Hundreds of Engineering Students Practice their Interview Skills

Countless online articles can tell you how to create the best impression during a job interview. But as with engineering itself, there’s no substitute for trying out those theories in the real world.

On Friday, the CSULB College of Engineering Office of Professional Development & Internships hosted its annual mock interviews, giving 530 students the opportunity to practice their interview skills with representatives from 48 employers.

Sponsored by Southern California Edison, the event drew many of the region’s top employers, including the Aerospace Corp., Boeing, Disney, Griffith Construction, NAVAIR, Northrop Grumman, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ron Roberts, a recruiter with Griffith, said he was impressed with the CSULB engineering students’ enthusiasm. “I love the idea that the college is doing this,” said Roberts, a Cal State Los Angeles graduate. “These students have a hunger to learn.”

For students, the interviews also presented an opportunity to learn more about potential employers. Chemical engineering major Jasper Kelly said he hadn’t realized the diverse opportunities offered by the U.S. Coast Guard. When asked whether he wanted to work for the agency, Kelly said, “Maybe now I will.”

Some students who participated are graduating this semester and ready to hit the job market.

Others have a little time to prepare. Julie Liner prepared for her practice interview with Southern California Edison, where she’d like to work. “Most of the questions were expected. They were behavioral questions,” she said.

Honors student Daniel Lee said he doesn’t worry about the behavioral questions, which attempt to gauge soft skills. As a computer science major, however, he must master the technical interview, which includes algorithms.

 

Professional Development Speaker Series: Working as a Google Engineer

If you want to know the questions that Google interviewers ask, don’t believe the dozens of books and blog posts written on the subject. Because the minute an interview question is found to be published, it’s added to the list of banned questions, says Google software engineer Chris Clark, who was at CSULB Tuesday to talk about what it’s like to be an engineer at Google.

Clark was the top computer science student in his class at UCLA, where he double majored in applied mathematics. He won a Hewlett-Packard scholarship that guaranteed him three internships at the company.

But after completing his first summer internship there, he declined a second one in favor of internships at Xerox and then Microsoft. After his 2008 graduation, Microsoft hired him full-time. Seven years ago, he was recruited by Google.

The search engine giant, said Clark, “is very good at empowering every engineer.” The company’s open environment and support of its employees is legendary, as are its kitchens.

Clark said the micro-kitchens serve a purpose in addition to keeping employees in snacks, refreshments, and meals. “They foster communication with other people. You might go to pick up a water and overhear someone trying to solve a technical problem and end up in a conversation,” he said. Continue reading “Professional Development Speaker Series: Working as a Google Engineer”

Practice Makes Perfect during Annual Mock Interview Day

CSULB engineering students Friday had a chance to hone their interview skills with major companies at the annual Mock Interviews event put on by the College of Engineering Department of Professional Development and Internships.

Representatives from three dozen companies, including the Aerospace Corp., Boeing, Disney, Southern California Edison, and Xerox, filled tables in the University Student Union, donating their time to interview students and provide feedback on areas for improvement.

“I think it’s important to help the students get comfortable with interviewing,” said Eric Thibodeau, a workflow business manager with Xerox. “After all, it’s something nobody likes to do.” Continue reading “Practice Makes Perfect during Annual Mock Interview Day”

Disney Construction Internship: ‘Opportunity to be Part of the Magic’

matterhornIs the Happiest Place on Earth a good place to complete your construction management internship? According to project managers from Walt Disney Co.’s Facility Asset Management division, interns have extensive opportunities to learn, take initiative, and hold responsibility.

A half-dozen project managers from the division were at CSULB Thursday as part of the College of Engineering’s Professional Development workshop series. Students were also given an opportunity to submit their resumes for paid summer internships. Continue reading “Disney Construction Internship: ‘Opportunity to be Part of the Magic’”

CEM Holds Speed Networking Dinner

Construction companies are always searching for top-notch graduates. And construction engineering management students are always on the lookout for internships and job opportunities to launch their careers. So what better way to connect the two groups than over dinner?

The CSULB Construction Engineering Management program’s inaugural Speed Networking event brought together 63 students and seven construction companies Wednesday evening. Students had the chance to eat salad with one company, dinner with another, and dessert with a third—with even more networking time after dinner. Continue reading “CEM Holds Speed Networking Dinner”

How to Land and Keep an Internship

Landing an InternshipLanding an internship is competitive. And to drive that point home, Chuck Landon, Shur-Lok Director of Human Resources, on Wednesday had students play a game of  “Family Feud.” Dividing contestants into the Electrical Engineering Family and the Mechanical Engineering Family, Landon asked teams to guess the top ways to botch their internships.

Students’ guesses included “not being enough of a team player,” but according to Landon, the biggest way to jeopardize your internship is by not managing your time wisely. “Poor time management skills is a great way to screw things up,” he said. “Coming in late, leaving early, taking long breaks, and not finishing projects on time.” Continue reading “How to Land and Keep an Internship”

STEM Job Fair Draws Hundreds

Stem jobfair-5It’s job fair time again—that one day of the semester when dark business suits and shiny dress shoes replace shorts and flip flops. And while the quad in the College of Engineering is nearly deserted—the University Student Union is abuzz with hundreds of suit-clad students with stacks of resumes tucked under their arms.

Mechanical engineering senior Jesse Sanchez, who is graduating in December, plans to hand out a dozen resumes, including one to fast-growing medical device company Applied Medical. For each company he plans to meet with, he did some research. “You make time because it’s important,” he said. Continue reading “STEM Job Fair Draws Hundreds”

EE Alumni Chris Dunbar Speaks of Aerospace Opportunities

EE Alumni Chris Dunbar pictureWhen Christopher Dunbar studied electrical engineering at Cal State Long Beach in the late 1970s, he’d never heard of the term aerospace. Now he’s Associate Principal Director of the Aerospace Corp.

The El Segundo-based company provides technical expertise for the U.S. space program. Nearly three-quarters of the company’s 3,500 employees hold advanced degrees, including over 700 with doctorates. Continue reading “EE Alumni Chris Dunbar Speaks of Aerospace Opportunities”

Aerospace Corp. Hosting Info Session

aerospace-corporation pictures The Aerospace Corporation will be holding an information session in the Career Development Center next week. The session will take place from 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20 in BH-250. To attend, RSVP to lisa.ng@aero.org.

Chris Dunbar, Associate Principal Director of the Aerospace Corp. will be the keynote speaker. He will be providing information about the company and internship and entry-level job opportunities. Dunbar, a 1981 graduate of the CSULB Electrical Engineering program, manages the Guidance and Control Subdivision in the Engineering and Technology Group. Continue reading “Aerospace Corp. Hosting Info Session”

Summer Interns Needed at Ledcor Construction

ledcor logoIt’s always interesting when an engineering company visits campus to share their story with students—even more so when that company is hiring. Executives from Ledcor Construction were at CSULB this week to announce summer internship openings that could possibly lead to future full-time work.

“This is one of those opportunities where if you snooze, you lose,” said Emmitt Clark, Director of Professional Development and Internships for the College of Engineering, who arranged the visit. Continue reading “Summer Interns Needed at Ledcor Construction”