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Join Date: Feb 2015
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First Time Applying to Internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 4:10 PM

To begin, I'm currently a Sophomore. I got to a Cal State Uni and came in Undeclared up until my 2nd year when I declared Mechanical Engineering. For the most part, I don't know exactly what I want to do with Engineering (Speciality wise), but everyone has recommended Mechanical as it's sort of the "utility man" of all the branches.

I actually just got an email with an internship opportunity. There are 9 positions for undergrads and I have one simple question; A few of the jobs list that I have at least 2 years of study. Here's the question: My first year of college I was undeclared and just worked on GE's. I declared Mechanical my 2nd year and am now full into the program (taken 2 engineering classes thus far), although I'm behind two classes that I should be taking now but can't because I started the program a year late. Would you guys consider this as an adequate two years? I could easily apply for the positions that only require 1 year of study, but I'd much prefer to apply for the ones that require 2 years simply because they are much more of a challenge and give me more drafting/field experience vs correcting online manuals and creating memorandums (BORING!). I feel as if I'm qualified for the positions that are asking for 2 years of study so I'm not trying to take on something beyond my skill.

Bonus Question: It asks for "Position Interest". Would they hold it against me if I put multiple positions down?

And also, what should I expect if I do get an interview? I've never had a real job interview so I don't know what to anticipate, but I am great with people and have a confident/mature demeanor about myself so I'm not too worried.

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#1

Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 4:30 PM

So, you don't really know why you chose ME, are not through your first year of specialized study, but feel you are qualified for the advanced positions?

I've hired many ME's in my career and I'd consider you for the more advanced position only if you had something in your CV/resume' that indicated that you were ready for the "unboring"position.

I spent two years cutting and pasting process documents for industry (pre-word processor) before I get an advancement. I would have swept floors if that's what they asked me to do.

So, if you think you can talk your way into one of the advanced positions, go for it.

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#13
In reply to #1

Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

03/01/2015 6:54 PM

Through high school and college (majored in electrical engineering) I worked part-time for a company that polished silicon wafers. Mopping the floors at the end of the day was one my tasks. Emptying catch buckets of waste polish (ammonium fluoride and cupric nitric) was another. Cleaning the machines was another nasty task. Mounting wafers on polish plates with hot wax, polishing to the prescribed thickness, cleaning with nitric acid, and de-mounting wafers and de-greasing the wafers with a vapor degreasing process was another.

Learned to inspect wafers for thickness, flatness, surface defects like orange peel and other defects.

All work experiences are good. That is where you can prove your worth to the company and show future prospective employers that you can reliably show up on time, do what you're told, not burn the place down, and get along with others.

Nothing wrong with having an interest in more than one position.

Good luck with your quest.

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#17
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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

03/04/2015 4:52 PM

As someone who spent a little over 23 years working with those wafers you polished and cleaned, I want to thank you for your often grungy work. Without it, my job would have been much harder.

I didn't start as an intern. I started on the assembly line, became a technician, then became an engineer. I did the academic stuff concurrently with the Real World stuff when I could work it in.

So, another option to consider is to get a full-time job in the industry of choice and work on your education at the same time.

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#2

Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 4:44 PM

Bluster will no doubt be your best asset, Wally.

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#3

Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 5:54 PM

Getting your first interview is a little like meeting your girlfriend's parents for the first time, formal, a little awkward feeling....If they like you, you become elated and push your luck too far sometimes....and if they don't, well, it's all downhill from there....Best to maintain a salesman like attitude...neatly dressed, polite, friendly and outgoing, but not too talkative, be relaxed and confident, take a thoughtful approach...accept what they offer, don't make demands or requests, unless of course they ask for preferences...Remain focused during the interview with your attention on the one doing the interview, don't look around, don't let your mind wander....Remember to maintain a professional attitude at all times....speak to others as equals, but be friendly and polite....don't use slang, speak proper whole sentences...look people in the eye when you're talking to them...Be prepared to discuss your background and any work experience, show some examples of your work if it's appropriate, and if they ask....Make sure you get the details about what is expected from you in this position, and make a note of it....including duties, working hours and times and days and length of commitment...Make sure you know what's expected so you can be prepared to deliver...

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#4

Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 7:18 PM

Don't let that stop you, if you have the desire, all job requirements are is nothing more than a wish list. Especially an internship. The question is, do you beleive you can do it.

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#5
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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 7:44 PM

Thank you all for the responses. So my last question for you guys: Are they going to discount me if I put two positions I'm interested in? There is one job I'm entirely qualified for minus the 2 years of specialized study, and I want to include my interest in the other position that only is asking for 1 year of specialized study (with which I feel like I would be overqualified and bored with). I really want to take on the more challenging position as I know I can handle it.

