Career Advice, Companies Hiring

What New Grads Need to Know About Getting an Engineering Job

Attention classes of 2019 and 2020: If you are looking to snag an engineering job when you graduate, we’ve gathered everything you need to know—from whether you need to add an internship to your resume to what skills you need to highlight—from Philips top recruiters.

You Need to Major in the Field You Want to Focus On

While some companies may welcome candidates with majors outside of their chosen fields, that is not always the case with engineering, says Amy McNair, a Philips campus recruiter. When it comes to supply chain management and design engineers, it’s best to have a major in those areas, she says. “You really need to have specific experience,” McNair explains.

For example, if you really want to work in supply chain management, “You really cannot climb [the corporate ladder] without specific training,” McNair says. “However, we [are] hiring right now for our quality team, [which] is not tied to a specific major,” she adds.

And Yes, You Need an Internship

According to Becky Abrahams, a campus recruiter at Philips, those seeking an engineering job should have an internship under their belts. At Philips specifically, recruiters often look for candidates with relevant technical skills—such as CAD or Solidworks—or programming experience. “People who have previous software experience including coding and software programming,” through an internship or a past position, will have a leg up, Abrahams says.

And zeroing in on a role-specific internship is also a smart move: “Our hiring managers are [often] looking for role-specific internship experience,” Abrahams says. While some hiring managers are more open-minded than others, Abrahams says, “specific engineering or software [candidates] need to come [to an interview/company] with specific experience.”

Philips Looks for Passion—In and Outside Engineering

If you’d like to work at Philips, recruiters there will look for passion, they say. Abrahams says recruiters specifically will ask (and hope to answer) these questions about applicants:

  • Have they done other projects on the side?
  • Are they taking initiative outside their day-to-day?
  • How do they work in group settings?
  • How do they navigate problem-solving?
  • Have they taken on leadership [roles] and [do they take] ownership when working on a project?

These are great questions to consider—regardless of where you aspire to work.

Here’s What You Need to Work at Philips

If you do aspire to work at Philips as an engineer, “really research the company, and don’t be afraid to share your excitement to work at Philips,” advises McNair. “Show your interest, do you your research. [And] be prepared to share your ‘why.’” Philips will also look for someone who is ready to jump right in and contribute to the team from the start, she says.

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