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    Default OT(?)-About to Graduate Engineering School

    Like the title says, about to finish a degree in mechanical engineering.

    I got a decent resume, lots of work and hands on experience, but shitty grades (2.9ish). Handful of certifications, mostly work related, AutoCAD, forklift, crane/rigging, and being able to QC parts. Currently working, but not as an engineer.

    Starting to look into more engineering jobs, I've been using Linkedin, but so far no responses.

    I've never really looked for work, jobs have just sort of presented themselves. Ya'll got any ideas for finding mechanical engineering jobs?

    I'd like to be on a floor somewhere, but also see the appeal of a 40 hour week in an office.

    Sort of exploring all options right now.

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    Where have you been looking for an ME job? Have you applied to any specific companies? Have you had any interviews yet? Do you have a head hunter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alskdjfhg View Post
    Like the title says, about to finish a degree in mechanical engineering.

    I got a decent resume, lots of work and hands on experience, but shitty grades (2.9ish). Handful of certifications, mostly work related, AutoCAD, forklift, crane/rigging, and being able to QC parts. Currently working, but not as an engineer.

    Starting to look into more engineering jobs, I've been using Linkedin, but so far no responses.

    I've never really looked for work, jobs have just sort of presented themselves. Ya'll got any ideas for finding mechanical engineering jobs?

    I'd like to be on a floor somewhere, but also see the appeal of a 40 hour week in an office.

    Sort of exploring all options right now.
    Lockheed Martin www.lmco.com. Grand Prairie near Dallas if you want to stay in TX, Orlando if you are willing to move.

    CarlBoyd

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    I'd like to stay in the Houston area for the immediate future, working with rotating equipment, rigging, big fab work ect would be ideal.

    No headhunter, no interview rn, just sent out a few application of linkedin.

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    Not impressed with Linkin for job hunting... Petrochemical in the Houston area should be booming right now. Bound to be a few that would hire interns to get your foot in the door. Forget the oilfield, it is dead!!! Many unemployed engineers right now. Most people I work with and or around usually hire "word by mouth" If I run across someone looking for a person of your caliber, I'll let you know.

    Just a thought, Have tried Kinder-Morgan?

    Ken

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    No worries on GPA, just don't put on resume. It isn't important anyways. I've never once had an employer ask for my GPA, nor have I ever put mine on my resume.

    Put together a portfolio or personal website of work you've done. It shows you're a legitimate mechanical and manufacturing engineer, not just a soft-hand theorist. This is important; you want to work places that care you can solve problems, not push paper. If they care more about your GPA than the real work you do, it isn't a good fit anyways.

    If you decide you want to try California you know what my company does and we're still hiring. Hands-on engineers like you are the people we want. And we have 72" swing VTL with a full 5-axis milling subspindle-you would have fun with it.

    You might also look at the SpaceX test site in McGregor, although the work they do that's a better fit for you is all in LA.

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    If you have a degree, I as an employer want to know your GPA and why it's so high or low. Was it high without a family was it low and you have a family? Partying over with? How's going to be if in hire you... If it's low I typically offer a lower wage that increases over 90 days or I'll offer say $15 an hour for 90 days and if you have performance we are looking for and it's spelled out in the contract, I'll back pay up to the agreed pay.

    We just did this for an employee, hired at $22/h and back paid $30 an hour for 90 days then gave a $3 an hour raise moving forqard. Not once was the person late and performance was perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alskdjfhg View Post
    I'd like to be on a floor somewhere, but also see the appeal of a 40 hour week in an office.

    Sort of exploring all options right now.
    "Both" can work better.

    Start taking even a SINGLE other-major or grad-level course every year, evenings or such, two or more is better, Management, Biz Law, Accounting, Econ, HR, IS/IT, Labor & Industrial relations, communications skills...

    Don't worry much about what degree they lead to if any - or none at all. Select stuff useful or interesting and the grades can go up as well.

    (why is this path so damned familiar?).



    No matter HOW good an ME you are or ever will be, you are not also an EE or Chem E, or. or .or .. but can lead those who ARE to get a project DONE.