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#6
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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 7:53 PM

If you think you're qualified for the higher job, and can convince them, then go for it.

I'd not hold it against if you applied for two positions.

Good luck.

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#7
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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 7:54 PM

One of the things I would look for is honesty. I myself would put my interests down. I for myself, I never looked at my accomplishments, but the next challenge. Now, as I'm approaching retirement in a 10 years, I'm started to,reflect more on my accomplishments.

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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 9:13 PM

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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 9:23 PM

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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 9:31 PM

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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

02/28/2015 8:35 PM

Your perception may or may not be accurate....If you do poorly on the job that states requirements beyond what you have, it will not reflect well on your abilities...they will not take into account that you discounted the stated requirement...but will assume that even after two years of specialized study you failed to grasp the material....you will have in all possibility, burned that bridge....this is not to say that you can't go on to another opportunity....but now you carry 2 mistakes in failed judgement...If on the other hand you disclose the fact that you don't fit the requirements as stated but wish to attempt the position anyway, you will know who you are dealing with...people who recognize talent, or pencil pushing morons....You can then deal with them accordingly...and your choice becomes clear...

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#14
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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

03/02/2015 4:31 AM

You are so paranoid dude!!!!

You need nads to be an engineer and applying for a job you want and have to work at requires quite large nads.

If you don't apply you definitely have a "No".

If you try you just might get a "Yes" or maybe a compromise.

Go for it and learn.

What will you lose?

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#15
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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

03/02/2015 8:35 AM

Anything you do does not have to be "boring". If you have something mundane to be done, think of a new/different/better way. All of a sudden, it isn't boring any more. If you can think "outside the box", as the saying goes, even repetative tasks can be made interesting and yes, even challenging.

Give it a try sometime.

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#18
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Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

03/04/2015 5:02 PM

If you put down 2 positions, be prepared to explain how you can help the company in either of those positions. You need to convince them that you want to help them. You are there to answer their needs, not yours.

One advantage of internship, besides the hands-on experience, is you get to make contacts. You may start in a position that you don't really want (or find out you don't want it after you thought you did at first), but you must still do the best you can to show you can contribute to the success of the company (or the department or the team). If the people you work with are impressed with your effort and ability, they may be able to recommend you to someone else later. I've had interns I could not get rid of fast enough, and others I wished would stay , and sometimes they would. Try to be one of the latter.

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#12

Re: First time applying to internship; Qualified?

03/01/2015 9:10 AM

Internships are like going to school or attending a type of training course.. The difference is the focus! Unlike schools internships are concentrated more hands on, practical applications and not on theories.. Similarly, you enrolled on to an ME oriented course based not on your own inclinations but based on other's! You can do internship using same approach and should be willing to accept what is offered.. Putting in your preference although may not be in accordance to your qualifications is very important too! It will demonstrate some of your personal traits as well as maturity.. Be ready to accept what is offfered and learn. Depending on how you perform on assigned tasks may serve as a door opening in the future.... Once you completed your undergrad studies, the company may have position ready based on your past performance!

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#16

Re: First Time Applying to Internship; Qualified?

03/02/2015 10:29 AM

I don't know if I want to encourage you or give you a verbal smack-down.

There is nothing wrong with having more than one engineering interest. I have probably been doing this since before you were born and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. I don't think I have ever been hired to do exactly what I thought I was applying for. I have always had chances to learn because I end up doing things I have never done before.

If your two years of school are somehow in a "gray zone" don't worry about it. There are some very good high level engineers with only a high school education and there are far too many people with a PHD in engineering that can't be trusted to engineer their way out of a wet paper bag. Go until someone of authority tells you no. Then get up, dust off your books, adjust your direction and get going again.

Many billions of dollars are lost each year due to engineers not making sure that the boring stuff is taken care of. Many co-workers loose their jobs, insurance and dreams because engineers couldn't be bothered to do things that weren't fun. Engineers need to make sure that a product is designed well, documented well, and can be produced to be safe, reliable and profitable. Some of this is a lot of fun. Some of this is pretty boring. An employer does not pay you to have fun. An employer pays you to be a responsible part of the overall activity that makes them money. Having fun is a bonus.

Here is an educational assignment for you. Go to the interview and tell them that you are only interested in doing fun things. I think you will learn a lot from this approach.

A fancy piece of paper might be needed to get the engineering job but you don't need fancy paper or formal education to be an engineer.

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#19
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Re: First Time Applying to Internship; Qualified?

03/04/2015 5:07 PM

" I have probably been doing this since before you were born and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up."

Paula Poundstone: "You know why adults always ask children what they want to be when they grow up? They're looking for ideas."

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