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Engineering, General


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What to Expect

Since the different branches of engineering all overlap somewhat, engineering classes tend to be quite varied.

Jennifer Motuz specialized in mechanical engineering. She says she enjoyed the program for its variety.

"Mechanical engineering covers several fields of engineering -- we [took] thermodynamics, fluids and heat transfer...several electrical and computer courses, as well as materials, machine design, dynamics and kinematics, automation, manufacturing and other more mechanical subjects."

She notes that it's important to choose a program that offers co-op education. After every four months of school, she would spend four months working in an engineering environment. She gained experience in the fields of industrial, software, hardware and petroleum engineering.

"These work terms [allowed] me to learn about the different industries where I may work in the future and [provided] hands-on learning as well as helping me pay for my education," she adds.

How to Prepare

Time management skills are very important. "There is an immense amount of information that you must absorb very quickly," says Erin Hogbin. She took electrical engineering at West Virginia University.

She suggests taking as many science and math classes as possible.

"Become involved in outside organizations," she adds. "The industry is looking for leaders in addition to technical skills."

Motuz warns students to be prepared for a program that is much harder than high school. "In high school, I found I could study minimally and get 80s and 90s. But in university, students can often study very hard and only get a low 70s mark."

Getting involved in study groups can help, she says.


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