Not sure about engineering

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David in Colorado Springs, Colorado

40 months ago

I am very glad I found this thread. I am getting good advice from many of you. However, I have a unique situation, and I haven't heard it mentioned yet. My high school years were not the best, and I spent a lot of time homeless, and even been in trouble with the law. I am turning that around now and am in school, and doing very well. I currently have an AAS in AutoCAD with a 3.95 GPA and am starting to get my 4 year BA in Mechanical Engineering. I have a few worries about actually finding work. I am worried that I may have too much trouble as en ex-felon, that engineering positions require a rigorous security clearance. Also, while I was homeless, and in a transient time in my life, I didn't hold a job for any real length of time. I am hoping to turn this around with my schooling, but I am wondering if there is something more that I can be doing. Also, I want to find some kind of entry level work to get started in before I finish school. Yeah, the intern stuff has been mentioned, but is there anything else. Most of my work before school has been food industry, and I am not sure where to look in the engineering field.

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pavan kumar in Bangalore, India

40 months ago

hi u should have the quality of grasping knowledge from any circumstance,ya college will not prepare u but it gives u hope to prepare further,nothing much one should be very kind and should mingle with strangers easily.no not at all all engineers are not born genius they are made genius due to ther experince.

Milo in Somerville, New Jersey said: I've always wanted to be an engineer, but Im not sure Im smart enough. Did any of you guys think like this?

Will college prepare me, or should I already know most of the stuff ahead of time?

What do employers expect from you in your job?

Not to sound immature, but do you have to be like a genius to make it as an enigneer?

-Thanks in advance

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TIm in Naples, Florida

40 months ago

David in Colorado Springs, Colorado said: I am very glad I found this thread. I am getting good advice from many of you. However, I have a unique situation, and I haven't heard it mentioned yet. My high school years were not the best, and I spent a lot of time homeless, and even been in trouble with the law. I am turning that around now and am in school, and doing very well. I currently have an AAS in AutoCAD with a 3.95 GPA and am starting to get my 4 year BA in Mechanical Engineering. I have a few worries about actually finding work. I am worried that I may have too much trouble as en ex-felon, that engineering positions require a rigorous security clearance. Also, while I was homeless, and in a transient time in my life, I didn't hold a job for any real length of time. I am hoping to turn this around with my schooling, but I am wondering if there is something more that I can be doing. Also, I want to find some kind of entry level work to get started in before I finish school. Yeah, the intern stuff has been mentioned, but is there anything else. Most of my work before school has been food industry, and I am not sure where to look in the engineering field.

To be honest with you, the job market is just so rough, any criminal backround no matter how good your GPA is, is going to make it a hard time for you to find a job but you already know that. The reason I'm saying this is companies don't want to be liable if something happens.

My advice for you is to network well. Meet other engineers,professionals and become best friends with them. That is the way you get jobs in this industry. I would skip the online applications all together which many may reject all together. The reason for this being is many online applications automatically are programmed to eliminate applicants with that do not meet minimum qualifications, criminal backround so it might be a complete waste of time all together.

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JRCistern32 in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

40 months ago

Im currently in the marine corps and all the colleges the military has to offer are not ABET certified. allso there government funded if i were to attend a community college and then transfer to a university with my 4 years out of highschool and just being young they were not that great then. after my combat deployment i know just what i want to do and thats mechanical engineering. how does one go from forgetting everything in highschool to achieve this goal. im very familiar with alot of things just the math portion worry's me..i loved math in school just didnt apply myself what are some steps anybody recommend i take... for starters im sure my spellings is way off so please excuse any type os

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Will in Houston, Texas

40 months ago

Depending on what field you get into this could be a factor. But it is not universal. Sounds like hoapres has had some bad experience here. I'd advice the commissioning paths as well or alternatively wait till you're out and use your GI Bill money to get into an ABET school.
I work with a lot of former miliary degreed engineers. It's not uncommon.

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tshegofatso in Johannesburg, South Africa

40 months ago

i have always wanted to be an engineer and i'm currently a first year student at university. Doing BSME, i cant help but ask myself if i have made the right choice.i had good grades for mathematics and physical science. i want to know if its normal to have doubts about my choice? have you ever doubted you decision when you were doing your degree?

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Will in Houston, Texas

40 months ago

Some uncertainty is very common. Don't worry so much, it's just the rest of your life!

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James in Allahabad, India

40 months ago

Hi.Im currently pursuing my Btech in Mechanical Engineering,and there have been few questions that I've been pondering upon.

People generally say that Mech Engg is all about being good at drawings and design,but since my first year,I have not been able to get the grasp of it,neither it's basics. So,do I have any alternate option in the Mech field itself,than just designing?

