# Hard time finding a job offer

proton
This is from my brother:

I'm graduating this May, and I'm still unable to find any job offers. I interviewed with Fujitsu a few weeks ago but they haven't contacted me since. I'm a 4th yr Chemical Engineering major at UC Berkeley, but my GPA's low (2.8) and I haven't done any research or internships.

Is there any chance that I'll find any job offers? If not, do I have a chance at Med school if I fulfill the prerequisites? What fields do Chemical Engineering majors enter once they graduate?

I thought that a degree from Berkeley would be enough to find a full-time job, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

ChaoticLlama
This is another case where post-secondary schools use concepts like "prestige" and "reputation" to confuse students. Just because you go to (insert *big name* school here) does not mean you are garunteed employment whatsoever.

Since he has no prior experience, it's no wonder he's having trouble finding a job. In this case, the only unit of measure an employer has are grades; which are not spectacular in this case.

Mentor
Seems like the GPA may be a hinderance to getting into Med school as well. The most practical alternative I see is for him to get his initial job as a lab technician in some field he enjoyus (maybe medical lab tech?), and get some experience under his belt. Then maybe he can take more classes in some specialized subjects, and work his way back more into the ChemE field.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
To put it bluntly, no, there is no way he'd get into a med school, not when his GPA is that low AND he's only doing it because he can't find a job in his own field. And, if he can't handle undergraduate coursework, he's not going to be able to handle medical school coursework.

If he's actually getting interviewed, and then not getting calls back, he should take a hard look at his interviewing skills too.

The name of your school doesn't count for much of anything if you can't do the work and don't have any experience. It's unfortunate he hasn't figured this out until ready to graduate. Perhaps he can still find some sort of summer internship to gain experience, or start looking for lower level positions where he can work his way up toward the job he really wants.

leright
Become an entrepreneur? You don't always need to work for someone else. :)

However, this takes a risk-taking personality to pull off.

mr_coffee
yah with that GPA and no prior experience he has nothing that is making him stick out from the tons of other students who got the grades and attempted to find internships/co-ops.

The only thing that will save a bad GPA is a co-op/internship, if you don't have that, then really what is there to offer to the employer?

With a 2.8, I would say he didn't understand the material.

Corneo
You should have studied harder....

However life is not over for you. The next time you have an interview, study really hard for the technical portion.

proton
yeah my brother didn't take his studies seriously enough. he definitely could have done better.

what other possibilities are there?
is it possible for him to get a minor/double major in materials engineering?
is it possible that financial companies, computer software industries, etc will want to hire him?
would taking classes at a community college to boost his gpa be a good choice?

mr_coffee
Actually taking community college classes to boost his gpa is a good idea...
But i'm not sure how that will show up on his transcripts, if its a branch campus of the main university I would say go for it. But if its a whole different college then I'm not sure.

I know alot of people say oh employers don't look at your cumulative gpa but only your major GPA, i find this not true.

Software industries are quite competitive so I doubt he would fit in there if he doesn't have a degree in computer science.

Infact alot of Software Industries like IBM don't want even Computer ENgineerings, but only Computer Scientists (I'm glad I switched majors XD )

At my school to get a masters in materials engineering you have to be an engineering major and with a GPA of >= 3.0.

arevolutionist
Software industries are quite competitive so I doubt he would fit in there if he doesn't have a degree in computer science.

I disagree. In computer science they seem to only care if you comprehend the subject. Someone found out about me at IBM, and offered me a job at 17. Many job offers followed after that. A degree in computer science does not matter much.

Locrian
Actually taking community college classes to boost his gpa is a good idea...
But i'm not sure how that will show up on his transcripts, if its a branch campus of the main university I would say go for it.

I'm pretty sure, one way or another, it would show up on his transcripts under a heading the employer would interpret as "easy classes I took to increase my GPA because it was insufficient."

