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Low GPA in top engineering school, what to do?

NYaoNYao 136 replies3 threads. Junior Member
I have a 2.78 in a top 5 mechanical engineering program,i'm a junior. I've submitted many resumes for internships, but received not even a single interview. I have no real work experience besides two years of research in an engineering lab, and i am second author for a paper in a good journal. Right now, i really can't find anything to do in the summer. Last year I applied for REU programs, and got turned down for all 4 that i applied for, most likely because of my GPA. I really can't take classes during the summer again. What else can I do? i really don't care how much money i make, as long as i can get some work experience.
edited December 2012
59 replies
Post edited by NYao on
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Replies to: Low GPA in top engineering school, what to do?

  • 311Griff311Griff 1533 replies53 threads Senior Member
    too bad you can't weigh your college GPA huh? If it's in a "top 5" program, then surely you'd have a much higher GPA in an un "top 5" program.

    A buddy of mine got an internship with L3 communications, and then was hired on and he ended his undergrad with a 2.5 GPA at an un "top 5" program. The GPA he used, however, was the GPA for the previous semester prior to being hired, which was a 3.2. L3 didn't specify what GPA they wanted (cumm, major, most recent, etc.), so he chose the one that looked best. They haven't asked to this day--He's been there for 3 years now.
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  • hazmathazmat 8254 replies181 threadsUser Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    What does your advisor say? I find it hard to believe that you cannot find any internship/job. I think you need to look wider.......don't compete with your classmates but find other programs. Don't give up yet.
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  • NYaoNYao 136 replies3 threads. Junior Member
    my advisor doesn't know anything about jobs/internships, career office people look at my gpa and says "go ask your uncle/look up the newspaper" i really don't know where else to look, almost every program i've looked at has a 3.0 requirement. i'm not giving up, but i just felt there is no chance for me to get out of this hole, besides getting a higher gpa.
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  • 311Griff311Griff 1533 replies53 threads Senior Member
    Does your school have a career center? go to the person in the career center and ask them to help you research opportunities, like hazmat said, don't limit your options.

    BTW, if your advisor you speak of above is the career resource advisor, then your school needs a new one!
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  • NYaoNYao 136 replies3 threads. Junior Member
    i guess i can go to the career center again, but most likely they'll give me a some internship book that u can buy from the bookstore. what do people in my situation end up doing? it seems like either people stay home and do something like lifeguarding or get a fabulous internship.
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  • sleepybunnysleepybunny 108 replies34 threads Junior Member
    what school are u from, Nyao?
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  • TwoniusTwonius 2 replies0 threads New Member
    I feel your pain. I'm graduating from Purdue (not top 5 but still top 10) in May. I havn't had an interview since September, and I'm starting to question the advantage of attending a Prestigious University when all my frinds who went to Party Schools already have jobs (good paying ones at that). Of course I only have myself to blame... I could've transfered.

    P.S. Normally I'm not this depressing
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  • NYaoNYao 136 replies3 threads. Junior Member
    I goto Michigan, and I think engineering is probably the worst major to do at a prestigious college. I've asked several employers at career fairs, and they told me that although they hire more at Michigan, than Michigan Tech, the difference isn't that great. I have friends who were horrible students in high school, and have gone to colleges that offered them scholarships(this speaks for itself) and they have told me that college is actually easier than high sschool, and they are pulling 3.8s. I have studied about 20 times harder in college than i ever did in high school and my gpa in college is over 1 point lower.
    My friends from bad schools have already had at least 5 interviews and already found summer internships. While, i have not had one single interview.

    All i'm hoping for at this point, is to finish last year of college, and then do something that might not pay well, but gives me an edge over other people.
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  • 311Griff311Griff 1533 replies53 threads Senior Member
    I've submitted many resumes for internships, but received not even a single interview.

