The other day in my Chemical Engineering class, our professor took time out of lecture to talk to us about co-ops, internships, research opportunities and just the overall importance of getting an education. While at school, it’s easy to get caught up in classes and forget that the whole reason we go to school, is to ultimately obtain a job and start a career. That being said, it is extremely to not only do well in school, but to also work on interviewing skills and marketing yourself to companies.
Our professor started off the presentation by describing the jobs he used to have, and while joking around, explained how important it is to get an education. He said his first job he had was cleaning up roadkill from streets and had to start working at 5 in the morning! His next job was in a factory working on the assembly line making binders. And after that, he had another job working on a resistance welding assembly line. He described all of these jobs in a joking manner but really wanted to make it clear that by going to school, you can make a better life for yourself. He said that most of the people working on the assembly lines either had missing fingers or ended up getting Cancer. All of us were laughing about the jobs he had and were trying to picture our professor, someone who seems very educated, working these miserable jobs. But we also realized that if want a good job after college, we need to be proactive now and look at our opportunities available. He then told us how he co-oped for a year in college and got paid more than he ever had before, and also finally had a job that was safe. Later describing the application process for internships, co-ops and research opportunities.
Like I said before, its extremely beneficial to do other things besides schoolwork that will better your chances at getting a worthwhile job and career. Lehigh offers many different resources to learn about all of the career opportunities available. For example, in class that day, he had two upperclassmen come to our class to speak about their experiences interning for the company Merck and how to apply. In addition, today, there is a Co-op presentation to get the sophomores prepared to apply for Co-ops, next year in the Spring. At this presentation, they will describe the application process, who is eligible and the different types of companies that hire students for Co-ops.