Pretty quiet week lately! Lehigh was closed on Monday and Wednesday because of snow, so I’ve had a lot of time on my hands lately. What have I been doing with all this time? The answer the parents want to hear are homework and studying, but the true answer really is Mario Karts and sleep. HOWEVER, I have done some things productive in the past few days – interviews and applications for internships and co-ops.
I was lucky enough to be interviewed with Exxon Mobil on Tuesday and Disney on Wednesday. Since I only had one interview prior to this week, I was still very new to the entire interview process. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and I figure I would share what I know about the application and interview process. By no means am I an expert; I am merely writing down my experiences and hopefully someone can benefit from them.
In this post, I’ll be writing about some application tips. Later, I hope to write more about the interview process, resume and cover letter ideas as well!
Find a company, fill in the form, and click “submit.” Sounds easy enough, right? Sometimes not.
1) Find a company:
This step was particularly difficult for me. Since I had no idea of what field of engineering I wanted to pursue, I was hopelessly clueless of all the civil engineering related firms. I had no idea that civil engineering actually covers an even broader field (of construction, water management, structural, geotechnical, etc). Fortunately, Lehigh has a wonderful Career Services office and the career services that seemed so irrelevant at the time actually helped a lot. Also, LUCIE (Lehigh University Career Information Exchange) is an invaluable source that will help you find and identify your companies.
The companies that I immediately found and applied for are the ones that are on LUCIE and the ones that requested Civil Engineering majors. On a side note, I think these are the best options for applications. Reason being – if you apply to internships on companies’ websites, your application is added to a pool of hundreds of other hopeful candidates. With LUCIE, even though your application is within dozens, there is a connection between the company and Lehigh University!
Another place to discover companies that you otherwise wouldn’t have known is career fairs. At Lehigh, we must have had other 80 companies that visited us. However, we were also lucky enough to have a career fair dedicated to just civil engineers. During the civil engineering career fair, we had over 30 firms all interested in recruiting young talent. It was during this career fair when I discovered large firms such as Kiewit Construction, Dewberry, and Turner Construction.
You can also do the old and reliable internet search. It’s best to look at the industry leaders for internships, but there are always going to be small firms located close to your hometown. However, for reasons mentioned earlier, it’s better to apply to firms that have a close connection with your university!
Last of all, don’t be afraid to apply to as many internships as possible. After reading some online articles, serious internship seekers apply to 30+ positions. Adding to that, don’t just limit your internship to your major. Look for firms that really interest you. According to our career adviser, companies hire base on interest and passion much more than your college major!
2) Fill in the form
I’m not going to go into resumes and cover letters in this blog. However, once your resume and cover letter is perfect, filling in the form can either be the easiest part or the most tedious. LUCIE is very much like the Common Application for colleges, all you need to do is upload a resume for every job position. With a perfect resume set up, you can apply for dozens of internship positions in a matter of minutes. However, be careful if you chose to take this option – it is always better to personalize and craft each resume and cover letter in accordance with what each internship position desires. However, if your goal is just to apply to as much internship positions as possible, it probably is okay to upload a general resume.
3) Click “submit”
Easy enough – click “submit.”
Hopefully this can be useful for somebody! I really appreciate everyone who is reading my posts, if it’s possible, please comment below for any advice, areas of improvements. If you enjoyed this post, please press the “like” button, it definitely helps out a lot!