A Female Engineering Student Hunting for Jobs

November 15, 2013 4 mins read
A Female Engineering Student Hunting for Jobs

I recently met a third year graduate student specialising in Computer Software and Theory. She is really disturbed by her job search.

Although she majors in computer science, and through her undergraduate and postgraduate now, she has now studied this major for so many years, she always feels that a computer science major is not suitable for the long-term development of a girl. The job-hunting experiences of older schoolmates of all previous years already show clearly enough that the number of senior sisters who choose or are able to choose to work in this area is very small.

Moreover, she holds the view that she is not very good at math and unenthusiastic about learning and studying mathematics. Also, she does not want to apply for a job in the area of computer science, otherwise she will be burdened with numbers and calculations.

But she is also preoccupied with another fact: On the one hand, in the current competitive job market, it is not easy to find a job other than by virtue of one’s own major; on the other hand, engineering students are very busy with their studies, so they have few opportunities to socialise or taken internship, and they have a very limited understanding of companies, positions and work. Except for the limited experiences of older schoolmates, they have never considered or found other, more suitable careers.

Just as this female Master of Computer Science was feeling uncertain about her future, her supervisor accidentally introduced a job to her. She could work as an intern in a large enterprise and stay there after graduation as an IT engineer.

This enterprise and this job prospect seem very satisfactory in most people’s view, but she neither likes it herself nor wants to work in this field for a long time, so should she take this, or not?

The problem of this female engineering student is in fact very typical. If you do not like your major, or it doesn’t correspond to your own long-term development, how can you get better opportunities for advancement and maximize the professional advantages of your specialisation? After all, for students who are not involved in the workplace, all they have got are the universities they graduate from, their educational backgrounds and their majors.

There is a good saying, “please look farther when you are making a judgment”. This girl has studied her major for seven years although she claims that she does not like it very much, and has been able to complete the educational tasks of her major, which demonstrates that she will have no problems in terms of professional competence, and what she should consider is only the matter of professional attitude.

In order to get an academic degree, it is fine for her to study a major that she does not really like for this many years. In the same way, it is also acceptable to work for a period of time in this field for the sake of developing a long-term career platform.

The first job after graduation has a big influence on oneself, as it will determine a person’s status and pattern; therefore one must take advantage of one’s assets to find a good starting point. An enterprise with management practices and prospects for advancement is a rare professional development platform, which can provide various positions and development opportunities.

So, the advice for her is this: if she can identify with the enterprise where she is going to work as an intern, it is suggested that she can do an internship first and get a job offer. Then she might find other positions within the company that are suitable to her, and create the conditions for moving to a new position through internal transfer.

One’s career has some 30 years or so to run, and one should not attempt to reach one’s dream position in one step. It is also unrealistic to work for a lifetime after entering a position. Most people gradually discover themselves and find their career anchors while working.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China