MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - Eric Jobe graduated from West Virginia University in May with a degree in industrial engineering and a minor in business administration. A young man who knows how to manage his time efficiently, Jobe - the son of Cherokee Washington alumnus Mike Jobe - finished his academic career at WVU with a 3.48 GPA and was also a three-year starter on the offensive line for the Division 1-A Mountaineers. His father Mike says, "(Eric has) always had a plan of attack. Most people don't even think about that, but he's always been good about getting from A to B. And he never cheats to get there."
Eric's family lives in LaPlata, Maryland, and that's where he attended high school. His parents emphasized the importance of education from an early age, as Eric's mother Kay still teaches school, and his father earned a Master's Degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.
"(Eric) has very good math and science skills," says his proud dad. "I'd offer to help him, but he always seemed to pick everything up on his own. He is very focused. When Eric sets his mind to something, he figures out a way to get it done."
Point in case - Eric, who was a two-time/CoSIDA Academic all-district selection during his college career, entered WVU with nearly a year's worth of credits due to advance placement courses he took in high school. He then took a full year-round course-load in a difficult major. Needing 129 hours to graduate with a degree in industrial engineering, he graduated with 192.
Traveling with the football team, Eric missed a considerable amount of class, so he had to find time to teach himself the course material and then figure out if had to turn in work early, or if he could take a test late. Thanks to the excellent study habits he had developed growing up, he was able to make things work and then some.
Eric interviewed with General Electric during an on-campus career fair in October of 2010, and the company scheduled a more formal interview with him for early November. A conflict in scheduling with the football team prevented his traveling to GE headquarters in Connecticut, however, but the company came to him - sort of.
Some fortunate scheduling had WVU playing at UConn in late October, and GE took the opportunity to conduct Jobe's interview at the team hotel in Hartford on the day of the game, which was played in the evening. Jobe cleared it with his coaches, of course, and while his teammates were running through their final preparations for the game against the Huskies that night, Jobe donned a shirt and tie and went to his interview. He nailed it. A little over a month later, while Jobe and the Mountaineers were preparing for the Champs Sports Bowl, General Electric offered him a job in its prestigious Commercial Leadership Program, which hires only about twelve applicants each year.
The Commercial Leadership Program is an 18-month program, broken into three parts, with six months at each of three locations, where he will be performing a variety of assignments. There are a lot of different choices for the program, including a sales rotation, project management, marketing and channel management, which is where analysis is done on how GE products get to different distributors.
"I'm really excited to be starting with GE," said Jobe in May. "I'll be in Connecticut from July until January, and then I don't know where they'll send me. I'm ready, though. I haven't had a paying job in nine years, but being a student-athlete is a full-time job, with all the classes, workouts, games, watching film on your own, doing homework and other projects, it adds up. My time at WVU has prepared me for this."
Eric Jobe's future lies before him - almost like he engineered it that way.