Writing to the world is difficult when there is no tangible return on my time other than watching statistics flutter. There always seems to be something better to do, unless it’s a work term report or a PD assignment to finish. Nearly 2 months ago I made a first post and haven’t done anything to my legitimate blog with a .org domain. Anyways, I’ve kept myself busy with other things (brace yourself for sob stories and rambling).
As a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Waterloo, I need to find a 4 month internship related to mechanical engineering, every 4 months. I didn’t mention where I would be this term in my last post becasue I had no idea where I would be. Waterloo has a system called “Jobmine”, where employers post jobs and students frantically apply to many excellent opportunities in a number of cycles. My intention was to go to Tesla Motors, and only Tesla because it would be a place where I would be surrounded by like minded people and wouldn’t become bored working on projects. I truly believed that I was qualified and ready to take on a phone interview, and I was wrong on both counts. Unfortunately as passionate as I was about electric cars, I realized that every answer I gave lacked the matter I intended to present (numbers, results, feedback, why I chose the specific situation as an example, how I exhibited engineering knowledge, etc.). So I basically screwed everything up, got a bit depressed, and applied to every remotely relevant job on Jobmine.
Previously, I had only needed one interview per term to land a job, this time I got a little confident and blew it. My recommendation to you if you’re looking for you if you’re trying to find an internship or Co-op job is to apply to everything, and write passionate cover letters for the jobs you really want. I had never felt so screwed in my life, I was finished exams and still unemployed. I started not to care about anything, went for long drives to the middle of nowhere, and killed time by studying late into the night. Unfortunately, this is the real world and I’m not a master of everything. I knew a number of people in my class already had to deal with this, and I had no idea what they were dealing with. Sorry if I had made you feel bad.
After a number of interviews, I finally got an offer to work with Dr. Mustafa Yavuz in his research group. Currently, I’m working on a low frequency shaker table, which might be documented under my projects once it is complete. I’m liking many aspects of the job since I’m not being directly managed and I’m free to design whatever I want so meet the constraints and criteria. Although still pretty bummed out about not getting the Tesla job, getting an offer of employment resulting in a Co-op credit is uplifting.I’ll be trying again next time or after I get some automotive experience seeing as how they hired 40 mechanical students for the fall term.
Working for the university also put me conveniently close to the Formula Electric team I joined in the winter. I’m still with them and within the short 6 months so far, I’ve had a hand in designing the drive train and now moving onto the battery pack, learning everything I needed along the way. Everything about the team just felt like the right fit, no annoying fumes and noise to deal with, just high voltage and silence. The team is working on our first car for the 2015 competition scheduled for completion in the summer.
Other things I’ve been working on include a lot of milling, cleaning, and working on my own car. I’ll save that for the next post which is probably getting hammered out in a few minutes with photos and whatnot.
Oh and one more tip, a website makes you much more credible when you tell potential employers about outlandish and ambitious projects. Keeping such a site updated would probably help as well.