One graduate’s success story and some ideas to think about.

Christopher Sabol, a May 2014 graduate in Mechanical Engineering, had discussed his job search and resume at 2 appointments with the Career Services office in January and March this year. We are delighted to see he has obtained a position as an Associate Engineer with ALTEC Industries in North Carolina, which is just where he wanted to be. He recently sent us this correspondence, through our LinkedIn connection, with his permission to post it on this blog.

” I applied to Altec Industries through a posting I found on Indeed.com. I was contacted about 3 days after my application was sent in and was asked to interview. I flew down for my interview and was contacted about a month later with a job offer. Since my job offer I’ve been contacted by about 5 other companies replying to my resume. I guess that’s how it goes though. I have a few suggestions to anyone looking for a job in my field though.
1. Do not restrict your search to one city. I knew I wanted to end up in North Carolina but I did not restrict myself to one city. I would search Indeed.com daily for the entire state of North Carolina with the keywords “Mechanical Engineer” or “Entry Mechanical Engineer”. I was able to find a wide variety of jobs through doing so.
2. Apply to jobs no matter what experience they request. I applied to any job that did not specifically state that entry level workers would not be considered.
3. Utilize LinkedIn to its fullest. I did not receive a lot of positive results from applying to jobs on LinkedIn but creating a professional network early will definitely be beneficial to my career.
4. Apply at all hours of the day and even on the weekends. I spent most of my spring break applying to jobs in the early afternoon and also from 11pm to 3am. I’m not sure if that helped me at all but the job I got at Altec was from an application I submitted at around 2 am.
5. Reply to all emails that are directly from a company even if they are a rejection letter.
6. Find a life outside of studies. A lot of engineers get too caught up in getting a sky high GPA. I’m not saying that isn’t important but most companies I’ve seen are looking for well rounded people that will fit in with the company. (emphasis added) I’ve found that companies will hire someone with a lower GPA if they seem to be well rounded and interview well over someone with a high GPA who lacks creativity or social skills.
7. Pick a senior project that is sponsored by a company. Specifically for Mechanical Engineering students, there is a wide variety of projects that are available through the department that are sponsored. I know of at least 4 students who found their first jobs through companies that sponsored them on their senior projects. I was offered to interview at the company I did my project with, but I had already accepted my position at Altec.
8. If a job listing is posted by a recruiting firm but still states what company the job is for, try to apply to the company directly. There are a ton of recruiting firms that are capitalizing on the need for engineers. It’s easy to get lost in the amount of applications they look over. If you apply to a company directly you can be seen more easily.                                                                              9. I would also recommend applying in North Carolina, Texas, and California. I’ve heard they are some of the friendlier states for entry level engineers. I hope any of this advice will help some students in the future. ”                                                            Christopher Sabol, ’14 ME

Thanks, Chris, and continued success in your first professional position.

We love to hear from our graduates! If you have a job search success story to share, please comment below, or email cspector@psu.edu.  If you prefer we not print your name, just let us know.

 

Leave a Reply