    It might be your resume, in fact it probably is. Have you had it looked at? Sometimes less is more on a resume. Get some guidance with that, and hopefully once you can get your resume to do some talking (i.e. get your foot in the door/bum on the chair--however you look at it), then you'll be able to shine in the interviews (this, and your network are really what matters), and get hooked up.
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  • fourinonefourinone 1 replies2 threads New Member
    perhaps a stupid question, but did you actually put your GPA on your resume?
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  • NYaoNYao 136 replies3 threads. Junior Member
    yes, i did, i was told that it is optional, but not putting gpa usually indicates a gpa lower than 3.0, and mine wasn't really too bad, i didn't want to give the impression that it might be below 2.5
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  • VicSVicS 3 replies0 threads New Member
    I am not a pro at this, but try not putting your GPA on your resume (who says that you have to?) and maybe doing a relavent skills resume (skills first, experiance 2nd) if those skills are more relavent to the jobs that you are trying to get, as compared to your experiance (i am sure i dont have to say this), but reseach the jobs and the compay thoroghly to see what they want from you.
    I think physchologicaly not putting any GPA rather then a less then 3.0 GPA is better, because 2 something GPA might be phsychologicaly repulsive, although it may be rationaly not (seeing you are in the "top 5" program).
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  • mechengUIUCmechengUIUC 1 replies0 threads New Member
    I'm basically in the same boat. I'm a junior in mech. eng. at U of I, and my GPA is only about a 2.6. Most companies want at least a 3.0 to even look at your resume. I need to go to the career center so that they can help me examine my options, but it sorta seems like I'm stuck. My chances of getting an internship are dimished because I basically sucked up my first two years, and my chances of getting a job post-graduation with a mediocore GPA and no internship experience are even worse. My extracurriculars aren't bad (FSAE, SAE board member), but it seems like a GPA bars you from even being considered for most jobs.

    I guess I have no one to blame but myself, but it still is a crappy situation.
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  • NYaoNYao 136 replies3 threads. Junior Member
    it is very frustrating, and 2.6 at Illinois is a lot of work too, I think prestigious colleges are overrated, it is better to do well at a bad school.
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  • dtshendtshen 46 replies20 threads Junior Member
    i have a 2.8ish from purdue university, engineering major. I've gotten about 10 interviews this year. i'd recommend you apply to every single job you see. i literally look for jobs every day. i've definitely applied to every single job on my career center, even if they do have a 3.0 gpa requirement.

    I'd say i've probably applied to over 300 internships since august.

    Of course, it's gotten a hell of a lot easier now that i have one internship on my resume. but last year when i had nothing on my resume, i did the same thing applied to hundreds of internships and got about 4 interviews. of course the companies arent "great" but u have to start somewhere.
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  • NYaoNYao 136 replies3 threads. Junior Member
    dtshen, how do you apply to so many internships? I've applied to like 50 so far since august, and i think thats like pretty much 80% of the internships offered by my school's career center, and pretty much everybody comes to hire at Michigan.
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  • dtshendtshen 46 replies20 threads Junior Member
    apply to companies online as well. It may not be as effective, but i do it anyway. I got an interview with my #1 company through applying through the company website. Also what I do is I ask my friend's password to their online career centers, and email the recruiters. but yea, i agree i've probably only applied to about 50 as well through the ones offered by the career center.
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  • dtshendtshen 46 replies20 threads Junior Member
    i duno, almost all of my interviews have been through the career center though. maybe something is wrong with your resume then. send me a PM if you want me to take a look at it
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  • 2331clk2331clk 1648 replies9 threads Senior Member
    NYao,

    I remember my son using the term "blanketing" for sending his resume for internship to a couple hundred prospective employers. His career center was helpful...I'm surprised at Michigan's although perhaps you have to be more persistent with them.

    Is your gpa higher in your major? If so you could list that on resume.

    What about the Michigan alumni? Is there a way to contact alumni directly and explain your situation? What about GM, Ford etc which are right there in Michigan...they should be loaded with Michigan alumni.

    Can you minor in something that might make you stand out?

    Remember too you have 3 more semesters to bring up the grades. Often those earlier intro courses in engineering are the hardest for grades. You could conceivably graduate with above a 3.0. There's another less common cut-off of 2.8 I've seen, hopefully you'll be above that by the end of this semester.

    Also remember if you don't get an internship this summer it doesn't mean you won't eventually find a good job.

    I think posting on this forum is a good thing. I might suggest posting this on the parents forum...a lot of experience over there.
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  • sakkysakky 14563 replies196 threads- Senior Member
    I have to agree with dtshen that you just need to be highly aggressive in your search. Even if you don't have the GPA that an internship requires, apply to it anyway. The worst thing they can say is No. Apply anywhere and everywhere.

    If it makes you feel better, I know a guy who barely graduated in EECS from Berkeley - and I mean barely. He spent quite a bit of time on academic probation with a GPA below a 2.0, and just barely got his head above a 2.0 (which is the bare minimum you need to graduate) by the time graduation rolled around. He still managed to get an engineering tech job in Silicon Valley. It wasn't the greatest job, but it was OK.
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