GE will host tables in various academic buildings from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., conduct office hours in Career Services (235 Schine) from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., and conclude with a major kick-off event in 304ABC (upstairs, Schine Student Center) from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. You’ll also hear from SU alumni all week on @WorkingOrange!
In preparation for GE Day, four SU alumni share their tips for success:
- Writing ability and interpersonal skills are two of the most important skills for communicators. Two books you need to read over and over:
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser. I’m not a great writer. You’re not a great writer. Regardless of your chosen profession, you’ll be expected to communicate with clarity and brevity. No one wants to read a five-paragraph email that could have been three sentences. Academic writing and “real world” writing are two completely different animals. Please read this book as soon as possible.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Fair or not, many of our elders view millennials in a less than favorable light. This will be your biggest challenge to overcome in your first few months on the job. You can whine about it, or you can proactively address the stigma by incorporating Carnegie’s lessons into your work and personal interactions. Thank me later!
- Whatever job you accept after graduation, learn everything you can about the history of your chosen industry, not just the company where you work. Why? Institutional knowledge = instant credibility.
- I’ll be crushed for this, but networking is overrated. Focus on perfecting your communication skills and building your resume, then worry about your network. Good managers and companies want the best talent. For me, a superior resume and work portfolio beats a connection every day of the week. I like helping people I know, but I love hiring the best talent. Why worry about my network when my work is all over the net?
- GO ABOVE AND BEYOND what is asked. Exceeding expectations as an early engineer is critical to gain visibility and show the required dedication to excel.
- LEAD in all aspects. Lead on small projects, lead on big projects. Ownership is how you get to put your name to impactful projects.
- ASK WHY, don’t just agree. New engineers won’t have the answers…and that’s ok! Ask why you’re assuming this value or why there are advantages to the conventional design. The more you understand the background, the sooner you can understand the implications and levers in problem solving.
- GET EXCITED always. Passion in what you do is critical to happiness and success. If you don’t love what you do, find what does make you happy. Engineering is everywhere, in everything. Love what you do.
- Be a hard worker and go the extra mile. Don’t settle for just doing what’s expected or requested of you; stop and think about what the real objective of the assignment is, and provide more insight, more research, more value.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions! People expect that you know very little about your job since you just started so speak up and ask questions and there is no such thing as a dumb question. Keep asking yourself why? until you really understand and have a good grasp.
- Build your mentality to network with people within your department and the company overall regardless if they are senior leaders or day to day professionals.
- Take the lead whether it be on a small project for your role or an affinity group event so you can build your reputation and make an impact.
- HAVE FUN and BE YOURSELF! It is important to create that work life balance. 🙂
- Network as much as you can. Talk to people. Ask questions. You never know where your next job opportunity will come from.
- Get involved. You will be quite busy with your normal work but it’s good to set aside time to help out in the community and/or get involved with program activities. It’s both a nice break from day-to-day work and a great way to enhance your internal resume.
- When you interview, just be yourself. The best thing you have going for you is your uniqueness and the set of experiences you have had to make yourself who you are today. Use your extracurricular activity experiences to your advantage and be sure to highlight them in your interview! You have developed some of your most important skills for the workplace at your sorority, your sports team, or your favorite club.
- Come prepared with questions to ask your interviewers. You will also be asked at the end for what questions you have. Ask about what some of the first initiatives you will be working on or when you can expect to hear back from them on the results of the interview.
- Have your set of 3-5 stories that you can pull experiences from when asked questions during your interview. You can likely answer all questions when referring to one of these stories that you have in your back pocket.
- If you have the capacity, ask for more work. Tell your manager about a project that you feel is needed and that you are interesting in taking it on.
Thank you to our GE bloggers! To learn more about these programs, come to the GE kick-off or follow along on @WorkingOrange.