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Letter of Recommendations/Networking

  1. Oct 22, 2005 #1
    I have heard from many of my fellow upper classmates who have graduated and gone to work in the industry that a college degree mainly gets you into the door and that networking with people in the industry goes a long way. I am currently a third year undergrad studying computer engineering. I have no actual relevant experience in this field and I am not sure I should pursue an intership or co-op. This is because I plan to take classes during the summer so I can graduate in time. An internship and especially a co-op would definately delay my graduation. Can anyone tell me a little about internships and co-ops?

    Also I am applying for my campus's scholarships. In my three years here as a student, I have never recieved a scholarship for my academic accomplishments. I have a very strong gpa (3.84), and I am making good progress towards my degree. However I must say that I do not have time between labs, engineering homework, and studying to do any extracurricular activities. Along with that, I do not have a strong contact with most of my professors. How much does a recomendation from a professor matter? Especially if that professor is the head of a department?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2005 #2

    Dr Transport

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    A co-op or internship is a very god thing to have under your belt, even if it delays your graduation by a semseter or two. We routinely hire our co-ops to full time positions, the best part about that is that they have some experience and have an idea of what they want to do. Where I am employed, the co-op time counts towards seniority, so for example you do six months of co-op time with me, if you get hired and start on say July 1st, your actual start date for employment will be readjusted to Jan 1st, thus giving you six months seniority the day you walk in, that is six months earlier you get your perks later down the road. For example vacation time, etc.....

    As for great letters from faculty, I don't really count on them to tell a good story. If you are trying to go to graduate school, that is different but I have not had an instance where a faculty letter of reference has been the difference in whether or not I make a reccomedation to hire someone.
  4. Oct 22, 2005 #3
    Thank you Dr Transport for your insight. I will besure to look into co-ops and internships.
  5. Oct 24, 2005 #4
    I am in same situation. Third year student. Since I am going for grad school, I have decided to take one semester off and do a internship.

    You will be out of school for the rest of your life, so spending about 4-6 months getting some experience and figuring out what you like to do is not a bad idea. It might help get the job you want rather than getting stuck with a job you don't like.

    Internship is not a bad idea if the circumstances permit. Good luck.
  6. Oct 24, 2005 #5


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    It's necessary to get some experience under your belt, especially in the field of software engineering. I don't know what university you are at, but investment banks are crying out for good software engineers. Take a look at the likes of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. They offer summer placements, internships and co-ops. They pay good money too. The starting wage for a computer software engineer in the UK with Morgan Stanley is £35,000 plus £4000 starting bonus (you'll have to do the conversion, I'm afraid).

    I'm also a third year CS student.
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