Applying for jobs, is it really too late?
Apr 13, 2010 at 10:37 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

Whitebread

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I'm a senior studying Mechanical Engineering. I was, at one point, dead set upon applying to and attending grad school come September, but now I've changed my mind. I just spoke to my father about this not 30 minutes ago and he expressed serious concern that I'm far behind and may end up unemployed for many months, even years after graduation. I realize that I'm a bit behind, but should I also be concerned that I will not be able to find any job openings for employment, even if I won't be able to start until mid to late September?
What were/are your experiences?

fyi; I'm quite preoccupied with preliminary exams at the moment, but come next week, I will be free to begin searching in earnest.
 
Apr 13, 2010 at 11:18 PM Post #3 of 28

nealric

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You will likely be unemployed for a few months, but I doubt years as long as your academic credentials are good. You might miss out on the top employers, who likely stick to the academic calendar for hiring entry level employees.
 
Apr 13, 2010 at 11:22 PM Post #4 of 28

alphaphoenix

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I think it's safe to say that the rock bottom portion of the recession is over and slowly like molasses recovering. There is a possibility that you may be unemployed for months, but years unlikely. The key of landing a job in this economic or any one for that matter is one word - networking. Unless you're number one in your class or very talented in your field of study, or you know somebody who can get you in the door so to speak, it will be a little rough. Even if you are, jobs no longer come knocking on your door, you have to make the first step and continue to follow up on them. Network early, often, during, and after all your employment opportunities.

I'm a IT professional with 15 years experience and was lucky to ride through the worst time of the recession here in the Seattle area.

Good luck and keep your head up high no matter what. I suggest you open a Linkedin account and spread your word.
 
Apr 13, 2010 at 11:24 PM Post #5 of 28

appophylite

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Most seniors (at least the ones I knew and went to school with) would have started looking for a job their first semester as a senior (around October) so that they would be able to either A). have a job lined up before their senior year is over, or B). have another semester to try again and try to line something up after graduation. Now, if you are expecting to graduate within a month or so (or less depending on your school's schedule), I'm going to guess that you'll be looking at a couple of months of waiting on employers before you'd hear anything back (at least). Most of the jobs typically offered to fresh undergrads are offered during the middle part of both winter and fall semester so that the undergrads can be put to the job more or less right after their final semester ends. However, some companies are always looking for new hires. My company for one, hires a lot of field engineers world wide and always loses some, either because they hire on with another company for personal reasons or they decide they don't want to work the field anymore so they always need new people who are often brought in on recommendations.

My best advice would be, if you have an idea what companies you might be interested in, go to their website. All the big ones have online resume/application processes now with a database detailing all the jobs that are currently open. Apply for whatever holds your fancy and submit your resume. Then, look around locally and see if any local companies that are doing work that interests you are hiring and apply in person. If they aren't, at least they'll know your face, and have your resume if something comes up. Then, go through your network and your father's network to see if either of you knows or has access to someone who works at a company that might interest you. Get in touch with said person personally and talk to them. They might be able to refer you if a job opens up or keep you in the loop if nothing is available now but comes up later.

I hired on back in '07 and the economy and job market were in a slightly different state then then they are now, so I honestly wouldn't be able to tell you how long of a wait you'll have to endure before you get something, but best of luck on your search!
 
Apr 13, 2010 at 11:30 PM Post #6 of 28

AudioNovice

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You may have to start at the bottom like most of us do. Internships, apprenticeships, or even jobs unrelated to your degree. It's just how it goes. You always shoot for that ideal job, but at the same time, I wouldn't advise sitting around if you can't land an ME job, either. Take a few months, try to find one, and just see where you're at. If it looks like an ME job just isn't going to happen immediately, go pick up a part-time gig somewhere bagging groceries, if you have to. Keep up on your skills, and keep looking for that job opportunity.

