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How can I better adjust myself to the American industry?

  1. Jan 19, 2015 #1
    I am a 3rd mechanical engineering major who is heavily interested into going into the nanotechnology field. I chose mechanical engineering because it is a very broad and powerful field. I have heavily interested in nanotechnology and I would love to pursue that field for a career; however I am having little to no luck actually getting anyone to even talk to me.

    I have done my research and I have learned that nanotechnology is a field heavily associated with M.E.s . I have talked to retired defense engineers who have stated that the field isn't new to them because they have worked with nano-tech for decades; however it is now gaining the interest of other industries.

    I have quite a bit of M.E. project experience; however I am have the worst luck trying to gain nano-tech lab or research experience. I have contacted hundreds of professors across, companies, labs, universities etc, across the country but I have received very little replies.

    I have contacted many people in my university (professors, career center, etc), companies around me, and some former engineers but none have been of much help. Few have told me to just stay on the path of typical mechanical engineers and stick to cars, boats and “stupid” toys as they put it. It seems as if other professions dont want engineers to come into their field.

    I have tried to connect with people on linkedin; however very few have replied and the ones who have are not engineers and have no idea what I should do. Most just say best of luck and move on while I keep searching for an opportunity.

    How can I reach out to the scientific community..I feel as if there is a force field allowing certain people in but not me.
    Is there anyone who can help me? Or should I do as others say and give up on this path?

    I am at my wits end and I am ready to give up. I do not want to continue chasing and empty dream and I am losing motivation very fast.

    What should I do? How do I network? How can I better adjust myself to the American industry which is soley based on who you know not what you know?

    Sorry if I seem upset... I am just not able to mentally keep up anymore.

    Thank you for reading and replying
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2015 #2
    First of all don't give up. It sounds like you're doing a lot right. Luck and timing can be everything. Keep networking with people. Keep working on your skills. You'll land a job that will set you on the path to your dream job at some point. It may take a year or two.
  4. Jan 21, 2015 #3

    Stephen Tashi

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    Science Advisor


    I don't know about nanotechnology, but I think you'll get better advice if you explain how much you already know about nanotechnology.

    Are you already qualified to apply or research nanotechnology and seeking a job doing that? Or are you not yet qualified and seeking to get education?
  5. Jan 21, 2015 #4

    I have 3.5 years of mechanical lab experience, 2 years of work work experience, and I have completed about 7 majors projects; however I need lab experience and no one is willing to help.
  6. Jan 21, 2015 #5

    I am trying my hardest not to give up. I have been trying for 2 years and not much to show for us. I am getting embarrassed to hand people my resume because I know that the reply is gonna be a no.

    -I applied to 67 interships ...not one
    -119 scholarships...not one
    -45 lab volunteering attempts..not one
    -Failed questioning attempts.... 74
    -my morale....0
    -positive outlook...next to none
    -connections...none (I am a first generation)
    -Honors society...more liberal arts, nursing, or business based
    -family support...0
    -friends support...next to nothing
    -Career center help....0
    -Professional help...0

    I am trying not yo give up..but I am close to it.
  7. Jan 27, 2015 #6


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    Education Advisor

    To the OP:

    First of all, you haven't stated where you are located. Assuming that you are based in the US, then the companies specializing in work related to nanotechnology is concentrated very heavily in only a handful of locations (primarily in California and Texas, from what I've read online). From what I've heard, companies are frequently reluctant to hire anyone who are not currently pursuing graduate studies (either a MS or a PhD) in the field.

    I am also curious as to what your overall GPA is at the moment. I suspect that research positions in nanotech could be highly competitive in your department, so perhaps that might explain the lack of response. If I were you, I would move away from nanotech research experience and focus more on areas like control theory, robotics, or MEMS, where demand in both industry and research is more extensive based on people I know in ME and EE. Experience in these areas can mesh rather nicely to future research in nanotech if you decide you want to continue down that path.
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