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RE: Future Structural Engineer

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I think one problem is that, when you are an undergrad student (since not to
many grad students flunk out, they're too busy not sleeping), you focus
obsessively on grades, for good reason. In fact, your entire life barring
some after-school hours flipping burgers or stocking at Wal*Mart, you have
thought constantly about grades.

So it is natural to assume that after all those years that's what a
potential employer focuses on as well. Nothing could be further from the
truth.

Having spent a couple of years doing on-campus interviewing and recruiting
from my former employer, I can tell you that your GPA is only a small part
of the picture that an interviewer is trying to get where you, the
interviewee, is concerned. We only have a short period of direct contact,
typically, in order to decide if you are a candidate.

When I interviewed candidates for employment, I relied more on the overall
impression made at the interview. I found that I could seldom get an
accurate portrait from written resumes, job applications, application
letters, etc. It was only until I actually came face to face witht he
candidate that I got a picture I felt was somewhat accurate.

If you show interest, and an intelligent response to my questions, and a
sense that you understand what the requirements of the job are at that early
stage of contact, that says VOLUMES about what sort of employee you would
be.

Remember, in closing, that many times the guy that's interviewing you is not
a "genius" himself. I know that the director of transportation engineering
where I used to be employed was a sub-3.0 GPA herself at Texas A&M, and she
specifically looks for "diamonds in the rough" as a result.

In short, DON'T have any preconceived notions about how you well be
perceived. YOU are the one obsessing over your grades, and understandably
so, but believe me few others will be as worried about it as you.

Good luck.

-----Original Message-----
From: sscholl2(--nospam--at)juno.com [mailto:sscholl2(--nospam--at)juno.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 10:23 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Future Structural Engineer




I have several bits of advice after graduating more than 40 yrs. ago.

Don't get too narrow in you search. For example consider teaching, sales,
civil engineering jobs, jobs with contractors, etc. You can go into more
narrow areas that you like later.

Visit a few engineers' offices and offer to work a few hrs. a day or week
at no pay to get some experience. If you do good, they will find a
postion for you.

Where are you located? Perhaps that is the problem. In the LA area there
are lots of jobs. There are no jobs in my home area of Illinois.

I have never had anyone ask about grades.


Stan Scholl, P.E.
Laguna Beach, CA

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