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How do you get an engineering job or opportunity before leaving college

I'm a Jr who's fascinated by any type of engineering especially civil engineering. I plan on going to college for 4 years at most but i don't want those 4 years to go to waste if I never pursue a career in this area. #career-choice #information-technology #engineering #architect #applied-mathematics #college #college-major #civil-engineer #architectural

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Subject: Career question for you

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Masy’s Answer

Hi Marco,
Some companies offer internships and it would be worthwhile to look around for those types of opportunities. I have handled some college interns before. It gave me the opportunity to mentor them, and for them to handle some real life problem solving cases that would eventually help them to adjust better once they start their professional career. It gives you a chance for exposure with the types of day-to-day situations you may encounter, as well as network with professionals in the company.

Another recommendation would be to join engineering organizations in your school that would allow you to be engaged with students having the same specific engineering interests that you do, and perhaps coach you as well on what they have found around the community. Your college/university will also probably have some lists of companies willing to take on interns for a short time, and hopefully you can find opportunities there as well.

All the best to you, and keep studying hard!
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Richard’s Answer

As Masy mentioned, look for internships. There are many and the pay is usually better than normal college jobs. They can not only help get your foot in the door for that company, but also give you better resume material for when you graduate.

Advice for getting an internship and your final job: start attending career fairs after completing your first year in college. It's unlikely you will get an internship but sometimes you might. More importantly you will get some practice for later.

Google common interview questions for the particular Engineering field you are studying to prepare for. Consider how your life experiences and your personal attributes will complement your success as an Engineer, and prepare 5-10 highlights (banner moments of success) to memorize. These are short 1-2 sentence descriptions of something you did well and are proud of. Then when they ask probing questions in the interview you can consider which of these highlights might be a good answer for them.

Finally, don't over sell your self, talk to the interviewer to understand what they are trying to learn with their question and get to the answer with less words. If you do all the talking then you won't do well. If you take 15 minutes to answer 1 question, most of it they won't care about and you won't do well. Make it a conversation, try to learn and understand their needs, and then show how you can provide what they need.

Best of luck!
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Elisa’s Answer

Hi there,
Most of my classmates and I worked at (PAID!) internships during our undergrad. This is a great way to learn on the job from real world situations and industry professionals that were once in the same place you are now. You'll be surprised where opportunities can come from so make sure to use whatever resources you have available to you. There are professional organizations for whichever type of engineering you are interested in and they tend to have scholarship and student development resources specifically dedicated to help students like YOU! Some of the organizations I am involved in that provide student opportunities include: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), etc... for whichever discipline or branch of engineering, there is likely an opportunity or resource that will suit you!
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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Marco E. Thanks so much for your question.

So there are a great number of ways to get a job opportunity in engineering before leaving college. On the short list, I would include getting summer internships, volunteering with corporate or government branches and searching through general job hunting locations, many of which exist in online spaces, including online job hunting tools that exist within colleges and universities.

I totally agree on a point that you raised in your question...makes no sense to spend four years on degree if you never pursue a career in that area. It may be helpful to do a bit more research into different engineering disciplines. Digging in and confirming what type of engineering is best suited for you in the long term (and knowing what type you definitely do not want) can be a hard but rewarding exercise. One's ability to get good job opportunities lies, in part, to ensuring that the candidate is going to take a job and build a career in areas that they enjoy. Some really successful engineers spend many many hours trying to solve a problem. They tend to put in that time because they are really interested in the task and are equally interested in solving the problem, oftentimes applying innovative strategies that no one has thought of before.

I encourage you to engage in the engineering field that is the best fit for you. Then be an awesome student :) I would have it on a good bet that with these two items under your belt, you will have no problem finding good job opportunities before leaving college.

Best of luck to you!
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Simeon’s Answer

I wouldn't be too worried about your job prospects going into engineering. There is a lot of demand for engineers in the market these days, but you can go to the department of labor's website (https://www.dol.gov/) to look up statistics on how many are hired per year. You could always develop a second skill, like coding, as insurance against not finding a job. Focus on lining up a good internship during college and networking to increase your chances of finding a job.
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Amy’s Answer

Marco,

Great Question! One way to get an engineering job opportunity before you leave college is to start by choosing a college that offers a co-op program as part of the engineering curriculum. A co-op program can give you the opportunity for hands-on work in engineering. Each co-op program is different, but you may be able to try out several different companies and/or types of engineering so you have a better idea of what you enjoy and what to do as a career. This also provides you real work experience and can make you a better candidate. Some companies use this as a way to look for their next hires. You get to know them, they get to see you in action, and the win-win is a job offer before you leave school. Some of these programs extend your college to 5 years, using the extra time for the co-op portion, but the benefits are; gaining real work experience, making some money (most co-ops are paid work) and graduating knowing you have a job.

My son is graduating with his chemical engineering degree in April, his program was 5 years, but he got the opportunity to co-op with 3 top companies, and has accepted a job that is waiting for him when he graduates.

Good luck to you!

Amy recommends the following next steps:

Explore engineering programs at colleges and find out if co-op is part of the program
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