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Career plans, better areas to be working in for spaceflight/aeronautics?

  1. Oct 29, 2009 #1
    Hey all, so I'm a second year mechanical engineering undergrad and I've been starting to really look into what my career options are. I've always imagined myself working in the spaceflight/aeronautics industry and have made this somewhat of a goal of mine throughout university, however, I'm not necessarily bound and determined by it. Also, I'm certainly more interested in the research and design side of things as opposed to management if that changes anything. Anyway, because of my interests, I have always thought that I'd like to work for a government organization like NASA or one of the military branches, or a large company like Boeing or Lockheed Martin. But I am curious as to what the drawbacks are to working for organizations like these. Because of their large size, is it easy to get bogged down in paperwork and other menial tasks? I realize that I'll probably have to pay my dues, so to speak, before getting on something really interesting wherever I go, but with some organizations is it possible to just never get out of that stage? If so, or even if not, what are some other options I could be considering that still work in the spaceflight/aeronautics field, but maybe not with such a high profile organization? What are differences between the government jobs and the other large organizations? And where have you worked, what have you thought of it? Anything in particular I should look out for?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2009 #2
    Look for technical rotational programs. Most companies have them. See http://www.ge.com/careers/students/eedp/index.html for an example. Large companies also look for interns early. Apply to internships now for next year. Seriously. GE has an "Early Identification" program for getting interns as early as freshman year. We then hire 80% or more of our leadership program members from the intern pool, and we basically require internship experience for all new hires. Get to career services and put together a resume. Contact alumni at companies you'd like to work for after practicing your approach with career services.

    You will probably also want to look at graduate school. I recommend applying to grad schools and jobs simultaneously. Definitely go for internships either way. Also, when you are eventually looking at actual jobs and not just internships, contact people at the company and see where they recommend you try to start. There may be some program you don't know about and recruiters often recruit for their own department and won't refer you anywhere. There is no reason you shouldn't be doing something that you find interesting at a larger company unless engineering itself just bores you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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