He's talking about going back to school, and others are talking about him going back to school, but he blew it the first time. Is there any good reason to think he won't blow it the second? Maybe the cold fear of joblessness would do it. . . but maybe not.

mr_coffee
I disagree. In computer science they seem to only care if you comprehend the subject. Someone found out about me at IBM, and offered me a job at 17. Many job offers followed after that. A degree in computer science does not matter much.

Maybe its different in finding a full time job but finding a co-op/internship, the manager at the interview directly told me he was only looking for comp sci majors, not comp eng. I told him I was originally a comp eng but switched last semester. He was of course a Manager of the Software Group (Tivoli) zSeries, so maybe Comp Engs do fit in at some other department at IBM, but the above post was talking about "Software Industries" not hardware.

---|------------------^
is it possible that financial companies, computer software industries, etc will want to hire him?

Only this other comp sci kid and I got the co-op from Penn State but perhaps its different depending how how the comp eng majors are structured at other universities.

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arunma
yeah my brother didn't take his studies seriously enough. he definitely could have done better.

what other possibilities are there?
is it possible for him to get a minor/double major in materials engineering?
is it possible that financial companies, computer software industries, etc will want to hire him?
would taking classes at a community college to boost his gpa be a good choice?

To answer the question in your original post, no, medical school isn't a possibility. I was a pre-med student until about my second year, and I can tell you that virtually every med school out there is looking for a 3.5 GPA or better. That, and you need to be a "do gooder" (i.e. volunteer a summer doing relief work in Zimbabwe, read books to children in the hospital, or something of that nature).

Before I decided to go to graduate school, I was also looking for jobs. I found that virtually every employer out there is looking for students with a GPA of 3.0 or better. If you've got a 3.0, then that along with an internship, research experience, or good communication skills can set you apart. But if you've got less than a 3.0, there really isn't much you can do. Your brother shouldn't bother going to a community college, since these grades won't count towards his undergrad GPA. And besides that, I doubt he'll find many senior-level ChemE courses at the community college.

Fortunately, all is not lost. I know this might get expensive, but I would suggest that your brother spend an extra semester or two in college. He should take more courses to boost his GPA, and possibly retake a class or two in which he did poorly. Since he's at a 2.8, this shouldn't be too difficult. Once he gets his GPA above 3.0, a lot of possibilities will open up for him, especially if his GPA for his last two years is high. Heck, when I graduated college my GPA from my last two years was only 3.3, and I got into a physics graduate program. As far as I can tell, graduate school admission is harder to achieve than employment offers. So if he does this, he should be able to get a job much easier.

Homework Helper
i second post #10. as long as you provide a valid reason you should be hired, you have a shot. either interview and show you know more than your gpa reveals, or if that is not true, go get some better credential, e.g. take another degree and work ahrder this time.

but never assume the name of your school will get you a job if you did not work hard and no one is willing to say you did in a letter.

physics girl phd
Perhaps he should think about getting practical experience in some alternative ways which might not be lucrative, but would show personal drive and build skills... since his CV appears to lack these character traits...

Would he be willing to go into an "Engineers without Borders" program, "Teach for America" program etc?

An alternative is that he could also admit CV difficulties during an interview and offer to work for reduced pay (even for free) for a set "trial basis" period.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Here's a question that I haven't seen asked or answered here...does he really want to be an engineer, or did he just try to stick with it because that's what he started out doing? If he couldn't keep up the coursework, maybe it's because he didn't find it interesting enough to keep him motivated to work hard. Perhaps he should do some serious reflection and decide what he really wants to do with his life, and then seek that out. It's much easier to explain a low GPA because you realized too late that you weren't really interested in a subject and balance that out with good grades and internship experience in courses taken later in an area that is more interesting to you.

