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What to expect in an internship or co-op offer letter

For many students, the first time they will ever receive a “real” offer letter will be when they obtain their first engineering internship or co-op.  It is very exciting but can also be a little overwhelming as well.  It’s important to know and understand the information that you can expect in an offer letter from a company.  PLEASE NOTE: ALL Engineering internships should be PAID.  ECS does not encourage students to accept unpaid internships. 

The first thing to know is that just like full-time offers, an internship or co-op offer should be in writing.  Many companies will first give you the good news over the phone, but the offer is not considered “official” until they have sent it in writing.  This is very important to make sure the terms are clear to both parties involved.  If an employer does not give you … 

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What to expect in a full-time job offer letter

Have you recently received a job offer?  If so, congratulations are in order!  If the employer has only made a verbal offer to you so far, you will obviously express appreciation, but equally as important, you will want to get the specifics in writing in the form of an offer letter.  Having the detailed offer in writing is critical to avoid miscommunication and ensuring that both parties are crystal clear on the terms of the agreement.  If the company balks at your request for a written offer, you are well within your rights to be concerned about how diligent they are about handling employment matters.  Still waiting on offers?  Your time will come soon.  No matter where you are in the process, let’s look at what is typically included in a job offer letter.  Note that the items with an asterisks are optional—and may or … 

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The importance of leadership and the job search

We’ve all seen the page-long job description asking for every qualification imaginable that leaves us to wonder exactly which skills and attributes (out of the 10+ listed) are really going to land us the job.

According to NACE's Job Outlook 2015 survey, when employers were asked which attributes they look for on a candidate's resume, the biggest group of respondents (77.8 percent) chose both "leadership" and "the ability to work in a team structure."

The survey results show that leadership skills can make or break a hiring decision. Figure 2 suggests that when employers are forced to choose between two equally qualified candidates, they will choose the candidate with experience in a leadership position over the other.


With that being said, it’s time to assess when and where you’ve been a leader! Think about projects/labs, volunteer work, and student organizations in which you exercised some type of … 

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Tips for obtaining an international internship

Are you ready to go global with your internship search? Have you ever dreamed of applying your engineering knowledge and experiences in China, India, Brazil, or some other exciting country of the world? Here are some questions to think about and guidance to help you along the way - from someone who was in your shoes just a few years ago, interned internationally in Brazil during his time at Ohio State, and is currently living and working in São Paulo.  Ok, let’s go!

1) Decide where you would like to go

Where in the world would you like to gain on-the-job and life experience?  Why do you want to go there?  Thinking through these questions will help guide your search and be handy to have ready to share with people who can help you along the way.

2) Think about what experiences you want to gain

What would you … 

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Salary negotiation for beginners

You’ve nailed the interview, and you have an offer in hand. Now comes the tough part – negotiations! Don’t be afraid to ask for what you are worth (based on research, of course). Following are some handy tips for getting through this conversation.

I’m a recent graduate and don’t have much experience. I should probably just take whatever they offer me.

Wrong! Certain circumstances warrant salary negotiation (read what those circumstances are here), while other times you may not have a "case" for negotiations.  First determine if your offer warrants negotiation--and understand that the worst that can happen if you negotiate is that the employer says “no.” Many employers expect candidates to negotiate, whether they are fresh out of college or have 15+ years of experience. Often they have a certain number in mind that they are willing to meet, and all you have to do … 

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