Whether you’re a recent college graduate or a student looking toward graduation in the coming months, that first job is likely top-of-mind. Finding mechanical engineering jobs that fit your wants and needs for a first job out of college can seem like a challenge. However, there are steps you can take to get started on the right foot, but the key is to act now! The mechanical engineering job market is intense, and the competition is fierce. As you prepare for the next step in your career, keep the following tips in mind to help you make the best move.
Getting Started in Mechanical Engineering
Use your resources. As a current student or an alumnus, you have many resources available to you through your school institution. If you weren’t set up with a career advisor or similar type of mentor, take the steps needed to get one. Every college or university career center is packed with people willing and able to help you navigate the mess of transitioning from an engineering student to engineering professional.
Leverage your internship. The connections and experience alone make internships priceless. If you are currently interning, build strong relationships with your mentor and those you worked closely with. If you have recently finished your term, reconnect with those you worked with if you haven’t already. Those relationships will help you both now and down the road. And remember, keep tabs on what you accomplish in your internship. Be sure you can adequately talk about them so you can bring that to your job interviews.
Research several engineering firms. While you may have had your eye on a particular engineering firm since day 1 of freshman year, we recommend keeping your options open. Maybe what appealed to you then doesn’t fit the bill today. You’ve grown a lot as a person, and as an engineer, so you owe it to yourself to research as many viable options as possible. Look at websites, research recent projects, learn about the leadership and retention rates, and anything else that is important to your decision.
Think outside the box. When we say, “think outside the box,” we really mean it. Don’t feel like you have to stay in a particular city or state. Now’s the time to explore your available opportunities to start the career you’ve been dreaming about. Now more than ever, you can choose a career that fits your personal values. Are you interested in sustainability, or community outreach or company culture? There are several mechanical engineering jobs out there, but you have to find the one that fits.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality. We all know the stereotype. However you may or may not be the “typical” engineer, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Engineering employers are increasingly looking to hire people who will not only elevate their practice but also fit into their company culture. Smile in your interview, don’t take yourself too seriously, and be honest. It’s ok to say you don’t know something, but be willing to learn and grow.
If the Twin Cities are on your radar for that first job, consider Gausman & Moore. We’re a full-service mechanical and electrical consulting engineering firm, and our headquarters is located in Roseville, MN. At this time we’re hiring qualified mechanical engineers. Check it out!