Since graduating in May 2012 with a degree in chemistry, Engel has worked at several part-time jobs, including substitute teaching, running an a cappella workshop at an elementary school in Arlington, Mass., and teaching music in Nicaragua, but hasn’t had much luck landing a full-time position. Influenced by Binyomin Abrams, a College of Arts & Sciences senior lecturer in chemistry, his long-term goal is to teach high school chemistry.
Currently in the process of applying to graduate schools, Engel estimates he’s applied for dozens of positions across the country in a variety of fields—chemistry, computer science (his minor at BU), music. “It’s been really frustrating, receiving rejections from some places or having my applications ignored,” he says.
Stewart told Engel he had studied chemistry himself during his first two years of college before switching to psychology. “He said he changed because in chemistry they want the right answer, but in psychology they just want an answer,” Engel says. “Stewart then asked me why I haven’t found a job teaching chemistry yet, saying he was sure there were people looking for a young teacher who’s passionate. Normally his responses to these questions are really short, but we had a dialogue going.”
Soon after the show’s taping got under way, Stewart made a plea on his behalf in front of millions of viewers, catching Engel by surprise.
“If your school is currently looking for a chemistry teacher, I want you to call us,” Stewart said to the camera, as he opened Monday night’s show. “I got a guy over here, Boston University, seems smart—could have shaved. He’s a chemistry major, he’s looking for a job teaching chemistry…so if you need a chemistry teacher, contact us, and I will finally get this [expletive] kid out of his parents’ house. That’s what I’m going to do.”You can watch the first segment here (after the ad, it's basically less than a minute into the show.) Best of luck to Mr. Engel -- and, no, you're not alone by any means. Best wishes to you, and to all of us.