Summer Engineering Jobs??

Thread Starter

scubasteve_911

Joined Dec 27, 2007
1,203
Hello Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone had advice where a good place would be to apply for summer engineering jobs.

It seems that most opportunities that I am exposed to are related to power distribution, which couldn't be further from what I want to do. I really enjoy programming, circuit design, and PCB layout. These types of jobs seem quite rare though :(

The thing is, I would work for minimum wage since I really enjoy it and I just want a bit of experience. It seems a bit unprofessional to solicit this though..

Any ideas???

Steve
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
13,972
The job and the process of obtaining and performing the job are the thing. Try it you might like it and you'll be head and shoulders above your peers.
 

hgmjr

Joined Jan 28, 2005
9,029
Establishing contacts with individuals who know individuals commonly referred to as "networking" can be a successful method.

What I think you are looking for is what I normally think of as an "internship". The key is you have to be proactive and target the industries that perform the type of work you are interested in doing. The companies are not going to come to you.

Don't be afraid to go into a companies reception area and express an interest in submitting an application. Ask for the name of the person who handles "Human Resources". Build a resume of your course work and tout any experience you may have had in whatever jobs you have held to date. Hand carry your resume to the company in a formal envelope addressed directly to the individual that handles "Human Resources".

If there is a summer job-placement service at the school you are attending then that should be explored.

hgmjr
 

SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,210
Hmm - does the RCAF have Reserve units any longer?

While it's not likely you'd be doing much PCB/circuit design right away, you would certainly get exposure to what's currently fielded, and how the military views things. After having several years' experience in that arena, you will find many more opportunities available. Prospective employers generally have a highly favorable view towards military veterans.
 

John Luciani

Joined Apr 3, 2007
477
Don't be afraid to go into a companies reception area and express an interest in submitting an application. Ask for the name of the person who handles "Human Resources". Build a resume of your course work and tout any experience you may have had in whatever jobs you have held to date. Hand carry your resume to the company in a formal envelope addressed directly to the individual that handles "Human Resources".
This is *very* good advice and has worked a few times for me. When I am
in the reception area I usually ask if the person in Human Resources is available
and say that I will be happy to wait. If I am not able to get a preliminary interview
I say thank you and leave my resume.

Does your school have a co-op program? We would hire a lot of our co-ops
over summer vacation and school breaks.

In general ---

1. Put together a good resume that is *succint*. Should be 1-2 pages maximum.

2. Put together a *succinct* cover letter for each position you apply for.
Two or three paragraphs. Do not do a generic cover letter.

3. If asked to solve a problem that you are unfamiliar with
say you haven't beed exposed to that particular type of problem and
proceed to explain the methodology you would use to find the solution.

4. Research each company you are interested in. Be prepared to ask
a few detailed questions about their business. If there is a particular
aspect of their business you are curious about then ask.

Always be polite and professional and have fun! Try to learn something new
at each company you go to.

(* jcl *)
 

Thread Starter

scubasteve_911

Joined Dec 27, 2007
1,203
Thanks very much for all of your responses, I will take your advice !

My school does have a coop program, but they only seem to interact with companies involved in power distribution. I will email as many companies as possible, maybe one will let me have a chance. There are no local design firms in my area, I wish I had the chance to do a personal approach.

Thanks again guys!!!

Steve
 

John Luciani

Joined Apr 3, 2007
477
You may be better off sending a hardcopy cover letter and resume to the companies
you are really interested in. Make sure that each cover letter is company specific.

(* jcl *)
 

hgmjr

Joined Jan 28, 2005
9,029
Thanks very much for all of your responses, I will take your advice !

My school does have a coop program, but they only seem to interact with companies involved in power distribution. I will email as many companies as possible, maybe one will let me have a chance. There are no local design firms in my area, I wish I had the chance to do a personal approach.

Thanks again guys!!!

Steve
Emailing is certainly one way to make initial contact with a company but you will be competing with candidates that are showing up in person at the company. The "Human Resource" head is not likely to weight an email contact as high as a person showing up at the company. The impersonal nature of an email puts you at a disadvantage right off. Face-to-face is the best way to sell yourself.

