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Messages - 1smartengineer

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Interviewing / Re: Why should we not hire you?
« on: February 11, 2010, 12:45:56 AM »
I never thought this type of question would be asked in an engineering company type of interview. The few interviews I have been on constantly focus on my experience and education.

If such a question was posed at me, I would definitely re-highlight the reasons why I believe I am the right candidate for the job to in a way imply that there is no reason why they should not hire me.  I think plainly saying that you don’t think there is a reason why they should not hire you, sounds simple and clearly not well thought out.

That its hard to get dates.

General Discussions / Re: Why did you choose engineering?
« on: January 29, 2010, 05:27:41 PM »
Because otherwise I would have been stuck in a typical career such as accounting.
Nothing against accountants but, it appears that some degrees are just intended to be an extension of high school and usually attract a hight number of mediocre stuck.
Engineering however, gives us skills to be productive members of societies by creating way for people to move better, live better and improve the quality of life.

This was my motivation behind choosing engineering.

My question was really aimed at figuring out how much weight should be placed on experience vs. education.

If you feel that by going to mediocre school A would provide a much needed experience and knowlege, then I do not believe you should be penalized if you are competing with someone who went to a higher ranked school B.

While you might argue that attending a highly ranked school is a indication of your intelligence, I do not believe that it entirely defines the type of an engineer you will be. 

I agree with Badger.
The school you graduated from only matters when an alumni is involved. I am a Clemson graduate and I have a feeling that I was hire because my boss' daughter goes to the same school.

Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (EIT) / Re: Value of EIT certificate
« on: November 19, 2009, 10:08:42 PM »
I suppose the real value is the consolation that if you pass the EIT exam then you will probably pass the PE exam four years down the line.
I should mention though that over the years of job search before I got my PE, most employers usually asked me if I had my EI. I suppose it was because, unlike Badger I lacked the experience or employers didn't believe that I had an engineering degree.

Educational / Re: Masters in Engineering or MBA?
« on: November 05, 2009, 12:43:50 PM »
This is an important topic that I am sure many engineers have had to confront one time or another.
In my own opinion I think an MBA would be more appropriate if,

  • you aspire to be a CEO of a large company within the very near-term, say the next five years. This is because most companies actually do require their CEOs to have an MBA, in most cases from a top ranking school
  • you want to refocus your career to non-technical industries such as banking, finance, entertainment, etc.
  • your primary focus is on credentials and you therefore want a more widely known, more common degree.
  • you want to have your own company and feel that you would serve yourself better if you had a management degree. If you however feel that you management qualities already, I don't think you should have to waste your time and efforts paying for the school. You are probably better off spending the energy to grow your company. Then you can hire accountants and lawyers to do the things you are not good at.

... a purposeless time-waster  ;D
But then it all depends on how you use the tool.
I agree with you that fb is great when I comes to socializing but it fails miserably when it comes to productive collaboration.
I feel that as an organization which entertains millions of children everyday, Facebook should take it upon themselves to provide a conducive medium though which these individuals can better themselves.
I just feel bad that Facebook is so addictive yet every second spent on the site is wasted because no worthy benefit is derived from using the site.
I just feel bad for all those kids who spend 4+ hours a night on fb poking and being poked.
I can’t believe that this is generation that is supposed to take care of us.  :(

Infrastructure / Re: High Speed Rail: Shouldn't we be more agressive?
« on: October 15, 2009, 01:39:15 PM »
My feeling on the high-speed rail is that I believe that the term itself is a misnomer at best, and possibly an oxymoron. TGV in France and the Bullet Train in Japan are equivalent to our NASA's moon program -- hugely successful, expensive and extremely impractical since they affect very few riders. In this day and age of flying, why bother with a land-moving train that is still untested and possibly riskier than flying.

General Discussions / Re: How much sleep do we really need?
« on: October 15, 2009, 11:12:07 AM »
Usually 7 hours for me and a bucket-full of coffee the next day.

General Discussions / Re: What will happen in 2012
« on: October 15, 2009, 11:11:21 AM »
I don't believe in any of this.

Technology / Re: Iphone or Blackberry?
« on: October 15, 2009, 11:04:48 AM »
Well, I am not a particular fan of Apple. Quite frankly I think they focus more on sexiness rather than usability. But then again I have never used an Apple product.
I currently own a Blackberry and I couldn't be more thrilled about it.

Technology / Re: How a sewing machine works
« on: October 15, 2009, 11:00:07 AM »
Is it just me or is it supposed to be that addictive.
I've seriously spent 5 minutes looking at that thing.

The Economy / Re: Have you lost your job? How are you surviving?
« on: October 15, 2009, 10:55:29 AM »
For starters, make sure you sign up for unemployment. Don't be too proud to do so.
Secondly, reduce excess, you really do not need 12 HBOs and showtime channels.
Basically eliminate what you can do without.
Since you do not have extra income coming in, try to find extra ways of making money like selling stuff on Ebay, creating a website and selling ads etc.

I had a similar experience in a Federal job interview.
This particular one had to to with managing a number of consultants while also taking an active role in the projects.
So most of the questions had to do with how you would interact with the general public. Being a design engineer and not having prepared for the type of questions, I did not have responses to most of the questions. I was mostly making up answers as I was talking.  I guess I don't have to mention that I never got the job.
One particular question went something like this,
  • Assuming that a project that you were working on had infuriated a number of people and they were all present at the meeting together with the stakeholders, how would you diffuse tensions and make sure everyone is satisfied?
  • What about if the above approach did not work? What would you do then?

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