you should spend on any given job posting through Twitter is two days. Push it and on to the next. This also is a cautionary tale about social media — if you don’t refresh your content at least every other day your relevancy and user activity will start decreasing.

Using this new information, I’ve started building my recommendations for recruiting on Twitter:

  1. Build a foundation. Without interesting content, you won’t have followers to see your job postings. So focus on developing creative and forward-thinking content to get people intrigued with your company. Once that happens, you can lure them to apply.
  2. Since you only have two days with any given job posting, come up with an interesting headline to increase retweets. The more conversation it builds the longer the tweet-life lasts.
  3. Don’t solely rely on Twitter. Job posting boards on LinkedIn and even Facebook have a longer shelf life than a tweet. Supplement the longer-timed postings with tweets linked back to your company’s career page.

Some star recruiting Twitter handles include:





Happy tweeting!

Badgers offering internships here and abroad

7 Feb

Great article featuring alumni creating opportunities for promising students!

Check it out:

New Year, New Opportunities

7 Jan

With each New Year come resolutions — both from job seekers and job providers. As recruiters return from vacations and the holidays, recruiting in most industries spike. According to a recent article, “the big months for hiring are January and February, and late September and October … job seekers who make contact at the start of these cycles have the best chance of being hired.” (View the full article here:

This means you’ve got a great opportunity to kick-start your job search at the beginning of 2013. But first, you need to:

  1. Evaluate your current situation: Are you fulfilled in your career? Might there be other jobs out there that could complement your lifestyle better?
  2. Start talking to others: What are your counterparts doing? What trends are you seeing that you can take advantage of? Building your network can elicit more opportunities.
  3. Search. Research. Search: When was the last time you conducted a job search? A lot may have changed since then. Doing research online and searching for available jobs will heighten your awareness and educate you on your options.
  4. Update your resume: This step is for everyone. If it’s been more than three months since you’ve updated your resume, 2013 is the year to do it! Going through the updating exercise in and of itself can clue you in on your current situation and what you need to do to take that next step The more you learn about yourself the better positioned you’ll be to advance.

For more alumni networking opportunities, visit

Happy Homecoming!

25 Oct

It’s Homecoming week, which means the office is bustling and badgers are everywhere around town. Career Services is takin’ a break to say “Beat Michigan State!”


Benefit your career by joining WAA

6 Aug

Benefit your career by joining WAA

I recently wrote a guest blog post on the UW College of Letters and Science Career Services blog. Take look at the career advantages of joining the Wisconsin Alumni Association!


Staying energized in the summer

5 Jul

It’s more challenging to stay energized at work in the summer — especially during those days when you don’t need a jacket, it’s sunny and there are boats out on the lake. Throw in seeing a kid eating ice cream, and all I want to do is go join him in some cookie dough.Image

So how do you find motivation when all you want to do is go outside and play? The easy answer is to create small changes at work that revitalize your daily routine.

  1. Develop new goals. If you’ve been riding the same old wave day after day, think about what you can do for yourself professionally to reach for something new. Is there a certification you’ve always wanted? Is there a new skill that you see helping you in your work?
  2. Volunteer for a committee. From the annual holiday party to planning basic policies, your employer might have opportunities for you to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.
  3. Switch up your daily task schedule. If you normally do something every morning, swap it with something you typically do in the afternoon.
  4. Clean your desk. A clean desk means fewer distractions, allowing you to focus.
  5. Take a random vacation day. If you have some time to spare, take a Tuesday or Wednesday off. It may just be the re-energizing you need.