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RE: Future Structural Engineer

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Phillip:


If they ask you why your grades are not perfect simply explain why.  My
experience was the people that got excellent GPA's, did not drink enough
beer in college and were lacking in social skills.  My secret to passing was
to learn by osmosis in between enjoying my fleeting youth. This also helped
me get a masters degree and license.  I would strongly recommend this
approach to life for anyone who has 40 or 50 years left tops.


Now for your interview:
1) Go in a nice suit, be ironed, combed and polished.
2) Practice for questions you think they will ask and be prepared for ones
you don't know about.
3) Be organized, relaxed, confident, have goals, know what you want and ask
good questions.
4) Be better then the competition.

My boss had a little test for my first job.  It had a little wood building
and asked to find base shear, wall unit shear, overturning tension,
allowable wall nailing ect...  I had just finished a Timber class and
slammed it.  If you know the  type of work you would do there have a basic
understanding of it.


Your GPA isn't as important as your work ethic,integrity, people skills and
ability to learn. Your GPA might matter a little to get your first job but
when you get it, the proof is in the pudding. 

Looks like you passed your EIT, good move, now pass the PE. If you can't
find a real job try looking at local government, state and federal
government job listings.  Engineers that work for the government have the
same stigma as Army surgeons but the fact of the matter you get paid on
time, they generally pay you to learn, have pensions, medical insurance and
they normally have entry level job openings.

If you ever wanted to move to Alaska I guarantee you that there are entry
level state engineering job listings almost weekly and definitely during the
summer.



Make it happen!

Scott M Haan P.E.
Plan Review Engineer
Building Safety Division 
Development Services Department
Municipality of Anchorage
http://www.muni.org/building
phone:907-343-8183  
fax:907-249-7399
mailto:haansm(--nospam--at)ci.anchorage.ak.us



-----Original Message-----
From: Phillip Rogers [mailto:perogers(--nospam--at)rocketmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 8:44 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Future Structural Engineer


Hello all,

I am a graduate with a BS in Civil/Structural
engineering.  I have been out of school for about 9
months trying very hard to find a job in the
structural area.  This is my emphasis and strong
interest.  I am very frustrated with my inability to
find a job.  

When I first graduated I was waiting on a hiring
freeze for nearly 5 months to begin working with a
company.  The freeze was never lifted.  This process
was repeated about 2 more times.  Thus my past 9
months have been a waste.  Of course hindsite is
20/20, and I wish that I had taken some kind of job. 
But, I have always had a strong job lead that has
prevented me from making any commitments to a job.    

My dilema is this.  I know I have a lot to offer. 
However, my GPA was fairly low (2.6)and I have been
out of work.  But I have kept myself busy with
visiting family, job search, college math tutoring,
learning structural software, and volunteering my
services to painting some murals for a church.  I am
worried how all this makes me look.  How do I present
myself to potential employers and overshadow these
negative points that are not indicative of the kind of
person/worker that I am.

The GPA subject has been a sensitive one for me.  I
know that my abilities and work ethic are much better
than that.  I encountered some very personal
situations (not due to any irresponsibility of my own)
outside of school that required me to be out of town
alot and was a hinderance to my studies.  Of my 9
semesters in school, 2 semesters are what caused my
grades to plummet.  The other 7 were pretty good. 
If I am asked about my grades, how do I present myself
as much better than my GPA shows, without looking like
I am making excuses.  I feel like there is no engineer
out there who understands what I am talking about. 
Did every engineer cruise through college without
facing any obstacles outside of the classroom? 
Throughout school I was a strong A-B student when it
came to projects and assignments.  But as you all know
that accounts for very little of a course grade.  

I am an entry level candidate with no structural
engineering related experience.  I have summer
experience as survey/site draftsman and in the general
non-technical business sector.  

I have 2 interviews scheduled over the next 5 business
days for positions that I am very interested in.  The
structural engineering market seems to be picking up
some in my area of the country, finally.  

Any advice, for this longwinded message. 

Thanks

Phil Rogers, EI    

  

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