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Engineering Internships Help


Original Post
Cameron Belknap · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 5

Hello All,

I've been a lurker here for sometime now but finally decided to make an account today. Not sure if this is an appropriate place to post this but I don't know where else to turn.

I am currently a senior at CSU studying mechanical engineering expecting to graduate Spring 2018 and I'm desperately looking for internships in the Colorado area that could turn into full time employment after school.

I have had a 7 month co-op and a 3 month internship at Cummins in Columbus Indiana. The job was great but the location was soul crushing if any of you know what I mean. My GPA is not too great 3.03 but I'm trying to bring it up with the little time I have left.

Do any of you have any tips for landing a good engineering job out here? I would prefer a design role that could eventually lead to more R&D if I choose to go back to school later on. I am not finding too much out here though, Ive applied to all the major places like Lockheed, Ball, etc with no responses.

I really love it here and I don't want to have to move away.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Cameron

Eric64 · · New Castle, CO · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

Great idea to do some "guerrilla marketing" here. Of course it's a long shot, but I would suggest making your post a little more professional, just talk about what you bring to the table, link to your portfolio of CAD work, etc.

Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 1,546

LinkedIn appears to have better/more pertinent job listings than many other sites.

I assume you've tried Monster, Indeed, etc.? Colorado has no shortage of aerospace jobs.

There's also gov work with listings at usajobs.gov. If you go that route, talk to me about specifics because there are a few things you need to be aware of regarding career progression.

Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 83

A 3.0+ GPA is fine for engineering. I always have had better luck with the 3.0-3.7 engineers than the 4.0's. I don't know how the career fair is at CSU but that is your best bet. I did some recruiting at the one at Mines (2 months ago?) and there were hundreds of companies there. So check with your career center as they should have contacts and be able to help you. Also look beyond the big players. There are a lot of small companies that will get you good experience.

I would honestly take any internship you can get next summer. With an over 3.0 GPA, CO-OP, and 2 internships you should be in a great position to get a job. Also don't be afraid to start in a slightly different industry. With some experience after school you will be able to move around easier.

Unfortunately I don't work in your desired industry so that is all the advice I can give you.

runout · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 30

Columbus is not a bad place to be if you are a climber. It's cheap, and you are 4 hours away from Red River Gorge. There are people who drive 7+ hours each way every weekend from Chicago to RRG to climb, and those people crush.

Of course try your hardest for something in Colorado if that's what you want. But if you end up in Columbus it isn't the end of the world as a climber.

cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 175

I grew up in IN and feel your pain. Not a very exciting place to live, which is why I moved away at a young age....

Cameron Belknap · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 5

I guess I shouldn't be worrying too much. Thinking about trying this "sniper" approach and really hunting out these smaller firms and cold calling/emailing. Does anyone know a good way to find these companies? I've looked on linkedin using the location finder but I feel like it doesn't list a lot of them.

Yeah Indiana has some cool places that are fairly close, Brown country is great for MTB and is only like 30 min away. Still nothing like out here though, the whole atmosphere is different. I'm actually originally from the Cleveland Ohio area and came out to CSU to get closer to the mountains so I really would prefer to not go back.

I really appreciate the help guys!

Mike Slavens · · Houston, TX · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 35

More advice for looking for a job in general, but still applies to finding an internship you want to turn into a job.

1) Raise your GPA. 3.03 is decent but not great and CSU isn't exactly an engineering powerhouse. You will have a lot of strong competition as the front range is a very attractive place to live for a lot of people. The higher your GPA is the better you look to a recruiter. Places like Lockheed won't even look at your application w/o a 3.3 or 3.5.

2) If you are interested in getting a master's or PhD do it now. The older you get and the farther from college you get the harder it is to go back. Wife, kids, tenure, paycheck, lifestyle, etc. make it harder and harder to go back to school. You are also in a great position to really enjoy the flexible time schedule of someone in a master's or PhD program. It will also greatly increase your chances of getting into some sort of R&D type position.

3) Don't limit yourself to Colorado. There are lots of cities in other states (California, Oregon, New Mexico, etc.) with similar or better lifestyle and access to climbing as those in Colorado. In some ways they are preferable as the climbing can be much less crowded.

4) Make it rain with your resume! Send it out to everyone and anyone that will take it. Go to your own career fair and career fairs at other schools (Mines, CU), go to lots of job sites to look for companies and then submit a resume on their websites, look outside of traditional Mech Engineering type companies. Petroleum, Chemicals, Construction, etc. type companies still hire a lot of mech engineers.

5) Consider the long term and ask about it at the interview. Are you going to get a 2 year assignment in the front range and then get sent to corporate in Flat-as-F#$kville? Do you have to put in your time for a few years in flat-as-F#$kville, a rotational or high travel position, or a long term training program before you can get the position and location you want? You might have to work for a company in a less than ideal location for a few years to build some experience to get a position at a company at the ideal location.

6) Don't get down if you don't get initial success. Finding a job can take time but don't feel like you need to settle just because the first few places don't show interest.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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