Eventually, that dream job will open up. It just might not happen immediately. Took me about 8-10 years of crap jobs until I finally landed in my ideal situation, FYI. Some of these jobs overlapped: 5 years at a grocery store, 2 years working in my college computer lab (read: hardly any pay), 3-5 years as an intern/apprentice in my field, and then finally, engineer. Careers are built, not given. I can definitely vouch for that.

You may even want to begin looking now for a job, *and* go back and finish grad school at the same time. If you land the job, then you just gotta kick your butt for a year or two and knock it out. My wife did that... got her master's while holding down a full-time teaching job (and having a kid).
 
Apr 13, 2010 at 11:40 PM Post #7 of 28

Whitebread

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chesebert /img/forum/go_quote.gif
school? grades? experience? connection?


School: Cornell University
Grades: Don't know the exact number, but about a B- average. Not something I've proud of. I've had a difficult time here
Experience: Two summers internships at an engineering consulting firm that specializes in power. Six semesters of FSAE
Connections: A few back at the company I worked for, some via LinkedIn and a few through my fathers friends.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nealric /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You will likely be unemployed for a few months, but I doubt years as long as your academic credentials are good. You might miss out on the top employers, who likely stick to the academic calendar for hiring entry level employees.


Hmm, ok. Just something I'll have to deal with as I changed my mind late.

Quote:

Originally Posted by alphaphoenix /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think it's safe to say that the rock bottom portion of the recession is over and slowly like molasses recovering. There is a possibility that you may be unemployed for months, but years unlikely. The key of landing a job in this economic or any one for that matter is one word - networking. Unless you're number one in your class or very talented in your field of study, or you know somebody who can get you in the door so to speak, it will be a little rough. Even if you are, jobs no longer come knocking on your door, you have to make the first step and continue to follow up on them. Network early, often, during, and after all your employment opportunities.

I'm a IT professional with 15 years experience and was lucky to ride through the worst time of the recession here in the Seattle area.

Good luck and keep your head up high no matter what. I suggest you open a Linkedin account and spread your word.



Hmmm, I do have a linkedIn account, but I am unfamiliar with proper etiquette. Does one, effectively, use LinkedIn as a billboard advertisement for ones credentials? Can you network with people you do not know personally, without mutual acquaintances?

Quote:

Originally Posted by appophylite /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Most seniors (at least the ones I knew and went to school with) would have started looking for a job their first semester as a senior (around October) so that they would be able to either A). have a job lined up before their senior year is over, or B). have another semester to try again and try to line something up after graduation. Now, if you are expecting to graduate within a month or so (or less depending on your school's schedule), I'm going to guess that you'll be looking at a couple of months of waiting on employers before you'd hear anything back (at least). Most of the jobs typically offered to fresh undergrads are offered during the middle part of both winter and fall semester so that the undergrads can be put to the job more or less right after their final semester ends. However, some companies are always looking for new hires. My company for one, hires a lot of field engineers world wide and always loses some, either because they hire on with another company for personal reasons or they decide they don't want to work the field anymore so they always need new people who are often brought in on recommendations.

My best advice would be, if you have an idea what companies you might be interested in, go to their website. All the big ones have online resume/application processes now with a database detailing all the jobs that are currently open. Apply for whatever holds your fancy and submit your resume. Then, look around locally and see if any local companies that are doing work that interests you are hiring and apply in person. If they aren't, at least they'll know your face, and have your resume if something comes up. Then, go through your network and your father's network to see if either of you knows or has access to someone who works at a company that might interest you. Get in touch with said person personally and talk to them. They might be able to refer you if a job opens up or keep you in the loop if nothing is available now but comes up later.

I hired on back in '07 and the economy and job market were in a slightly different state then then they are now, so I honestly wouldn't be able to tell you how long of a wait you'll have to endure before you get something, but best of luck on your search!



Thank you. I will keep all of this advice in mind when I begin searching fully.
 
Apr 13, 2010 at 11:53 PM Post #8 of 28

acidbasement

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There are always jobs in your field if you're willing to travel, if you interview well, and if you have some good references. Don't give up.
 
