Lehigh never ceases to amaze me with its ability to mold me into a marketable engineering student.
With freshman year I was able to make connections with professors, get used to living on my own, and organize my goals for the future. Last semester I was finally introduced to classes within the Civil Engineering Department. I got aquatinted with actual engineering education and put it to use in many group projects. This year is the most astounding yet in my development. Before this semester I couldn’t even fathom applying for jobs in the engineering field, I wasn’t quite sure how to create a resume, write a cover letter, or introduce myself to a potential employee, but the co-op program has changed all of that in 1 short month.
What is a co-op?
Co-op stands for cooperative education. The program at Lehigh consists of 2 work rotations (like internships) with the same company. The first rotation occurs in fall of your junior year. Instead of taking classes you work with the company you were hired by for 4 months. The second rotation occurs during the summer between junior and senior year. You are paid, receive excellent in-field experience, and credits towards your major.
Sounds Great, So Whats The Trouble….
You have to get hired. This is where I am right now. I was accepted into the Lehigh co-op program itself, but in order to participate I have to be hired by a company offering a co-op position. This involves applications, resumes, interviews, phone calls, and getting familiar with companies.
So back to how Lehigh has improved me this semester!
I haven’t secured a position yet, offers don’t come out until march. However, even if I am not able to acquire a job I am excited with my new skills. I’ve been to several resume critiques and my resume is now something I can be proud of! I’ve interviewed for two positions already and after the first one my confidence level has tripled. I no longer tremble at the thought of an interview. Finally I now know where to look for jobs, how to appeal to employers, and the etiquette required in interviews, information sessions and so on. I feel like even if I don’t get a co-op that I am extremely prepared for the job market when I graduate. Something that only a place like Lehigh could allow me to achieve in a month!