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Old 06-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #16
Pantah
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Take a look into Northeastern University in Boston. They have an excellent placement record plus paid internships at 'partner' companies around town while they attend. My #2 son is an MBA candidate there and on Monday started a $75k/year internship at Wellington Management, which is a white shoe asset manager. He'll eventually be a portfolio manager.

#1 son is a technology engineer in San Francisco. Demand for EE's is huge. The money is huge. Software is everything. He went to Northeastern too, but he could write sofware since he was about 12.

Both sons were pro motorcycle road racers and race a little dirt now as a hobby. They would have liked to work in the motorcycle industry, but there is no real future in it. No money in it. No career path. Surely you sensed that being around the sport.


Good luck. I remember when my #2 went off to school at 18. He went to Arizona State. Steep learning curve. 1st year was the toughest but he ended up a solid student. Took him nearly a year to get a job after he graduated. He ended up working for Fidelity Investments for three years, setting him up for his MBA. His AMA Pro spec R6 is in storage.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:18 AM   #17
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I graduated in 09 with a BS in ME and got the job I wanted in September making what I consider good money. I haven't been job shopping since and yet I still get emails asking to interview me.

Things to consider about engineering degrees:

Mechanical engineering was my school's most popular engineering field. This means possibly more help from classmates but also more competition for jobs. It still wasn't hard to get a job but you should see how employers fawn over software engineers.

Engineering degrees are "hard". If you could sleep through class and pass, there would be no demand for engineers. We had about 450 "kids" start the ME program and about 150 pass. If I were an employer I would have given an arm and a leg to employ 3 of them and I would consider 50 of them competent to trust in engineering work where lives are potentially at stake. We had about 100 start software engineering and 15 of them passed. 3 of them were gods with a computer.

Just because you graduate does not mean you are employable. I know of one classmate that has a BS in ME and was delivering pizzas last I heard. You can manipulate the system and pass without learning anything but that does show in an interview. There are also the types that are all kinds of book smart that cannot interact socially. It is a lot harder to get a job on merit if you cannot represent your self aswell.

I love motorcycles. I would not turn down a job to work with/design them but I don't think I would recommend aiming towards that as a career goal.

Last piece of advice:

Don't ever forget the big picture. It is easy to get lost in models and diagrams but you must keep in mind that there is something real you want to know and there is a model that helps you find the answer. Many classmates could give back a correct answer to a modeled question but that is only a small part of being able to set up an appropriate model, solve the problem then translate the answer back to the real world. There are many jobs for smart people who solve models but the best jobs are for people who know what the model represents.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:42 PM   #18
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Best advice I can give is to really think about it before you turn a hobby into a career. Once you start getting paid/required to do it a lot of the fun goes away. May not happen immediately, but it most likely eventually will.

To dovetail in with what Z50R said, a lot of companies are desperate for engineers that can bridge the gap between theory and reality, the farm boys with a BSME so to speak. Most engineering students now a days can't change their own oil, let alone have any clue how/why engines work. There is a need for lab engineers, but there is a greater need for the field guys. I remember my first day of university orientation when this Dr Dude gets up on stage for a power point presentation where he shows your stereotypical flannel clad field engineer as the 'old standard' versus a shiny office bound white shirted guy as the new 'gold standard' of engineering. The basic premise being 'us engineers don't go out in the world and get dirty any more'.

When I first met the recruiter for my current job I showed up at the career fair in my work coveralls, soaked in diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid. I'd been to the fair earlier that morning but a friend with the company got a call after lunch that the mine was looking for an engineer. She called me and i came directly from work. I definitely got the stink eye from the crowd when I walked in but the recruiter was excited. She'd been to VT, Purdue and a few other schools and couldn't find a 'field guy'.

I work for a mining company as a reliability/maintenance engineer. Graduated from MTU. My first day on the job my boss showed me to my office and told me to look around at the plant for the next month or so. He later revieled he didn't expect much from me my first month based on his previous engineering hires. I went and checked out PPE and within an hour I was balls deep in the belly of a CAT 793 helping a mechanic diagnose a chronic seal failure. As I finished with that a millwright asked me to help with a oil to water heat exchanger on a mill drive that was undersized. When I went back to my office a machinist was waiting for me with a worn sheave from a leblond lathe that he needed a print for. That's how most days have been ever since. Last week I was cutting apart link belt conveyor rollers because our MTBF took a shit. Turns out they changed their seals. My office reeks of skanky grease.

