Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Advice on being a new graduate

    Posted 01-24-2024 02:17 PM

    My name is Hariharan and I'm currently doing my undergraduate (graduating 2024 May) in civil engineering in the National University of Singapore (NUS). It is one of the top 10 universities in the world. I have done 3 civil engineering internships(EXYTE, AECOM, and Surbana Jurong) during my undergraduate years.

    I have been to the US for an exchange program for 6 months, studying in the University of Colorado Boulder. During my 6 months in Colorado, I went for multiple interviews for an internship but was turned down. I'm graduating this year in May, and am eager to find a civil engineering job in the US. I wanted to ask you for advice on how I should proceed (being a fresh grad) to apply and have a higher chance to get hired in one of the US firms. Thank you!

    Warm regards

    Venugopal Hariharan S.M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 2.  RE: Advice on being a new graduate

    Posted 01-30-2024 03:23 PM

    Hello Hariharan, 

    I don't have much experience with exchange students, but I know my father, a university professor, has worked with several in the past. It sounds like the biggest hurdle is the sponsorship process these companies need to go through to get you the proper credentials to stay and work. There is a ton of demand for civil engineers right now, it might come down to your willingness to travel to another state to follow opportunities in areas with fewer civil engineers available for work. Expanding your skillset to specific programs like AutoCAD Civil 3D or certain modeling programs like GIS, HEC-RAS, Hydrocad, etc. might also make you a more attractive candidate for these companies. Finally, maybe it's just my experience working on the regulatory side of things, but it seems like State offices struggle to fill engineering roles because they can't always offer the same benefits package as a private company. Working for the state might offer less compensation, but retirement benefits and healthcare are often equivalent or better than private firms. Plus, working at the state level gives you good insight to the rules and regulations that may make you an attractive candidate in the future when you have a little more experience. 

    Those are just my thoughts. I wish you all the best! 

    Cody Obropta P.E., M.ASCE
    Environmental Engineer
    Maine Department of Environmental Protection
    Bangor ME

  • 3.  RE: Advice on being a new graduate

    Posted 06-11-2024 10:22 AM

    Talk to the most experienced people in construction, be it engineers, bricklayers, carpenters, painters, etc., always talk to the most experienced people and always draw your own conclusion.
    This has always helped me.

    Andre Landim Fernandes C.Eng, M.ASCE
    Engenheiro Civil
    Resende - Rio De Janeiro - Brasil

  • 4.  RE: Advice on being a new graduate

    Posted 06-12-2024 10:07 AM

    If employment is all you seek, try applying to any engineering firm in Grand Forks or in North Dakota. State DOTs are often hiring as well. 

    Sattar Dorafshan Ph.D., M.ASCE
    Assistant Professor
    University of North Dakota
    Grand Forks ND