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Are you experienced?

December 4, 2008

No matter what you want to do, it always helps to have a little experience to get yourself started. I know – it’s a Catch 22. How are you supposed to get experience if nobody will hire you without experience? But, really, it’s not that difficult to get experience if you’re willing.

In fact, as an engineering student, you will probably be lucky enough to find a PAID internship (or is that an externship?). If you had made the jump to marketing after deciding Thermodynamics wasn’t for you, that internship would likely be free of the burdens of compensation and the hours probably longer.

I had a couple of wonderful internships – one in a manufacturing plant. My main take-away from that job was my experience on the shop floor, getting to know the people, learning how to use the heavy machinery, and listening to them gripe about the engineering department. They knew what all the design flaws were, and how to solve them. They’d developed custom tools to improve assembly time. If anyone in engineering had asked their opinion for the next revision, they would have certainly gotten an ear full, and much of it useful.

I’m just glad I took advantage of the opportunity when I had it.

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