arunma said:
To answer the question in your original post, no, medical school isn't a possibility. I was a pre-med student until about my second year, and I can tell you that virtually every med school out there is looking for a 3.5 GPA or better. That, and you need to be a "do gooder" (i.e. volunteer a summer doing relief work in Zimbabwe, read books to children in the hospital, or something of that nature).
That's not true either. The AVERAGE GPA of students entering med schools is around 3.5, but that means there are ones below that (but, under a 3.0 really doesn't stand any chance unless there was something catastrophic that happened during one year that pulled all the grades down, and the rest of the years were good). They do have to have very good MCAT scores though, and good letters of reference and interview well if their grades are lacking. Research experience counts as much as volunteer work, and shadowing physicians is the best experience to assure a med school that you really know what you're signing up for. But, you really need to want to go to med school, and not just think you can somehow default into it because you can't get a job. Would you want someone like that as your physician?

fizziks
Don't give up after being rejected from one job offer. There are people out there that had a lower GPA than your bro and still succeed in getting a good job. A low GPA doesn't always signify a lack of knowledge in your studies.

Tony11235
I'm afraid I'll be in a similar situation when I graduate after a few more semesters. I'm in computer science. I've yet to have an internship. My gpa's not too different. But can your knowledge and skills that you demonstrate over come this? Like listing the languages you know (programming languages, not natural), the platforms you know, classes you've taken, any licenses? I just hear computer science majors get jobs easily. I hope it's true.

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mr_coffee
Tony,

Its easier for you to be quizzed in the interviewing process if your a comp sci major to see if you know your stuff. They tell you right on the spot write this code, with these requirments, etc, or they can ask you how your going to solve this problem.

If you have a low GPA answering these questions or taking Programming appitude tests that some large companies make you take can make up for the low GPA.

But the low GPA is what will make it hard for you to get the initial interview.

Tony11235
Tony,

Its easier for you to be quizzed in the interviewing process if your a comp sci major to see if you know your stuff. They tell you right on the spot write this code, with these requirments, etc, or they can ask you how your going to solve this problem.

If you have a low GPA answering these questions or taking Programming appitude tests that some large companies make you take can make up for the low GPA.

But the low GPA is what will make it hard for you to get the initial interview.

Actually I don't think you really even need to put your gpa on your resume or bring it up. Some do not ask for it. As far as interview questions, I'm aware of the some of the tough puzzle-related questions that companies like microsoft, google,....etc often ask during interviews (not that I have a chance) from friends. I'm sure initially that I'll find a job, but it probably won't be a good one. Better ones will just have to come later.

mr_coffee
Tony,

I guess its depends on if the company is big or not, I asked IBM what attracted them to my resume and they said well we filtered out all the GPA's < 3.5 and then we tell the ones we didn't filter out to come to our information session.

If we like you at our information session (based on small talk) we ask for an interview, if you do good on the interview, we pass your resume onto another manager.

If one of the managers like you based on your resume they will e-mail/call you, from there you will have another interview (or 6).

It was quite a trip.

proton
OK my brother just got his BS in chem Eng with a GPA of about 2.83 and has no work experience/internships. He still can't find a job and is trying to take classes at a community college so he can go for med school. He's still applying to any company that is willing to hire chem Engs, lab assistants, eng assistants, etc. He's applied to over a 100 different companies by now. He's gotten a few interviews, but no one responds back, I think?

He's having trouble figuring out what his problem is, besides his low gpa: Perhaps his cover letter, communication skills arent good enough?

what would be the best option for him at this point?
is it actually possible for him to earn a 2nd degree within 1 or 2 years, say in materials engineering for example?

Ki Man
He's having trouble figuring out what his problem is, besides his low gpa: Perhaps his cover letter, communication skills arent good enough?

we have no way to know that. maybe you could censor his cover letter for personal info and post it here.

why med school so suddenly? does this mean he didn't have great dedication/interest in his original major?

it would be better to go to a smaller school and get good grades than go to a good school and do poorly. anyone can flunk out of good school, but showing understanding for your subject is essential regardless of the prestige of your school. unless whoever is looking over your application knows the proffesors from the classes you do poorly in directly and can relate somehow, you need some type of standard test or work experience to balance it out.

Homework Helper
you'll be allright big guy, you understand physics right? force is followed by acelereATION. JUST hang in there take what is available now, keep working and be patient and persistent. you'll do fine. you could not have graduated berkeley if you were not smart and capable.