I love my job!
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:28 PM   #19
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He will know nothing applicable when he finishes any engineering school.
The starting point is only important if he can work around good-hands-on-experienced people.
He needs to learn the basics from machining and welding all the way up, even do it himself for a while if possible.
After that point, what he learned at the school will start making sense and completing the puzzle.
Learning how to interact with people during that time is as valuable as learning the ropes of the trade.
He must develop that willingness and passion to attack the challenging work, the ones that scare others: that's the only way to learn and become proficient.
Principles are the same in any industry, so it is not important which one, as long as he find a way to have fun while making a living.
What looks glamorous may not be so, it will become just a job with time.
Because of that, I wish him to have broad experience in all the possible fields and keep it an adventure.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:32 PM   #20
Zerk
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I agree, you don't leave school with a lot. Maybe use 3-5% of what you learn. It is really a weed out process, and proves you can learn.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:42 PM   #21
redneckdan
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I use a fair bit of my schooling. Instrumentation comes in handy for the vibration monitoring side of my job. PLCs was a good elective, I know enough to tell when things are really screwed up. I actually use a fair bit of basic vector math when doing 2 plane static couple balancing of over hung fans, same with Vibs. Various machine design classes are useful day to day. Other electives such as facilities planning and project management have been an asset at various times. Most of my core text books sit on my shelf at work and are fairly well covered in greasy taconite dust finger prints.

I would say my most useless classes were in the humanities department, with the exception being German 1&2. I understand the purpose a liberal arts education but I honestly believe for myself personally I would have been better off with crash course in mine engineering than taking world cultures and institutions, a lot of that material was rehashed 10th grade US history, 11th grade world history & 12th grade civics.

The elective I would most recommend is USAF ROTC Basic Leadership. One year it was opened up to non cadets, I learned more in they class then 3 humanities classes that covered the same material. Both of those class manuals sit on my shelf and get used at least once a month.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:15 PM   #22
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The electrical engineers I talk to agree, they don't use much of what you leaned in school. I am sure there are areas of EE where you do.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:11 AM   #23
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Hi all ! I am in the HVAC business and can say with 100% certainty that the field needs better mechanical engineers . Also , it is almost always a bad idea to turn a hobby into a job . Good luck .
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:20 PM   #24
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I spent 35 years working for Ford at their engineering center before I retired. The company likes to hear that a candidate's avocation is in an automotive or mechanical area. It helps a lot to be able to demonstrate some practical knowledge of materials and processes. Summer interning in the industry while in school is a great way to work towards being hired after you graduate. You can make useful contacts and become familiar with the way things are done, and come to the job interview with a company background.

Those engineers who aspire to rise to management positions generally use the company's continuing education program to work toward a degree in Business Administration.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:06 AM   #25
atomicalex
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Also consider Kettering in MI.

Any job in industry is going to be tough to get because we only want the best of the best. I'm a scientist with half of an engineering degree, daughter of an ME who worked his way up in railroad from an internship as a welder to the head of braking systems for GE.

You have to demonstrate practical knowledge AND have the papers to prove you can solve the paper problems. A school with a co-op program is worth a fortune if you want to go into industry because you graduate with work experience.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:20 AM   #26
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Just though I would throw out that Segway in Bedford, NH is looking for a Mech. Engineer.

https://segway-openhire.silkroad.com/epostings/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.jobinfo&jobid=118&company_id=16291&version=1&source=ONLINE&jobOwner=992326&aid=1


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Old 07-11-2013, 01:14 PM   #27
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I have an MS in Mechanical Engineering and work for a big three auto company. I also help with recruiting. We look for a few key things:

-Passion for automobiles. We are looking for people who just want a job, this should be something they are passionate about. This is best demonstrated by being a member of a Formula SAE team or similar student project for several years, not just for a mandatory 4th year design project. It is not unusual for students to tell me about converting their personal car into an HEV or restoring a classic car during the interview.

-Leadership experience with either a Formula SAE team or other student organization.

-Internships. A good candidate will have some sort of engineering internship experience during their college years.

-GPA. My company has a lower limit below which we typically won't hire. This is not typically an issue as most people we interview are very high achievers.

The auto industry has it's pro/cons like anywhere else but few other industries have as exciting of products as we do and it has provided me with some great opportunities.
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