    Teams can always get more DONE under a decent person who leads and develops SEVERAL great(er) team members than just ONE set of hands and eyes. Most especially if folks actually LIKE working with you for a high level of sharing support and a low natural coefficient of arsholeitis.

    Have that chat with John O.

    No need to be the abrasive Bullshit Artist heading for the Chairman's slot. Gentlemen of integrity are appreciated in the middle & upper middle, have lots of choices about where they work and for whom.

    Quality of "mentors", other team members, and next-highers one can LEARN with and from should ALWAYS be more important than the wage.

    Get that part right, progress continues, you actually have a bit of FUN, "enough" money just comes without even asking, and some OTHER poor sod gets the ulcers and heart attacks whilst you get well fed and lovingly "put to bed" of an evening.


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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    If you have a degree, I as an employer want to know your GPA and why it's so high or low. .....
    Imagine that, do you also ask for my IQ scores?
    Guessing you had a good GPA. My sister had top, went to Harvard and then helped run GE into the ground.
    For sure this made her very big money but as a top ME and MBA in the world she can not change a tire to save her life. Of course she does not have to.
    I put so little stock in this. It gives no judgement to a person or personality.
    I do get that now it's a easy way out of understanding prospective employees. Likely you would not want me based on college GPA history.

    Sorry for the rant, this is sort of personal. For sure you get pigeon holed on the fast job applications by a degree and GPA.
    I could not be considered as a tooling engineer for so many job applications, kicked out sometimes in less than 12 hours. Given my background it was so very discouraging.
    Evidently I'm not a tool engineer. That is kind of hard hit but maybe okay but I did spend a lot of time and effort.
    Let's add younger successful sister saying at Christmas that you "have not lived up to your capability". How do you duck that?

    How do we judge those we want or do not want to hire? GPA, drive, personality, fit with the team?
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    you "have not lived up to your capability". How do you duck that?
    Usually by simply ignoring the source as nowhere near qualified to make an accurate observation, given they for-sure haven't a klew what GOAL(S) I have set by myself, and for myself, even if they had a Klew as to capability or not.

    Then going about doing as I dammed well please at executing to MY plan, on MY schedule.

    Not theirs.

    Happier that way. Somehow "the money" manages to find a body operates that way,


    Sound familiar, does that?

    Lot of it going around. "Right here on PM".


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    One has to let go of such.
    "The body’s delicate: the tempest in my mind
    Doth from my senses take all feeling else
    Save what beats there...
    Oh, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
    No more of that."

    Good advice but hard to put into practice when it is close family.
    That cuts deep but surely the madness is the worst to fight.
    It haunts your dreams and sleep. All the wrong turns.....they track me always and I can't find an escape.
    Bob

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    It might help to set your sights on something more specific than "an ME job" in the Houston area?

    Sometimes there's something you really figure you need to know to have the career you want -- that can help you narrow down places where you might learn it. Once you figure out a target, then you can aim for it.

    Just offhand, we're going to have to reinvent a whole bunch of our energy infrastructure over the course of your career -- and with it lots of equipment for the grid, likely pipelines, pumped storage, wind towers, large scale solar structures, highways better suited to smart vehicles, likely a new generation of nuclear, smaller scale plants, a bit more geothermal, replacing old hydro facilities, etc. Similar opportunities likely in making better use of the water we have.

    Best way to then get a job you want is still likely through a personal reference or introduction. All sorts of ways to get that, even starting from zero. Friends of friends of friends. Even calling up an exec and saying you're doing career research on XYZ and wondered if you could interview them for 10 minutes or so. Visit 10 execs, maybe write up what you've learned or see as an opportunity, and that might land you several interviews. Lots of other approaches that should beat Linked In.

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    Having sat on both sides of the desk in interviews for stuff like this, I'll politely disagree with some of the previous stated options and say that grades do matter. But mostly to get you in into the interview in the first place. I think a lot of HR departments get tons of resumes electronically and filter thru them by GPA.

