Amy Thaci is the Director of Engineering Career Services.
Today's post is written by Amy Thaci, ECS Director, and Rachel Kaschner, ECS Student Services Manager.
Not all companies have the brand recognition that corporations like General Electric or Nestle do—in fact, most do not! We’re more likely to be familiar with large companies (and their brands) that sell consumer products—we know that GE for one, produces light bulbs and that Nestle makes chocolate!
Therefore it is only natural for students to flock to these types of companies at a job fair or when perusing job postings. But how about trying out the companies who aren’t so well known? If you are interested in a particular industry, you don’t necessarily have to work at the “big name” company that delivers the actual product, you can get equally valuable experience by working for a supplier to those major industries.
Large companies like a P&G or Honda won’t always have the internal expertise or necessary internal capabilities for supplying parts—other companies exist to supply both expertise and parts to various industries. These large companies rely on numerous smaller companies to function and couldn’t be as successful as they are without them.
You can get exposure to (fill in big name company here) through any one of its suppliers or any number of firms that supply contract engineering services. Check out what other companies are providing contract engineering services or supplier components to get exposure to the industry or company if you can’t get a job directly with (big name company). You may not have heard of these contractors or suppliers, as they tend to be smaller in size (though not always!), however, they do provide some great opportunities for students!
Another benefit of smaller businesses is that you can really make your mark. You might have the opportunity to see how various departments work because it’s easier to get exposure to them. You may walk past the CEO of the company every day and have the chance to interact with him/her. Another perk…these companies might not have the strict GPA requirements that the larger ones do. Some of our students have reported increased level of flexibility as well—like the ability to work remotely from home or from your local coffee shop!
Most of the time, these kinds of companies provide great training and are a stepping stone for other opportunities, big or small. Give it a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised!
"Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?"