If you have a particular company in which you are highly interested then I would recommend you arrange to travel to the company if at all possible. Pick several companies of interest in the same city and visit them all. Don't expect the first visit to result in an interview but dress so that you look your best in case you need to make a positive first impression.

It is very important that you not get discouraged if you don't get a bite the first several times you go through this exercise. Remember, you are not the only one looking for a job and most companies don't plan for part time help.

Be prepared to take an entry level job doing what may seem to you as busy work. The idea is to get your foot in the door so that you can prove you have a service to offer the company. They are not going to set you up desiging the companies latest widget. They are most likely going to want to see if you have good work habits. Things that they want to see is, do you show up to work on time and put in a full days work. Also, do you get along well with your fellow employees.

These are but a few suggestions based on my experience from both sides of the table.

A couple of things to keep in mind when meeting with prespective employers. Always be on-time for your appointment. Always make sure you dress neat and look fresh. Late and sloppy will kill any chance you might have had to have an experience that could really kick start your career.

Good Luck,
hgmjr
 

Thread Starter

scubasteve_911

Joined Dec 27, 2007
1,203
hgmjr,

It sounds like you have a lot of experience hunting for jobs and have learned what to do and what not to do. Thanks a lot for your advice, I will follow it as best as I can.

I'm a bit financially debilitated, so I am unable to travel to meet employers. So far, nobody has gotten back to me via email. It just really sucks that I have spent my whole life trying to make myself good at something and I cannot be readily distinguished from the other hundreds of engineering students that think engineering is about money and couldn't tell you how to light an LED :(

I am competing this year at the IEEE / Telus competition, maybe doing well in this will be a 'shoe-in' to a decent company.

Steve
 

John Luciani

Joined Apr 3, 2007
477
I'm a bit financially debilitated, so I am unable to travel to meet employers. So far, nobody has gotten back to me via email. It just really sucks that I have spent my whole life trying to make myself good at something and I cannot be readily distinguished from the other hundreds of engineering students that think engineering is about money and couldn't tell you how to light an LED :(
Since everyone is sending emails the first way to distinguish yourself would be to
send a well crafted cover letter and resume on paper. Unless a company specifically
asks for email I would always respond with paper.

Your hardcopy resume is a lot more likely to be read rather than filtered by software
looking for the appropriate keywords (which someone at your level of experience may
not have). The hardcopy resume will not be reformatted by poorly written software.
After reading a number of email resumes my preference is to request a real one.
I read every hardcopy cover letter and resume that I am given.

Since your school buddies are probably in the same situation as you why not
do a ROADTRIP and split the expenses. Try shouting ROADTRIP down the hall
and see how many takers you get ;-)

(* jcl *)
 

Thread Starter

scubasteve_911

Joined Dec 27, 2007
1,203
Just an update, I found two pretty decent summer jobs doing what I love to do :D

I took the best offer and will start April 28th! The job deals with consulting and there are a ton of fun projects which they're working on.

The thing that got me in was the projects I have done in the past. They showed that I knew what I was doing and that I am very interested in the field. This really separated me from the pack (from one of the best universities in Canada) and I got chosen out of many good candidates. I really had to pursue this position by keeping in touch and trying to be persistant, but not annoying.

Thanks a lot for your advice guys!

Steve
 

arthur92710

Joined Jun 25, 2007
307
You check out the IBM web site. I heard they have some there. Their locations are pretty limited but if you live near one you can check it out.
 

Dave

Joined Nov 17, 2003
6,970
Just an update, I found two pretty decent summer jobs doing what I love to do :D

I took the best offer and will start April 28th! The job deals with consulting and there are a ton of fun projects which they're working on.

The thing that got me in was the projects I have done in the past. They showed that I knew what I was doing and that I am very interested in the field. This really separated me from the pack (from one of the best universities in Canada) and I got chosen out of many good candidates. I really had to pursue this position by keeping in touch and trying to be persistant, but not annoying.

Thanks a lot for your advice guys!

Steve
Well done, Steve.

Sounds like both you and the company will get a good experience from the placement.

Dave
 
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