    Don't have a high GPA? Then you may need to work a bit harder networking, going to technical lunch gatherings, etc.

    But once you get into the interview, you have a big advantage over all the other freshly graduated engineers - YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING PRACTICAL AND DIFFERENT! Interviewing new engineers who have only gone to school is pretty unremarkable. "I see from your transcript you got a B in Thermodynamics....". But having done stuff - and bringing drawings, pictures, etc. of what what you have worked on outside of class is interesting. It also gives you something you know a lot about to discuss intelligently. That makes interviewers remember you.

    Good Luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alskdjfhg View Post

    I've never really looked for work, jobs have just sort of presented themselves. Ya'll got any ideas for finding mechanical engineering jobs?
    I'd like to be on a floor somewhere, but also see the appeal of a 40 hour week in an office.

    .

    Some background information:

    By the late 1980's the average career length in engineering was approaching 10 years. The Federal government sends out a survey every 10 years to find out what the numbers are. Back then there were 2 million engineers in the US. Each year there were 80 thousand new US engineering graduates plus another 60 thousand(?) H1B's entering the job market. Of the total 140,000 graduates about 100,000 actually went into engineering. Those 100,000 graduates pushed out 100,000 engineers that were then employed.

    Since that time things have gotten much worse. The number of engineers in the US is less than 2 million and the market is flooded with H1Bs. The government surveys still show 2 million engineers but that number now includes programmers, field service, support staff and other professions that have little if any training in engineering. The number of engineers in the US is NOT a function of the total population. It is determined by the number of independent companies that do engineering work. Keep in mind that there is no longer a McDonald Douglas, a Digital Equipment, a Compact Computer, a Bell Labs, A Martin Marietta, and so on. They were either merged or bought out and closed and as a consequence the engineering jobs disappeared as well.

    Most, perhaps 80 percent, of the jobs in engineering do not require formal training in engineering. The skills needed for the jobs are learned while employed. The formal training that you received at the university will have little to no relevance to what your employer needs.

    You do not need to worry about your GPA if you are interviewing with a engineering manager. The HR people are different. They do not have the knowledge or skills to identify the good from the bad. They can only check for credentials. The will ask for a GPA and any other certification that they can think of that will relieve themselves of taking any responsibility for a hiring mistake.

    The least stable jobs in engineering involve analytical work. That includes stress analysis, heat transfer, thermodynamics, structural dynamics, fluid mechanics, control systems and to a lesser extent machine design,

    There is a reason for this. When a new product is being developed the engineering staffing is primarily older, experienced, and capable of doing extensive analytical work. Once the product has been developed, tested, and successfully sold those expensive engineers are no longer needed. What is needed is a support staff to do field service, bills of materials, marketing, custom modifications, and incremental improvements. The staff that was composed primarily of skilled engineers is replaced with a staff that may be 90% unskilled but with degrees and 10% original staff kept around in case anything goes wrong.

    A second consideration is that engineers who do analytical work are considered commodities by HR. It is easy to define what a stress analyst does and run a add in the newspaper when one is needed. A engineer who is capable of doing a number of jobs simultaneously is much more difficult to replace.

    Mechanical design is a more stable occupation. . That is because it is now viewed as a software technician job rather than a branch of engineering. Years ago a design engineer did conceptual work, quick calculations and provided some preliminary sketches so that the marketing group would have something to show to potential customers. The formal drafting and computer aided design came much latter after a order was received. This work was driven by the need to optimize the design and to prepare for manufacturing. Today, a design engineer is someone with credentials using Solid Works, Catia, or some other software package. These are skilled jobs. However they are not the engineering jobs that were hinted at while you were attending school. The good news is that these skills are always in demand. They are essential for the support of a existing product.

    The same cannot be said for those engineers who specialize in analytical work

    New graduates who are not immediately employed in engineering become obsolete about 8 months after graduation and are largely abandoned in favor of the next years crop. You need to act quickly. Choose your first engineering job carefully. If you stay more that 18 months at your first job the job market will assume that is all you are capable of doing. If it is a good job then there is no problem. If not, then you are at a significant disadvantage. The HR people will view you as damaged goods. The remedy is to go back to school for another degree and a receive a new set of credentials. If you have social contacts with someone at a company you are interested in, it is possible to bypass the HR people and get direct access to engineering management. This is much faster and much less expensive than going back to school.

