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.
Tips for getting through Senior Design – Nicholas Johansen
Senior design can be really tough because of all it demands of you. Here are some tips to get through it and not be as stressed.
Whoever is making a PCB make sure that they bread board it out of they can first. A lot of people make the circuit on something like Kicad or Eagle first and don’t test it. If you test it with parts first it will be a lot easier to find problems so that you don’t waste money on multiple PCBs. Make sure to also order everything early enough so that you can for sure order another PCB. There are many people who are waiting for a PCB and they will get it a day or two before checkoff and that is going to be extremely stressful for not only you, but the entire team.
Try when you finish small parts of blocks to connect them to your teams blocks if they do. This will allow you to find out if there is a problem when connecting multiple blocks together. This will save you a lot of time during integration testing. One other thing is if you have an additional team such as a CS team, make sure they are completely aware with everything that they have to do. I say this, but it has definitely come into play in my project.
The biggest advice I can give you is to start early, and make sure to talk to the TAs and Don if you have any problems. They can help sort out problems or push you in the right direction if you’re lost.
Thinking on Your Feet – Lucas Hanssen
As an undergraduate electrical and computer engineering student, you will run into series of complicated problems that require multiple steps to fix or a very strange fix. Many people become discouraged when confronted with a problem they can’t easily solve but as an engineer that will be your daily life. To get you started on that here are some helpful tips to problem solving and brainstorming.
Brainstorming is mostly blocked by the thinking that your ideas are bad or not practical to the task. However, the first idea is always a good stepping stone to get to the better idea. In addition, the more people thinking up ideas the more you will have. What I’m trying to say is entertain any idea no matter how absurd and do it in groups. Typically, being able to understand why an idea is bad will lead to thinking about how to make it more practical. If brainstorming needs to be more directed than that visual remind yourself the expectations that will need to be satisfied. Somewhere in the room to constantly remind yourself what is needed.
Problem solving is a bit more in depth than initial brainstorming although it does take part. The first part of problem solving is identifying the problem, this sounds simple but can take a long time and if not identified even longer. Where is the problem located? Is it isolated or are multiple things failing? How frequently does the problem occur? Typically project based problems can be solved by answering those questions. For more abstract problems its about breaking it down to its simplest steps. The second part of this is solving the problem, in this we typically use Occam’s razor, the simplest solution is the best solution. However, some problems can only be solved by either asking for help or referencing similar solutions. If you are currently in university there are other students who will either have solved this problem or give insight that you are missing. In addition, looking up answers online of similar problems can help immensely.
That’s all there is to it. Problem Solving and Brainstorming is all about getting into the right frame of mind. Identifying needs and minimizing problems down so that they can be solved.
An Automating Lifestyle – Lucas Hanssen
One of the best opportunity to make your life more efficient is the implementation of systems that do the work for you. This frees up time that you would be doing for repetitious task to spend on something else. This also gives you valuable experience that you can relate to recruiters and hiring staff, since most engineering positions are about efficiency. Here are some of the ways you can make this possible.
Investing time into learning a scripting language can help with this immensely. Scripting languages are programs that do not need a compiler to run. The best example of this would be Python. Although this trick sounds like a time investment the more practice you have the better you will get, and the faster you can code.
If you do the same tasks everyday in real life and you start having free time. Try setting up some embedded systems to do the tasks for you. For instance, when putting away laundry you typically have to fold each individual item, for me this task takes about a half and hour. However, if you make a robot that can fold it for you this will take significantly less time, especially if you still fold while it is, i.e. pipe lining.
There are only a certain amount of hours in a day, and sometimes these task get in our way. If you want to make the most of your time consider this concept.
Tips for Sticking Out at a Career Fair – Justin Sharpe
When I was a Sophomore I went to the career fair on campus in the hope of finding an internship for the upcoming summer. To prepare for this, I looked online to see what companies would be there. I looked at what companies I was interested in and made custom resumes for each company with the objective being “To obtain an internship at (company name) for the summer of (Current year)”. I went, handed a few out, talked to the representatives of the specific companies, and since I did some research on them, I was able to ask good questions. I then got an email from a branch manager from one of the companies and ended up getting an internship from them. Once I was there I asked what it was that led them to hire me since I was a sophomore without much knowledge on electrical engineering at that point. He said that the biggest thing that stuck out was that I simply put in the effort to look at what companies were going to be there and make resumes specific for each one that interested me. He also said he liked that even though I was applying for an engineering internship I had non-engineering projects/activities on my resume. It is important to show employers that you are well rounded by putting in things that show your ability to communicate and work with others in ways that may not involve school or engineering.
Building a Good Resume – Caden Johnsen
As a freshman, I thought I knew how to display my resume to get me a job. After all, I had worked several jobs in high school and thought these were no different than the engineering ones. I soon realized that engineering companies work very differently than the small scale jobs I worked as a minor.
I listened to all of my advisors and went to every career fair I could, attended resume workshops, and even asked industry professionals about how to find a job but to no avail. After every opportunity I would change my resume by shuffling sections around and rewriting everything. Throughout all these changes I would always leave my Education section at the top, my work experience at the bottom, and my filler sections in the middle: not thinking much of them.
It wasn’t until my Senior year when it started to click. Companies know what school you go to and why you are talking to them but what they don’t know about you is you. A resume is used to show off all of the accomplishments as quickly as possible. The most important resume sections are not education and work history like I used to think but actually your technical skills and projects. This way companies see what you know how to use and what project you have completed whether in class or in your free time. After adding these sections and switching education and work experience I got more interviews than any of the other times I went to the career fair and landed myself an internship.
Employers want to see you stand out whether that is with a high GPA or extracurriculars. They want you to show them that you enjoy the work that you do and can do it well. This is what needs to be put on your resume in order to find a job and hopefully a new career.