While a student at OSU, what have you done so far to gain experience?
Over the past two years at Oregon State I have gained experience in several ways. Although I have not become involved in school clubs or activities, I have found ways of
my own to gain invaluable experience. One way I have done this is by running my own tutoring business and aiding students in the areas of my major. This helps me to stay fresh with basic concepts and helps my communication and organization skills. A second way I have gained experience is by volunteering my time. An example of this is by participating in a mission trip to Mexico. On this trip, with my church, we build houses for people in need from the ground up. We do everything from mixing the cement for the floor to framing walls and finally putting on a roof. Over the years it has shown me that time is often much more valuable than money. I have learned I need to budget my time well, not only to get all of my work done but to create time in my schedule to help others. A third way I have gained experience is by working. Over this last summer I worked for a general contractor which has given me experience not only as an engineer but as an employee. As an engineer, seeing the building process is invaluable because it helps me design better and more efficient products. Working has also given me experience as an employee and allowed me to see the many different hierarchies that businesses utilize. The more I work the more experience I gain with these different work structures so I know which one works best for me. These are just a few of the ways I have gained experience over the past few years as a student at Oregon State and though I am not involved with University clubs or activities I am very proactive about finding other ways to stay involved.
What are your career plans?
As a mechanical engineer my career plans involve internships, hard work and possibly more school. As an engineer at Oregon State I have had the opportunity to apply for the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP). MECOP allows engineers to participate in two separate six month paid internship experiences which helps them to gain industry experience and to connect with members of industry. As a result of a great deal of hard work and preparation I was accepted into this program. Over the next two years I will be involved with these internships. After I graduate I would like to work for an engineering firm and hopefully have a job specializing in fluid/thermal dynamics. With diligence and perseverance, I hope to make my way into management so that I can work with teams of engineers, oversee projects and work with administrative branches of the firm. In this pursuit, if it becomes advantageous to acquire my MBA, and if I have the time and the resources, I will. My career plans any further into the future are still forming and depend on what the next few years hold and what opportunities present themselves.
What advice do you have for others who are preparing for their job or internship search?
If I had to give a single piece of advice to anyone preparing for a job or internship search, I would say, “Prepare, prepare, prepare.” Without preparation it is almost impossible to succeed and I have found this true with job/internship searches. When I was preparing for my internship search I first went to career services and had them review my resume and give me hints for success. I then scheduled mock interviews and continued to do so until I felt comfortable answering all of the questions the counselors could find. I recommend rotating through as many of the counselors as possible because each one gives different, yet helpful, advice. Career Services can help with everything else in your search as well. Frequently, I would find myself at the end of a mock interview asking all sorts of questions about my search. The next biggest piece of preparation I had was researching the individual companies themselves. Whether it is for an internship or a job, I have found knowing the company you’re looking to be with imperative. In my opinion it is better to know too much than too little. That is my advice for anyone looking for an internship or a job, start preparing and do so early.
Did Career Services and/or anybody else assist you with your career development and preparing you for an internship or job? If so, how?
Career Services helped me immensely in preparing me for my MECOP Internship interview. I scheduled more than five mock interviews and would have done more if I had time. They helped answer all of my questions from general process to advice on particular courses of action. I would not have been as prepared as I was without the career services. I highly recommend them to anyone preparing for industry in any way.