Life while studying engineering


by skizzle
Tags: engineering, life, studying
mgiddy911
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#37
Mar20-08, 05:04 PM
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If you are truly dedicated to your degree and can get through college doing nothing but math and physics and possibly a comp programming class then more power to you I guess

Me personally, I would go insane and find my self burnt out. Taking humanities classes offers a nice break. Not to mention they help you hone skills like writing. Unless your school offers a class in writing for their science majors then paper writing may be a skill you come out severely lacking in after graduating having done nothing but math and physics. And no C++ code doesn't count...
Cyrus
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#38
Mar20-08, 05:21 PM
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Quote Quote by berkeman View Post
I went through the Univ. of CA for undergrad. Yes there was some requirement, and I did the bare minimum outside of tech.
One must have a humanities background: its part of getting a well rounded education.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xgmr...eature=related

Fast forward to 2:53
berkeman
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#39
Mar20-08, 06:26 PM
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Quote Quote by mgiddy911 View Post
Unless your school offers a class in writing for their science majors then paper writing may be a skill you come out severely lacking in after graduating having done nothing but math and physics. And no C++ code doesn't count...
That's a very good point. However, in my case, I developed very good writing (and speaking) skills in high school. I absolutely agree that good writing and communication skills are essential in the working world of high tech.
Astronuc
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#40
Mar20-08, 10:44 PM
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Being a top engineer requires hard work - period.

One's social life doesn't necessarily have to suffer. During my undergrad program, most of my colleagues found time to go out and drink, go to games, movies, dances, or whatever they fancied. We also put together sports teams - baseball, football (both American and soccer), basketball.

On Fridays, a group from my department would go to a local burger bar, which had a good selection of imported beers, and we'd down a number of beers with dinner. Saturday nights were usually heavy party nights.

I met my wife during the junior year of our undergrad programs, and we used to visit each other on weekends. We got married between graduate and undergrad programs.


I think other programs in history, political science (particularly foreign affairs and international relations), and one or two foreign languages in university are very worthwhile.
rootX
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#41
Apr13-08, 10:15 PM
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I guess it also depends how you see the world.
To me, humanity people suck (Work can be more pleasing than socializing - but those people know nothing more than socializing lol)!
I am in EE, and I work everyday (including Christmas and Summer breaks) and I am doing pretty good. On other side, I never talk to anyone who is not in my class (I only talk about work :D), and never go to parties ... and neither want a girlfriend. I just want challenge!

And, my friends who also socialize are getting around 80s, but they usually go to sleep at 1 AM for four days per week (but I always go to sleep at 12:30 PM).

And very smart people who have stopped studying/attending classes are at around 70s ..
bravernix
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#42
Apr13-08, 10:20 PM
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Quote Quote by rootX View Post
To me, humanity people suck (Work can be more pleasing than socializing - but those people know nothing more than socializing lol)!
I am in EE, and I work everyday (including Christmas and Summer breaks) and I am doing pretty good. On other side, I never talk to anyone who is not in my class (I only talk about work :D), and never go to parties ... and neither want a girlfriend. I just want challenge!
Good luck at your job interviews!
rootX
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#43
Apr13-08, 11:34 PM
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Thanks!
I did have them for my co-op, and got two offers this term.
But, I really confused some interviewers when they asked me what are my hobbies ><

I think ability to work in teams is more essential than social skills (two different things ).
Dr. Courtney
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#44
Apr14-08, 05:15 AM
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Partying several times a week and getting a degree in engineering are conflicting goals.

For successful students, college represents the beginning of real life, rather than a four year delay while they play.

Full time engineering and science majors are honest 50-60 hour per week jobs that take as much or more time and effort than the careers to which they lead.

Worthwhile? Yes.

Lots of partying? No.

Michael Courtney
mordechai9
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#45
Apr14-08, 06:36 PM
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It's just all about the GPA. You can do engineering and not work very hard and make a 2.5-3.0, which is usually enough to graduate. If you work a bit harder, you can hit 3.0-3.5 without too much trouble. However, if you are set on earning 3.5-4.0, it can be quite challenging. At a good university, this will require a ****-load of your time and it does indeed become difficult to maintain that kind of work output.

However, you can usually be employed pretty easily with a 3.0-3.5 GPA. Most companies don't care about GPA near as much as you'd think. They understand the engineering curriculum is usually very difficult and rigorous, and besides, you learn most of what you need to know on the job, not in school.

