OK, Engineers – It’s Crunch Time

OK, engineers – it’s crunch time.

The end of the semester is rapidly approaching.  Finals, projects, papers, and – for many – the realization that they’re not yet set on what happens next.

While not optimal, it’s certainly not out of the ordinary for job and internship seekers to still be, well, seeking at this time of year.  Panicking will get you nowhere, so you’ve got to have a plan.  Here are some steps to get you moving in the right direction:

1.    Resume
This is a must-have.  If you haven’t already done so, visit the Center for Career Development between 10AM and 4:40 PM for a resume critique to make sure you’re presenting yourself as best you can.  Even if you don’t have any internship experience, you do have engineering lab/project experience, and can put that on your resume to highlight the strengths you have to offer employers.  Check the second page of this example on the CCD website:   http://cdn.uconnectlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2015/08/Engineering-Resumes.pdf
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2.    HuskyCareerLink
I am AMAZED at how many students haven’t ever taken advantage of the wealth of opportunities in HuskyCareerLink (www.huskycareerlink.uconn.edu).  I mean, it’s an entire database of jobs and internships from companies ASKING UCONN STUDNENTS to apply.  Sorry for yelling there, but really.  Run a search for “engineering” in HuskyCareerLink right this minute and you’ll see something like 100 internships and 300 full time jobs posted.
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3.    indeed.com
Yes, indeed.com.  Yes, it’s a bit impersonal, but I just ran a quick search for “engineering internship” in Connecticut and found more than 120 postings.  Even a more specific search such as “entry level civil engineer” picked up 13 hits in Connecticut at the time I’m writing this.
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4.    Networking
Job and internship searches don’t work the way most students think they should.  More often than not, simply submitting an online application alone won’t get you anywhere.  You’ve got to work to make sure a human being inside your target company actually looks at your resume…and that takes person-to-person networking.  Talk to you friends, your family, and your faculty.  Does anyone know someone at one of your target companies?  Have you tired LinkedIn?  You can identify UConn Engineering alumni at your target employers and reach out to them for a little bit of advice or assistance in your search:  https://www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni?companyCount=3&id=18031&functionCount=3&unadopted=false&trk=edu-cp-com-CC-title
There’s a wealth of advice on the CCD site already on how to leverage LinkedIn in your search, so take a moment to review recent blog posts on the topic: http://career.uconn.edu/?s=linkedin

Engineering is, at its core, problem solving.  Apply basic engineering principals to your search.  Make a plan.  Work on it regularly.  Don’t try to get it all done in a 5-hour cram session on a Sunday night.  Devote a little time every day to your search – even just 30 minutes a day with the resources above can get you moving in the right direction.  Now, go get ‘em…it’s crunch time.

images from google images

By John Bau
John Bau Career Consultant, School of Engineering John Bau