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Is it wise to start a job during my final year of Uni?

Is it wise to start a job during my final year of Uni?

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ForwardLaw1175

I'm going be honest your question confused me and I'm sorry if this comes off as rude. But why would you think to apply for jobs anytime other than during your final year of school? Why else do you think career fairs and interviews occur during the school year? It's worrisome if you've gotten to your final year without doing networking, going to career fairs, using the hiring advice resources at your school, etc to learn about when to apply to jobs. If you were thinking you should wait until after graduation just know that means a lot of positions are already filled so there may be less positions available. And the longer you wait to apply the longer until you can actually start working since it does take time for HR to fill out paper work, do background checks, security clearance applications etc etc. How long that takes varies by company. I work government and I can tell you HR is super slow so we do most of our hiring by March so everything is ready when people graduate in May. We've opened positions in like July before because a few of the may grads we offered positions to turned it down for other offers or decided to go to grad school instead. But then to interview again and go through applicants again takes time and like I said before the actual hiring process takes time. So a July application could mean you don't start working until September. The non-snarky answer is not only is it wise to applying during your final year but it's extremely recommended if not required so you can start working soon after graduation. If you want a break after school and can afford not making money for a bit then you can ask to change your start date to later or risk it and apply to jobs after you graduate.


__Questioner__

Oh I'm sorry you've definitely misinterpreted the question. I mean't a part-time job like say working as a cashier to help earn a bit of money. I just wanted to know if it would be wise to do so. Or if I should just dedicate my time into Uni and such


__Questioner__

Just also want to say even tho u misinterpreted my question. You comment is extremely helpful, in terms of applying for engineering plaements during the uni year so thanks for that. I'd also like to ask do I apply for just year long placements, or do I try to apply for actual jobs and such? There are even summer internships available and I was wondering if I should apply for them too or just focus on the other ones.


Laspz

Definately find work relevant to your education. It will put you ina much better position even if they dont hire you full time after graduation.


ForwardLaw1175

Ohhhhh yeah that's a very different question haha. In that case I'd say it depends on your course load. My best friend look course heavy classes at the beginning if college so his last year was pretty light. A company he applied for fulltime wanted to hire him so badly they gave him a part-time internship during the school year. I had a decently light last school year and I worked a job at the school. It could also depend on what's already on your resume. Of course even just a cashier job is something to put on a resume. But if you're lacking any specific aerospace stuff then consider using that time to work on projects and join clubs. Like if your school has an AIAA local chapter that does the design,build, fly competition. Or consider doing undergraduate research for the year. I know some students that got paid for undergrad research (though I'd say it's very rare) but I did it and counted it as a tech elective course so it was kind of a two bird one stone deal. Personally I wouldn't apply to summer internships for after you graduate. I know my company doesn't even allow graduates to apply for our internships. But graduated years before covid and if youve been active in this subreddit you'll see it really did a number on the job market. So perhaps focus on the fulltime positions but if you have free time to apply for post graduation internships then it may be a good backup just be sure to read the application requirements to make sure it doesn't explicitly say grads are ineligible.


__Questioner__

Wow thanks, My course for final year seems to be a bit easier than year 2 however I think you’re right in it being better to invest in engineering group projects I have acc applied to be on my Uni team for iMeche and there was another for google software or so forth. So I’m getting there, hopefully I get into both haha.


kikstrt

At that point you should already be working in something engineering. If it's not related. And you can afford not to work, dont


kordieee

Some of my peers in undergrad found it easier to apply for part time tech positions at companies they’d be interested in working as an engineer for and to let them know to ask if there’d be opportunities to grow into an engineering role. Even if it doesn’t pan out, you would still have technical hands-on experience that will ultimately make you a better engineer.


__Questioner__

How do I contact these companies for part time roles and such. Normally I don't see any job offers or so for them...


kordieee

I think it really depends on your region. But they’re definitely out there.


__Questioner__

Ah ok I'll try look out for that


Ambitious_Speaker383

If it is your final year, I suggest you shift your attention to applying full time job, internship,or co-op instead. Best case scenario, you got something lined up after graduation then if you have free time, then you can do whatever you want, cashier or not,


__Questioner__

Ah ok thank, will try that


alphareefer

My main advice is to get your priorities straight. While a minimum wage cashier job might be nice to have some extra cash for the moment, you are potentially shooting yourself in the foot if you aren't taking this time to get some engineering-related experience and focus on schoolwork and graduate with a decent GPA. Get a part time only if it would serve to boost your resume or allow you to learn a relevant engineering skill. Start applying for internships or full-time jobs ASAP. It's impossible to do this too early - it's time to hustle even a year before you graduate. Just some food for thought, why try and make like $10 an hour (or whatever minimum wage is at your state) for a year when instead you can look at the long term and make a 100% effort to get a job that pays at least $60k a year after you graduate?


__Questioner__

How do i find a part time job that's related to engineering? Maybe I could volunteer but I have no idea how to go about doing that...


alphareefer

Not sure where you go to college but I would suggest looking into getting involved in a professor's research program, or work at a 3D printing/machining lab or machine shop on campus. Most of those are paid. If you don't care about getting paid, you should go and join clubs like SAE. As for what I did, I'm a MechE and I got familiar with cars and how to do basic maintenance (oil changes, brakes, tire rotations) on my own car. I then applied to a car dealership as an apprentice and worked there every weekend from my sophomore year until my senior year. I then got an internship on my senior year while working the mechanic job on weekends, and I was told that my hands-on experience was the key thing on my resume that helped me get my foot in the door. I also joined Formula SAE, which got my foot in the door for my current job. Not sure about aerospace but in MechE, hands-on experience is very valuable and I suggest getting as much as possible, but then again it also depends on what sub-field you are interested in.


Ant-Witch

So you haven't worked for 3 years? You should be top of the class right?


__Questioner__

No I’m not I’m probably avg or below man. I dunno I’ve just not been doing good these past few years ever since Uni came just felt a bit sht. Procrastinating and so forth. I was gonna step it up last year but covid just made it worse when they said Uni was entirely online. Now I’m just hoping I follow through. Gonna try join clubs and do some engineering projects from the Uni. But yea I’m defo nowhere Near the top man.


Ant-Witch

Damn I'd advise spend as much time studying and working on projects, as much as the coin is nice. Maybe 1-2 days a week, I'd say keep it under 20hrs/3 shifts otherwise you start burning your candle from 3 ends you know. I'm probably at the bottom but if I didn't have to work to survive I'd have quit this job so I could focus more on studies. Source: posting from a deadend job right now, whilst doing some calc homework and watching this machine tick over


__Questioner__

The thing is, I feel like the more I do, the more productive I become. like last year I literally had nothing else to do aside from studying however I still somehow managed to procrastinate and such.


lepetitprince996

I come from the country where there's a massive lack of engineers and most of us started working as engineers before actually graduating. The thing is, most of my course mates who started working still haven't graduated. It is hard to work and study at the same time because you will get overwhelmed at work, and when you come home you only have time to eat and relax a bit before going to bed, and you have to go to bed earlier because you have to go to work in the morning. Then you have weekends which are the only time you will feel like you can relax from work, and even if you study during that time, it just isn't enough for graduating. So... A lot of time passes and you don't even realize it till it's too late. My advice is to graduate first, then start working.


__Questioner__

Thanks for the advice. what country are you from if I may ask?


lepetitprince996

Serbia.