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Need career advise

Need career advise

Need career advise

Hello everyone, I just found this forum tonight, I've been reading your posts and was wondering if someone would be willing to offer me some advise.  I am a young Engineer with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Penn State.  I have experience in some industrial design, Tooling design and process engineering.  I graduated back in 2000 and started working for a company as an Associate Tool Designer.  Their major customers were in the telecommunications industry, so as you know when the bottom dropped out beginning of 2001 I was laid off.  I spent 10 months searching for a job (I was lucky, there are some I know that are still looking).  Through some networking I found a job with another small manufacturing company as a Junior Process Engineer.  I've been working there for almost 2 years now and I am rather disenchanted with my job.  I have been looking and I know it's not a job seekers market anymore.  There are 2 main areas that I want to go into.  Product design/development and the other is still Process Engineering but with a company that supports process improvement efforts.  I am very motivated and a constant thinker.  For example, I interviewed with a company a week ago (set up through a recruiter) and part of the interview was a plant tour and the head of the engineering department asked where I would make improvements, I made my suggestions and shortly after, the interview ended.  Well, since then I have never stopped thinking about possible improvements.  I even have a whole process line set up in my mind that may work for them.  I would love to contact the employer to make my suggestions, but I think that would be breaking the trust of the recruiter that set up the interview.  Not to mention I haven't been able to get a hold of him since then.  Knowing my luck, he probably went on vacation.  Ok, there's a little background about me.  I do apologize for dragging this on.
My question is, there are positions out there that I want, but don't have the experience for, but I have the drive and dedication.  So how do get these companies to notice me as a qualified candidate?

RE: Need career advise

Ok, here's a shortened version so you don't have to read all.  How does one get into Product Design or Process engineering with a focus on process improvement if you don't have the background in it?  Everyone wants someone with experience, so how do you get that experience?  Would buying books and doing my own research on the subject give me a better edge?

RE: Need career advise

In answer to your first post I'd contact the employer directly with your suggestions (and I think that that is a very good idea). If you get offered a job the recruiter will still get his pound of flesh.

As to your second post, oddly enough we don't expect graduates to know how to do the job, we can teach them that. What we can't teach is aptitude, ability and enthusiasm. It sounds to me as though you have a flair for process engineering, I'd stick with that for your next job. Two years is perhaps a little on the short side for a job at one company, but I'd start looking now, while you are under thirty three years is an entirely acceptable stay.


Greg Locock

RE: Need career advise

Greg, thank you for your reply and if I can not contact the recruiter I will contact the company with my suggestion.  We'll see how that goes.  I love process improvement and I'm very interested in Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, JIT, Kaizen.  Most of what the automotive industry uses.  Unfortunately I don't have any experience with these.  I understand some of the very basic prinipals, but not the tools that are used.  Could you recommend any good books that I could use for research?  Eventually I would love to get into product design also.  I have experience with Pro/E, SDRC Ideas, Inventor and I just recently took a 3D skill seminar with Solidworks and I'm sure it would only be a week before I was proficient with it.  I don't want to just let these skills sit.  I also enjoy doing FEA and Heat Transfer.  There is so much that I want to learn and do, and life is too short to do it all!

RE: Need career advise

Heh, preludemd, sounds like you do want to do it all.  I would try to join any groups that you can about the subject to get more exposure, whether online or in person.  Some quick internet searches should help you out with what's available, and take the initiative to start a dialogue with others.  Your motivation is a driving factor that alone may get you hired, and once you get there work your @$$ off to learn.  GregLocock is absolutely right about not expecting graduates to know the job, but have the other abilities to be able to learn the job and do it well.  

Heck, if I were in the industry, with your PSU degree I would hire you, however I am biased being a Nittany Lion myself.   
AE '99

RE: Need career advise

To GregLocock, I did finally get in touch with the recruiter, it turned out that he's had bronchitis.  I wrote a follow up email thanking them for taking the time to speak with me, expressed that I was still interested and added those process ideas to the email also.  I sent it to the recruiter first so he could go over it.  He did say that I was a little lighter on experience than what they are looking for, and that they may have found someone who lives closer to the plant with more experience that they are interested in.  I guess time will tell.  

To MarauderX,  It's good to see a fellow PSU Grad!  As for wanting to do everything, I think it's a good thing to do.  Being specialized is nice, and it makes you an athority on the subject, but I would much rather prove my abilities at one thing and move on to the next.  I look at it like investing.  You don't want to put all your money in one stock right?  Need to stay diverse and learn new things.  That's why I went into engineering, not just because I like to crunch numbers or sit at a computer, but because it is such a diverse field and a constant learning process.  Of course now that I'm in the real world, I'm seeing companies place ads that look for that specialized person.  Then again, it's not the job seeker's market that it was when I graduated.

I just hope that being diverse will still give me a career in 10 or 20 years.


RE: Need career advise

Hi Preludemd,

What field of Process Engineering do you want to be involved in?


RE: Need career advise

Hi NOx,
Really, anything with manufacturing suits me.  I like being in the manufacturing environment because there is so much to get into and learn.  

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