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Job Decision

  1. Nov 10, 2007 #1
    Hi all,

    I have an important decision to make in the very near future and wanted some outside input, if possible.

    I am currently a student at GA Tech majoring in EE and decided to join the Co-op program this fall, in which I will alternate semesters of full time work with an employer and full time school. This semester, out of about 60-70 available positions for EE's in the Co-op program, I narrowed it down to about eight that I thought I would be interested in. I then went through the interview process with all eight of the companies and amazingly received offers from every single one of them (which is rare I am told). However, after learning more about the companies and participating in on-site job visits, I narrowed my decision down to the four companies as follows:

    Newcomb & Boyd - They are a consulting and engineering firm responsible for designing the HVAC, electrical, lighting, communication, and security systems for large commercial buildings. They are the largest firm of their kind in the country and also the most prestigious, as they specialize in more advanced structures, like hospitals and research labs, as well as some of the tallest skyscrapers across the country. I would be working in the department which designed the electrical systems.

    Southern Company - They are one of the largest electricity and utility companies in the US. They provide power across four states and employee about 26,000 people. I would be working as a protection and control engineer, responsible for modeling transmission lines and protection systems for substations among other things.

    L-3 Communications Display Systems - They design and manufacture the display screens in the cockpits of military aircraft. I would be responsible for designing and testing the hardware that goes into these display screens.

    Cellnet - They design wireless metering systems for utility companies. They construct wireless radio antennas and circuits that go into residential and commercial meter boxes that allow usage data to be transmitted over complex wireless networks. I would be working in the engineering dept, researching and designing more advanced transmitters and wireless receivers.

    At this point, I am really not sure which company to go with. As I see it, the four jobs can be basically divided into two categories: the top two I listed are power engineering and the bottom two are more electronics/digital design. Unfortunately, I do not know which of the above two fields I prefer. Since I just transferred into Tech this semester , I am currently taking my first EE class (Intro to CompE) and have not advanced far enough in my EE classes to even have an idea as to which subfield of the discipline interests me the most.

    Therefore, I would like to ask those who are EE's or are taking EE classes what are the pros and cons of the two areas and which area most people seem to enjoy more.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2007 #2
    Did any of these company's tell you projects you will be working on or past projects co-ops have done with your level of experience?

    You want to go for the company that is going to give you the MOST experience.

    Trust me there are horror stories from co-ops of all majors, where they hardly did jack, but did grunt work that really didn't help them at all (in their resume or in their career development).

    I'll give you an example of 2 big company's 1 one was a Computer Engineering major, the other a Computer Science major.

    For the comp eng major he was co-oping at CISCO all he did all day was install network cards and do computer tech work that IST majors were doing, nothing engineering related at all. Just moving around equipment.

    For the comp sci major, all she did was make a web page during the summer co-op because they wouldn't let her touch code due to her lack of experience and they didn't have time to teach her. All the employee's were busy doing their jobs and meeting their deadlines.

    So you really want to make sure you going to co-op with someone who is going to put you to work and not just give you grunt work that has nothing or very little to do with your major.

    The fact that you have no EE classes under your belt, makes you wonder what they can let you do. Some company's don't have the human resources to have an employee teach you everything so you can do a project, some do though.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2007
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