In my opinion, if you are interested in engineering, you should go ahead and pursue that... Just be realistic about your goals, and if you don't want to be a total study-freak, that's OK, but don't expect a 4.0 and highest honors when you graduate.
mgiddy911
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#46
Apr14-08, 08:14 PM
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This is a good distinction to make ( by that I mean Mordechai's post). I'd love to hear others opinions as I am sure some will not agree but anyways....

I thought about mentioning it earlier... I am one of those 3.0-3.5 category students. I lack the motivation to study 60 hours a week outside of classes just to get a 3.9+ gpa.
Sure I'm probably not going on to study at Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard or Cal Tech...
I've come to terms with that.

If you go through 4 years undergrad and study 60 hours a week and get a 3.9 gpa, and you enjoy yourself, then there is no problem. Me though, I would not enjoy that. I'd be pretty miserable. I like hanging out with my friends, playing in a band, going to the bar from time to time and drinking cheap pitchers of beer (wish I had the money for the good selection of imported beers ... but $4-10 per pint or ... $4 for a pitcher....)

So all in all, we will all be different. I like, and understand, mordechai's last comment, I am not expecting a 4.0 and highest honors. But I've had a good time, I feel I am doing decent, I don't think there is anything to be ashamed of from a 3.0-3.5 gpa. I feel I have picked up a lot of good social skills. My paper writing is certainly better than in high school. I hope to get back into foreign language studies, I dropped out of one of my French classes due to differences with the teacher.
berkeman
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#47
Apr14-08, 09:21 PM
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Quote Quote by mgiddy911 View Post
I thought about mentioning it earlier... I am one of those 3.0-3.5 category students. I lack the motivation to study 60 hours a week outside of classes just to get a 3.9+ gpa.
Sure I'm probably not going on to study at Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard or Cal Tech...
I've come to terms with that.
Well, speaking as someone who interviews EEs for fairly elite R&D positions, I want to comment on these last two posts. No, I don't weight GPA real high, but it is an indicator to me of how hard the person has worked in school, and what level they may understand the material. I don't think many candidates with less than about a 3.4-3.5 get past the first screening round for the positions we hire for.

As was correctly pointed out in these last two posts -- it takes more than just intelligence to push yourself up over the 3.5 mark or so. It takes motivation, self-starting, good study habits, and a good work ethic. And guess what? Those characteristics also make you a more valuable and productive engineer. That's been my experience, and I think many EEs working in the upper echelons of the field would agree.
Dr. Courtney
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#48
Apr15-08, 11:51 AM
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Quote Quote by mordechai9 View Post
It's just all about the GPA. You can do engineering and not work very hard and make a 2.5-3.0, which is usually enough to graduate. If you work a bit harder, you can hit 3.0-3.5 without too much trouble. However, if you are set on earning 3.5-4.0, it can be quite challenging. At a good university, this will require a ****-load of your time and it does indeed become difficult to maintain that kind of work output.

However, you can usually be employed pretty easily with a 3.0-3.5 GPA. Most companies don't care about GPA near as much as you'd think. They understand the engineering curriculum is usually very difficult and rigorous, and besides, you learn most of what you need to know on the job, not in school.
To most folks hiring engineers, GPA doesn't merely represent knowledge gained or effort expended.

GPA represents how well you can be expected to please your furture bosses.

In a way, college is a microcosm of real life, with (roughly) 40 different opportunties (classes) to please 30 or so different bosses. A 3.9 GPA screams that you will figure out what it takes to please the "boss" (teacher) and do an excellent job delivering the goods 90% of the time, and do a good job the other 10% of the time.

Yes, engineers with GPAs in the 3.0-3.5 range will probably find employment as engineers, but they shouldn't be expecting $50K/year out of the gate.

Michael Courtney
Edwardo_Elric
Edwardo_Elric is offline
#49
May31-08, 10:43 AM
P: 101
Quote Quote by Cyrus View Post
gender: does not matter
program: does not matter
cultural background: does not matter
social life: does not matter

Also, a boyfriend is not a social life. Its ok if you dont have a social life, however, it is important you have good social skills.
i am one with no social life... but i need to improve my social skills

How will i do that?
read the news?, improve your vocabulary?, watching TV?, read a book about mannerisms? etc.....??
i would like to hear about someone's opinion of this.....
bravernix
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#50
May31-08, 01:03 PM
P: 188
Quote Quote by Edwardo_Elric View Post
i am one with no social life... but i need to improve my social skills

How will i do that?
read the news?, improve your vocabulary?, watching TV?, read a book about mannerisms? etc.....??
i would like to hear about someone's opinion of this.....
Ah..I think you're missing the point. Go out and join a club or something. To improve social skills you need to interact socially (with actual people).


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