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Proton,

If your brother asks for too much money, this could be a problem. He should also think back on his education to try to help relate what he did in lab exercises to what the companies need done. This time is too soon to be worried about not receiving a job offer. If he just graduated, it was this month or last month. He may need 3 or 4 more months until an offer comes; he just must continue searching.

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Oh man, boy is it hard with no experience. I'm going into my 4th year. I'm lucky to have landed a summer job to get some experience.

proton
JUST hang in there take what is available now, keep working and be patient and persistent.

this is for my brother not me. the problem is that he can't get ANYTHING right now

Proton,

If your brother asks for too much money, this could be a problem.
If he just graduated, it was this month or last month. He may need 3 or 4 more months until an offer comes; he just must continue searching.

hes not asking for too much money. really 3 or 4 more months? hes still trying to apply for jobs, but I guess the best thing for him to do during all the free time he has is to take classes at community college

NathanExplosion
Is med school just a back-up plan for him because he can't get a job as a ChemE? If so, he will most likely be disappointed.

First off, his grades are a huge strike against him. It is passed along throughout the pre-med community that you get a little bit of a break in regards to your GPA if you were an engineering major because of the amount/difficulty of classes you took compared with the history major. However, a 2.8 in ChemE looks infinitely worse than the History major with a 3.9; all they have to weed people out is numbers. There are tens of thousands of applications to med schol every year, most of them with much higher GPAs and a lot of volunteering (I've heard the average now is around 3 years of volunteer ECs for the incoming matriculant).

In addition to all this, schools use a computer to screen out certain applicants, to decrease volume some. 3.0 is the bare minimum to even get your application read by a human being. Of course, having someone look at your application is far from a guarantee of even getting a secondary.

Let's say he was lucky enough to get an interview. Does he really want to be a doctor? Will he be utterly depressed and live a life he feels is unfulfilling if he doesn't get into medicine? Medicine is a tough route to go, and unless your bro is 100% sincere in his desire to be a physician, the interviewers will see right through him.

So now let's look at it from a logistical standpoint. He has a 2.83 GPA with roughly 128 credits, I'm guessing? If he took 30 credits and achieved a 4.0 average, he is still looking at roughly a 3.05 cGPA. It's impressive to get a 4.0 for two semesters, but not uncommon in the pre-med community. Upward trends in grades are considered, but with 4 years of poor grades, it will take at least 2 years with a GPA of as close to a 4.0 as possible. He must also take the MCAT and get a very good score, because his GPA can't compensate for a below average score.

His best chance, if he chose to take a couple of years of classes to get that magic 3.0 average, he would probably not get in anywhere (except possible a couple of osteopathic schools, which are more friendly towards non-traditional students), in which case he should apply to an SMP program. SMP stands for Special Master's Program. An SMP is an intensive one-year MS (non-thesis) degree where you take courses in a medical school, and are graded just like a medical student (i.e. in direct competition with them for class rank). If you get a high GPA (> 3.5), you have a decent shot at getting accepted somewhere. Georgetown and Tulane are a couple of schools that offer SMPs. They are very expensive; around 30 grand. They are also worthless if you don't get into medical school, because all you learned was the first year of basic sciences (biochem, pharmacology, maybe public health). The worst part is, even if you do get into a med school after the SMP, you have to retake the first year classes all over again (that's right, there is no exemption for prior courses in medical school, at least at most places).