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Daniel Rodriguez in Long Branch, New Jersey

38 months ago

bob in Chicago, Illinois said: I am a mechanical engineer and I design buildings all the time. You see mechanical engineering is one of the most diverse engineering fields, you could be doing anything from engine parts and technical design (my first job I worked for Harley Davidson) to air conditioning etc. For the past 15 years I have done vibration tests on huge structures, like wind and vibration tests on tall buildings (for example the Chicago Spire in Chicago), stadiums, and bridges. I never knew buildings had things like dampers, etc. You never know what field you may go into or what you'll need next (I certainly thought I would never need anything from my vibration classes! Boy was I wrong!). I believe anyone can do engineering, especially if you work ten times harder than everyone else. However, realize that some do have to work harder than others. Being naturally among the best and working harder is even better.

How was working for Harley Davidson? I want to work for them after I finish my degree because Ive been riding Harleys since I was young and I'm really into the construction of motorcycles.

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Bahea in Englewood, Colorado

38 months ago

Hello all! Looking for some answers from Engineers in the MidWest, such as Will in Houston...It would help if anyone has advice on SW to Mid-Western (CO,NM,OK,TX)companies that employ MechEngineers, like to promote from within, and have tuition reimbursement programs.
I have a BS in Biology/Chemistry (pre-med) with excellent grades. I want to gain knowledge and an education to get into Mechanical Engineering, but not sure I'm interested in Bio-Mechanical. I am exceptional at math and physics but lack education in that area at present. civil and software don't interest me, more into aero/mech. I was told that a second Bachelor's is useless, that a Master's is the way to go this time. So....

1) Where should I start in education? Learn practical skills (like AutoCAD) or shoot for a cert full-blown Master's degree program?

2) In the meantime, where could I work? Apply to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, etc as an administrative/ departmental assistant?

I wish I could talk to an engineering hiring manager and find out what they put as the highest priority! Thanks everyone!

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Will in Houston, Texas

38 months ago

1) A masters will take of the "not a real engineer" hurdle you may face if you really want to get into actual design work. Autocad is OK but more than likely you should learn a 3d cad package like Solidworks or whatever they call ProEngineer these days. And actually, you could learn this on the job if you had one, but if you don't find yourself a free student license and teach yourself.

2) I personally would avoid large aviation and certainly governemtn contractors. That is unless you want to get jaded quick. Their business models are wonky and engineering there doesn't follow naturally paths. I'd suggest working for a company that does commercial or industrial goods sold to people or companies. It's best for you as a young engineer if they produce the goods at the same place you work (the factory...versus overseas suppliers, etc).

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Will in Houston, Texas

38 months ago

*In three of four of those states listed Oil and Gas is big business. If you didn't care so much about actual design engineering, and you're are smart as you say you think you are you could get in as a 'Field' Engineer with the degree you have. It would take some initiative but the only hard qualifications here is that you're smart, hardworking, and have a good intuition about equipment and people. Make good money and travel? Yes. What's your email address?

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Bahea Bratcher in Englewood, Colorado

38 months ago

Thanks Will! I think I'm being prevented from sending that info, so lets try this: victor india papa echo romeo 123981 at yankee alpha hotel oscar oscar dot charlie oscar mike

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JRCistern32 in Midway Park, North Carolina

38 months ago

To Will in Houston;
Thanks for the advice as far as the commissioning part I took enough rounds and partial IED blasts lol I plan on hanging up my boots after another year besides peace time rolling around theres nothing to do but hate life at that point. But my plans are to go to Blinn in Brenham, TX and then plan on transferring to A&M for my bachelors in mechanical engineering.I worked along side Engineers in Afgan building roads and bridges more of a civil type detail. My job is driving motor vehicles such as MRAP (mine resistant vehicles) bomb proofing areas and routes, up to and but not limited to. My question is i know in school i could've put forth more effort but was young but now as im a little more older im more squared away with my prioritys. if i do secede in the transfer to the university will they help me as longs as i try what i mean is im not going to almost get half way there and boom drop half the class not meeting there standards. reason i ask is i heard or i read somewhere that 30 percent or so drop out or fail out of the program.

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EJobs in London, United Kingdom

38 months ago

Some useful information here:
www.engineeringjobs.org.uk

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Nate K in Methuen, Massachusetts

34 months ago

Will, I'm very interested in having your take on the career path of a Mech.Eng. I have a BSME and currently applying to grad school for a MSME; however, I have many questions that after reading through this thread, you would be able to provide some insight on. My email is nkituuma@gmail.com - please shoot me a quick message and I'll most definitely get back to you.

thanks again for your great advice all throughout this thread.

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