Apr 13, 2010 at 11:59 PM Post #9 of 28

MomijiTMO

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Our school year runs with the calendar year but people graduating in November are already applying for jobs now [well graduate positions].

You've had a 'bad' time, sounds about the same as me. You know people are going to ask about it so you better come up with a story, whether it be true or not is pretty irrelevant.

We've all got exams. One of my friends had to fly to another city for her assessment and she had an exam 4 days after that. I'm sure those in the know will tell us to get use to it xD.
 
Apr 14, 2010 at 12:13 AM Post #10 of 28

smrtby123

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Whitebread /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm a senior studying Mechanical Engineering. I was, at one point, dead set upon applying to and attending grad school come September, but now I've changed my mind. I just spoke to my father about this not 30 minutes ago and he expressed serious concern that I'm far behind and may end up unemployed for many months, even years after graduation. I realize that I'm a bit behind, but should I also be concerned that I will not be able to find any job openings for employment, even if I won't be able to start until mid to late September?
What were/are your experiences?

fyi; I'm quite preoccupied with preliminary exams at the moment, but come next week, I will be free to begin searching in earnest.





I am a mech. eng. graduation this year too, but luckily I landed an internship that turned into a full time gig once I graduate (dear god please let my suffering end). Even if you have no job experience you aren't in an awful position, but you are an example to others that experience trumps all else in engineering; grades, etc.

Most of the people who are unemployed in engineering that I see are older guys, with 10-15 years experience in a specialize field. They were laid off from a senior position, and now it is tough to find a job that needs that much experience, in a field they know, and with an employer that wants to pay them what they are worth. As an entry level guy, they like you because you are cheap (relatively) and they can mold you anew.
 
Apr 14, 2010 at 12:25 AM Post #11 of 28

jinp6301

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wow, Cornell does a really bad job teaching its grads how to network. I'm at bing (biomed eng grad) and they pound in the idea of networking from day 1 of undergrad.

Also, we're looking to have a meet here in bing so you should come down
wink.gif
 
Apr 14, 2010 at 12:46 AM Post #12 of 28

Khanate

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Considering you would have had to accept grad school offers by April 15th I assume you were late on those applications too?

Anyhow, you will be unemployed for a few months, better get cracking on your CV, presentation letters, dust out your suit and start applying for jobs.
 
Apr 14, 2010 at 1:17 AM Post #14 of 28

Whitebread

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AudioNovice /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You may have to start at the bottom like most of us do. Internships, apprenticeships, or even jobs unrelated to your degree. It's just how it goes. You always shoot for that ideal job, but at the same time, I wouldn't advise sitting around if you can't land an ME job, either. Take a few months, try to find one, and just see where you're at. If it looks like an ME job just isn't going to happen immediately, go pick up a part-time gig somewhere bagging groceries, if you have to. Keep up on your skills, and keep looking for that job opportunity.

Eventually, that dream job will open up. It just might not happen immediately. Took me about 8-10 years of crap jobs until I finally landed in my ideal situation, FYI. Some of these jobs overlapped: 5 years at a grocery store, 2 years working in my college computer lab (read: hardly any pay), 3-5 years as an intern/apprentice in my field, and then finally, engineer. Careers are built, not given. I can definitely vouch for that.

You may even want to begin looking now for a job, *and* go back and finish grad school at the same time. If you land the job, then you just gotta kick your butt for a year or two and knock it out. My wife did that... got her master's while holding down a full-time teaching job (and having a kid).



May I first say that your wife has an incredible work ethic.

I have no problem holding an intermediate job while I search for something more ideal. I hope, though, that my experience and internships help me land something desirable in my field relatively soon.
 
Apr 14, 2010 at 1:18 AM Post #15 of 28

Whitebread

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Quote:

Originally Posted by marvin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Have you gone to your career center? If not, drop by.


I plan on doing so, but consulting fellow head-fiers will provide a more immediate (albeit less specific) response as I will not have time to pay them a visit until next week.
 

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