So length of schooling is now at a grand total of:

2 years post-bac UG to get the 3.0 necessary to apply to med-school/SMP (I forgot to add that you need a 3.0 and an MCAT score of around 30 to get into an SMP. 30 is the avg score of an accepted student to med school, BTW)
1 year SMP - after this, hopefully he is an M1
4 years of medical school
Now he chooses a specialty; let's say he goes for the shortest route possible, Family Medicine
3 years of residency (>80 hours per week, on-call duty, periods of 36 hours on a shift over the course of two days; resident pay floats around 50 grand/year. Yes, that's correct, guys. A resident averages about $12/hour) So 10 years from NOW, he would ideally be a Family doctor; and be a little over$250,000 in debt, in all likelihood (probably more, after interest has accrued). Factor in that a Family doctor only makes around $150/year. Specialties that pay well, like the ROAD specialties (Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anaesthesiology, Dermatology) are extremely difficult to place into (save for gas, which is not that difficult at this time). Sorry to be a buzzkill, but as a pre-med, I think it's only fair to warn others who seem like they may not have totally though this out beforehand. Medicine has an enormous amount of really bad aspects, like the things I mentioned above. It's a tough road, takes an insane amount of work, sacrifice, and committment. This is why I say only take this road if you honestly feel you could not live your life doing another profession. The pay isn't that great if you factor in loan repayment, malpractice insurance, and quality of life (hours you work, on-call schedule). Hell, a lot of doctors tell us pre-meds to get out of this game before it's too late. Universal healthcare is also a big concern to a lot of physicians. Has your brother considered medical physics? His GPA is low, but if he could boost his GPA a little, he could probably get into a 2-year Master's program somewhere. That's 2 years of schooling, a noble job (rad. therapy), and a very nice salary. I think med. physicists with a MS and certification (take some board exams) is around$140k per year, which is basically what your family doctor is making. So he could be helping people and making 140k around age 25 (assuming he's 22 right now) or around 32 (and probably have gray hair and be totally burned out by then).

Anyway, this post is ridiculously long, sorry for that. Good luck to him in whatever path he chooses.

AsianSensationK
Taking more courses is good, just so long as they're useful (read: no poli-sci, no sociology) and he does well in them. I'd say leaving UC Berkeley and settling for B's at a community college would be unacceptable at his stage of the game.

Tell your brother to earn his second degree in some business field like supply chain, or information systems. I have a brother who was in the same boat at the University of Michigan earning a 2.9 in History (an ultra weak student, with zero analytical skill). He applied to a local school two years later for a degree in accounting and they transferred most of his prior general education work, leaving him to fill out the business concentration requirements only (in about 2 years time).

If your brother attempts a second bachelor degree, he's got an opportunity to learn a new field and hopefully he'll have a much stronger GPA to cite the second time around. Of course, financial constraints will become an issue under this plan. Federal funding dries up near 160-180 credit hours, so he'll need to work a retail job somewhere and sponge off of your parents from room and board expenses. Do note that this is very irresponsible and selfish, and it wouldn't be suprising if your parents decided not to support him.

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NathanExplosion
I want to echo what AsianSensationK said about where he should be taking courses. If med school is what he wants, with his grades, he should not be taking classes at a CC; he needs to go to a 4-year institution again if he wants to make an impression.

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AsianSensationK
Yep. His brother really needs to be able to make an impression on his professors, regardless of what he takes, because he'll need letters of recommendation from them which cite his performance compared to others. That's not really all that special a thing at a community college.

Tony,

Its easier for you to be quizzed in the interviewing process if your a comp sci major to see if you know your stuff. They tell you right on the spot write this code, with these requirments, etc, or they can ask you how your going to solve this problem.

If you have a low GPA answering these questions or taking Programming appitude tests that some large companies make you take can make up for the low GPA.

But the low GPA is what will make it hard for you to get the initial interview.

This is why you don't post your GPA on your resume if its lower than a 3.0. Ill tell you, I am in the same boat as him and when my resume had my GPA listed in it, I would get very little phone calls but when I took it out, I noticed a big increase in responses by e-mail and phone. You can still have a low GPA above a 2.5 and get an initial interview but your resume needs to look good to impress a recruiter and convince him/her why you should be called in for an interview. If he did put his GPA in his resume or it looks messy, thats the reason why he has received few responses.

In addition, persistance is another key to getting a job. If you applied and submitted your resume to 100 companies and received few responses after a week, call the human resources department at each company to let them know you are still interested.

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