Going by the trends in Indian Education System, it is found that , one third of college freshers plan to graduate in science and engineering, while about 8% of all these first-year students intend to concentrate in engineering proper.
Some of these engineering students are destined to land lucrative jobs with big giants worldwide, while others are . . . well, every field has its “lesser lights”, right?
Today, we have decided to bring to a sane piece of advice, that current engineering students could follow to put themselves on the fast track to career success.
Here are the best tips, most of which would work for any career-aspiring college student, but we are concentrating on Engineering Students.
Find Your Inspiration In The Field
For the engineering brigade it is imperative to find a realistic inspiration. To identify the people who inspire, and find out what makes them tick. If you love Apple products, Steve Jobs may be your idol, or perhaps you may find a young talented current times engineering enthusiast who has won the accolades. You can easily find out a lot of information about any other prominent person in technology, who made a brand of himself. Use that information to look into what’s helped these people and their companies become so successful. Then emulate their positive traits in your personal, scholastic, and professional life.
Start Developing Your Portfolio of Projects Right From College Time
Do not think that college time is only theoretical learning time and get head-buried in books. You must participate in every hands-on, experiential learning opportunity that a balanced schedule allows. Design and create, convert your ideas into tangible projects. This way, you’ll be building a substantial portfolio alongside and you will have something unique to show to a prospective employer or a venture capitalist, when you graduate. In addition, you’ll be far more likely to retain the knowledge you’ve gained in classes because you’ll be applying it too and, in the process, boosting your communication and interpersonal skills, which will be an added bonus.
Make Networking Your Tool
Being the ace in a field depends upon who you are being with and whom you know. Remember, whom you know is almost as important as what you know. For that, you must attend special lectures on your campus and introduce yourself to the invited speakers. Check with your college or institution’s alumni association to get a list of alumni from your program who want to connect with undergraduates and impart tips from their experiences. Also, try and become members of technology clubs in your college or your vicinity. Make a productive network of likeminded people around you. For networking, social media platforms like LinkedIn can be used effectively.
Learn To Build And Work In Teams
Whether it’s about creating a solar-powered chopper, or participating in a college sport, or writing a research paper for the college almanac, try to work with a team. Identify the tasks that requires a team effort to produce great results, and build a solid team around it. Because, if you are in a field like engineering, throughout your career, you can be sure that you’ll be working in teams. The team building skills that you develop in college will help prepare you to lead teams in your professional career.
Learn To Take Constructive Criticism
When you design or create something, you will definitely get feedback from team members, group leaders, and professors. This feedback can be positive and negative too. You will have to learn to take negative criticism constructively because that is what will help you identify your flaws. When you have concrete feedback on how actually people view you and your work, you can work to improve your knowledge and skills. Plus, you’ll also learn how to accept, and give, constructive criticism, which is absolutely necessary for your future career.
Learn The Business Skills Too
As an engineer, it’s not enough for you to be technically proficient; you need to be business savvy too. If you’re going to be a professional, or going to become an entrepreneur, you need to understand what a P&L is (also known as an income statement). Go through the organization charts, know how to negotiate contracts, and be familiar with the myriad other functions that every top engineer needs to know. Learn to deal with an accountant, lawyer, a govt. dept. head or any other who is going to be imperative for engineering projects in future.
Get Familiar With The World Around You
There’s a whole wide world out there beyond problem sets, laboratories, and theory. There is a lot happening on the planet which is affecting life on everyday basis. Innovations, inventions are happening almost every day. Therefore, you must learn to walk with trends. Take a visual design course so you’ll learn to represent fresh ideas graphically. Take a cognitive science course to learn how people interpret the world and understand it. Take a literature course to develop your knowledge and appreciation of the classic books, which will help you write and communicate more effectively. Develop some proficiency in another language, travel abroad, or meet students from other cultures. Start “globalizing” right at college.
Enhance Your Practical Experience
When you enter the professional world, your practical experience will be given equal weightage along with your theory knowledge. Employers place tremendous value on practical experience. To work on your practical knowledge, you must look for internship opportunities actively and early in your academic career. Try to demonstrate through your internships a series of evolving engineering projects, and use the internships to build your portfolio of actual projects/products. New graduates who display a commitment to using even their vacation time productively, and who continue to learn, are always viewed more seriously by the prospective employers.
To sum it all, at last we are going to impart the most important and sane piece of advice that, as an engineering student, the life is not going to be easy, but you can definitely make it fun and very interesting, provided you decide to look beyond the books.
There is a whole world around you which is a fine specimen of genius engineering. Make the world your playground of learning.
Be the best you!