    If you intend to make engineering a life long career you have three choices. You can go into management. You can start out in field service. You can start out in sales.

    Getting on the management ladder is difficult. You need to be rapidly advancing by the time you are 25. If you are still working in the dimly lit cubicles by your late 20's that avenue for success is blocked. Advancement into management is only possible in companies that are rapidly expanding and are developing new products. These will be small companies. They will not be Lockheed, Lyondelbasell, or Exxon.

    Field service and sales allows you to meet the customer. Every time you meet a customer you are having a job interview. Every time you meet a customer you are finding out what the market needs rather than what your manager wants. If you decide to change employers moving is easy. You have a long list of managers who know your capabilities and work ethic. If you decide to start your own company having knowledge of what the customer needs will help you succeed. Your formal engineering skills are useless when starting a company if you do not know what the customer wants. If you do a little research you will find that most successful new companies got their start because the existing companies were relying on old designs and technology and refused to meet their customer's needs.
    Last edited by Robert R; 10-16-2019 at 02:00 PM.

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    I literally made an offer for an engineering position to a young graduate, that was accepted, earlier today. A couple of things jump out to me here. In any industry I know anything about, mostly scientific instruments and other tech related businesses, you really need solid modelling experience, most commonly Solidworks but depending on the industry, NX, or Inventor or whatever is fine. AutoCAD seems important in construction but I'll bet 90% of the parts that get machined by PM members come from solid modelling software. Anyway, one thing I like in hiring is people who seem to have picked up a lot of basic information during their engineering co-op jobs. For example, I just hired a mechatronics guy who smoked all the technical questions, from tell me what this software function returns to what does this (H-Bridge) circuit do to "name all the aluminum and/or steel alloys you can". The successful candidate nailed everything but particularly listing off, well there's 5000, 6000 and 7000 like he'd actually held this stuff in his hands and remembered it all. So if you are a hands-on type of engineer you have to demonstrate that you have hand-on knowledge but also that you can relate it to broader engineering principles. Best of luck!

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    The 2.9 GPA is going to be a flag for a recent graduate. Not posting your GPA is another flag on a recent graduate. HR departments use software to flag those out. You'll probably have to bypass HR to get your first job.

    Do you personally know someone working as a ME? Do you personally know someone that knows someone working as a ME? Personal contacts are going to be your best way to get your first job.

    Most companies making stuff have engineering support in the shop or in the field. Those are called Manufacturing or Production or Service or Tool or etc. engineers. Those used to be non degree positions but now companies prefer a degree. A position like that might be your way in. Just be sure, if you stay very long in one of those positions, that you like the work. It's hard to move into Design if all your experience is in support.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R View Post
    Most, perhaps 80 percent, of the jobs in engineering do not require formal training in engineering. The skills needed for the jobs are learned while employed. The formal training that you received at the university will have little to no relevance to what your employer needs.
    I think it's higher, perhaps 95%. I started out in design engineering for an automotive OEM. They flat out told us that the only reason they hired degreed engineers was due to liability. Apparently a university degree gives a slight edge in the courtroom after some soccer mom runs her minivan into a water tower or whatever.

    After I learned the CAD system, a monkey could have done the job. It was 80% about making things fit into a package designed by some dickwad "design team" for some aesthetic purpose that no one agreed with. The other 20% was just cost reduction. I worked there 5 years and never once use a formula, calculator, reference table, or anything beyond 5th grade math. All strength calculations were done with FEA and almost entirely out of my control.

    99.9% of design engineering is about taking something that is known to work and copying it to make something that seems new but is really just a prettied up version of what already exists. There really are no "clean sheet" designs in most industries. The risk is too high. Companies stick to what they know and create endless variations.

