What has been the most important thing that you have learned during your experiences?
More than anything, I have learned that if I abide by two rules during my experiences, they will usually end up positive. The first rule is to make each experience your own. Doing this will always lead you on a path towards enjoying your experiences near and far. This rule can also make dramatic changes in lifestyle or environment a little more manageable. For example, I know that going to the gym helps me relieve stress and centers me. As a result, the first thing I look for in a new place is a good gym that may have new and exciting group fitness classes. Even though I may be hundreds or thousands of miles from home, I still am able to maintain a sense of being grounded because there is a part of my life that is consistent. My second rule is that respect leads to respect. By respecting your peers in a new work environment, or even an old one, you are way more likely to work smoothly with these people and earn their respect in return.
Have you considered graduate school? If yes, what would you like to do?
My answer to this question is definitely "yes." After four years of my degree program, I feel like I'm only scratching the surface of the knowledge I hope to gain in life. I have realized in the last few years that the next step in my education is most likely going to include an MBA program or something related to management. While I enjoy researching new and exciting technologies, I know that I like working with people in fast-paced operations and management roles much more. For anyone who is confused about what their next step after their undergraduate degree should be, it's a great idea to speak with people who have taken different paths post-undergrad. Engineering degrees are a great entrance to medical school, law school, engineering graduate school, and beyond. Some engineering grads even choose to go into an advanced field of study that is dramatically different than their initial degree. Knowing that you have a solid base for your resume and curriculum vitae with a B.S. in your chosen engineering major, explore your options beyond your undergraduate degree!
What has been your favorite part of working with the companies you've interned with?
By far, my favorite part of working with the companies that I've interned with has been the people I get to work with every day. No matter where I've gone, I've always managed to make friends. One rule of thumb for interns is that you may actually make more friends when you move far out of your geographical comfort zone because being away from everyone you know forces you to get out and meet new people.
From speaking with a lot of students, and even professionals in any field, the people you work with every day can seriously influence your satisfaction with you own career. It's one thing to spend forty hours a week with people you can stand, but being able to spend forty hours a week with people you enjoy working with and can even have a few laughs with is extremely important.
On a side note, always make sure to watch your boundaries at work. Company cultures all vary and figuring out your boundaries is a large part of your initial experience working with a new corporation. Use the power of observation to figure out what is appropriate and what definitely is not. I know that kind of bursts the whole "I love my co-workers" bubble, but it is a very important lesson that should be learned as soon as possible.
As always, if anyone has any questions, suggestions, or comments, please send them to me at SpartanJobSeeker@gmail.com.
Good Luck Job Seekers!