My Tips for Getting Jobs – Colin Bond:
My first suggestion is to attend career fairs. By doing this I was able to get my first job interview with Raytheon, a defense company located in Los Angles, CA. At the career fair I was prepared with resumes and some background knowledge about each of the companies I wanted to talk to. This leads me to my second tip, be prepared. Having resumes on hand and knowing a little bit about the company goes a long way. Being able to ask company specific questions will alert them that you’ve done some research which shows interest. Company representatives will notice the extra effort you’ve put in which can leave them with a good impression and potentially score you an interview. For me that is exactly what happened, later that week I received an email asking if I would like to do an interview and that interview turned into a job offer. Without attending the career fair prepared there is a good chance I would have never been given the opportunity to interview with them and would have left me still searching for a job.
My experience with MECOP – Art Yakimov
MECOP is a popular internship program at OSU, PSU, and OIT. Those that make it through the program will complete two paid 6 month internships before they graduate. You apply and get interviewed during the 2nd half of your 2nd year.
During my interview I was mostly asked questions relating to some of the hobbies and extracurricular I listed on my application. Based on that interview process and things that I was told by interviewers, they are mostly looking for a passion for engineering and some base level of social and professional communication skills. So to practice for that interview I would try to remember any project that you have done that can be vaguely tied to engineering and think about some of the problem solving skills you used while working on that project. After making it through the selection process the next step is to take a 1 credit class in the fall where you listen to presentations by students about their internships and also lectures by different professionals on different professional/networking related topics.
MECOP will organize a networking night for you to get to know some of the company reps before the placement interview. During the placement interview companies asked me a high contrast of non-technical questions. After that interview you get placed into a internship at one of the participating companies for the spring-summer terms. My first internship was at Intel.
Aside from having a nice break from school I benefited from this internship in several important ways. First, I earned enough money to pay for the rest of my education (So I will graduate debt free!!!). Second, I gained valuable and relevant experience in the field that I can put on a resume and talk about at interviews or requiting events. I am constantly asked for details about this internship at networking events which is a nice contrast too having much less to talk about with requiters when I went to these same events previously. Third, my experience helped me decide what area of ECE I was interested in. There were several other benefits but these are the top three in my opinion.
This summer-fall I have another internship at Concept Systems. I am not sure exactly what I will be doing just yet but I am fairly confident that this will also be a positive experience for me. One thing to note is that because of the 2 internships I will be graduating a year later (so 5 years total). That is the only downside to being in MECOP that I can think of.