    I switched to manufacturing engineer. That was better fit. But, still not great for me. It was fun until I figured out the workholding and programming tricks required to make most of the parts that came across my desk. Then it just became tedious. The thing I found frustrating there was the endless document creation for ISO/TS/QS certification and the inability to change the design of parts to make them easier (or even possible) to manufacture.

    I finally got into field service engineering and I loved that except for the travel. I was basically just a glorified mechanic, and I think I was the only one with an engineering degree. Most guys had never been to college. Didn't matter to me. Pay was good, work was interesting, I was good at it. But, then kids and a change in management kind of shot it in the head. If I could do that same work without overnight travel, I'd do it until I retired.

    I tried having my own machine shop. That was interesting but became tedious and repetitive. So now I'm more or less back to being a glorified mechanic. I like it a whole lot better than I ever liked working in an office

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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleFrank View Post
    The 2.9 GPA is going to be a flag for a recent graduate. Not posting your GPA is another flag on a recent graduate. HR departments use software to flag those out. You'll probably have to bypass HR to get your first job.
    Agree with this. Recent grads you kind of need to include it, especially if you are a traditional student (not getting your degree at age 30 or 40). You have a lot of other good experience to set you apart it a good way but that won't get you past the software/HR. Since you're so close I'd take a couple of more classes and get A's in them to bring you to a 3.0. This is just part of the game unfortunately, not necessarily fair.

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    For the good engineering schools, a 2.9 GPA is nothing to sneeze at. After all, it's almost a 3.0 (all B's), and the average engineering GPA is probably not even 2.5, so you are definitely above average.

    There is a dire shortage of qualified and talented manufacturing engineers in the United States. Most manufacturing "engineers" in industry have no degree, but have worked their way up from the shop floor, applying the years of knowledge and experience in machining. There is so much knowledge and experience required to be a good manufacturing engineer, the shop floor is often the only place companies can find good help.

    Engineers that know solid-modeling CAD, at least one of the mainstream CAM systems (Mastercam, NX, Fusion360...), and know how to design manufacturing processes to hold, machine, and measure precision-machined parts write their own ticket.

    Forget about the GPA. Walk into a manufacturing engineering job interview and confidently explain you are well-versed in Solidworks and Mastercam/Fusion, you have worked in shops and ran machines, you can use precision measuring equipment, and you understand how to process a complex machine part, and I say doughnuts to dollars, you will get the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Imagine that, do you also ask for my IQ scores?
    Guessing you had a good GPA. My sister had top, went to Harvard and then helped run GE into the ground.
    For sure this made her very big money but as a top ME and MBA in the world she can not change a tire to save her life. Of course she does not have to.
    I put so little stock in this. It gives no judgement to a person or personality.
    I do get that now it's a easy way out of understanding prospective employees. Likely you would not want me based on college GPA history.



    If you're going to come to me flaunting your education, you better have a good reason why your GPA is so low. The time you set aside for college is for studying and if you made the life choice for college, why didn't you put all your time and effort into it? If you did and barely passed, are you going to be a less productive employee? If so, let's get your pay right from the start because I can't lower your wages without pissing you off....if you need a wage lowered, you're gone.


    Sorry for the rant, this is sort of personal. For sure you get pigeon holed on the fast job applications by a degree and GPA.
    I could not be considered as a tooling engineer for so many job applications, kicked out sometimes in less than 12 hours. Given my background it was so very discouraging.
    Evidently I'm not a tool engineer. That is kind of hard hit but maybe okay but I did spend a lot of time and effort.
    Let's add younger successful sister saying at Christmas that you "have not lived up to your capability". How do you duck that?

    How do we judge those we want or do not want to hire? GPA, drive, personality, fit with the team?
    Bob

    Funny thing is, if I have two candidates, one with no education and one with and they both interview well and the one with no education seems more eager to learn more and has a better attitude... I hire them. Education means jack to me, same with criminal background.

    I can be picky in who I hire because I pay top dollar to my employees. Avg pay here is minimum wage at every business and starting pay around me is usually minimum wage. I pay double per hour on avg and my starting pay for no education is $20 an hour.


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