Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done?
With a full load of classes, labs to complete, and extracurriculars to attend, it can be challenging as an Engineering student to find a balance between your schoolwork and your career development.
However, there are lots of ways to make student life a little easier. Everything from the way you study to how you tackle projects can be done more efficiently and effectively with just a few simple tweaks to your current work habits.
Use these tips to help you manage this challenging, but egg-citing, lifestyle!
Keep Organized Notes
There’s a lot of information to learn in the field of Engineering – the size of your textbooks generally reflects that! To make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by your workload, you need to focus on using your time effectively. For example, you can make detailed notes while you’re doing your readings to make reviewing easier. Additionally, try to organize your work as you go, so it’s easy to find the information later.
Here are some ideas for organizing your notes:
- Sort your lab notes by unit or topic
- Make a cheat sheet of all your most important functions for each class
- Some notes are easier to handwrite than type – for example, subjects that require a lot of equations – so keep those separated
Tutor Your Peers
If you have some extra time, volunteer to tutor another student or help a friend study. Not only will this help your peers, it will also help you review the subject matter and identify any gaps in your knowledge base.
In addition, Engineers often have to explain their work to people outside of their profession – teaching someone else is egg-cellent practice for explaining complex concepts using layman’s terms. In fact, even among colleagues, Engineers need to be able to summarize an idea, and this activity is a great way to prepare for that.
Take Diverse Courses
The Engineering industry needs professionals with diverse skill-sets, so don’t limit yourself to your core requirements. For instance, taking an architectural design course can help you learn how to represent information visually. Or, if you want to practice your communication skills, see if your school offers a professional writing course.
You might also consider studying outside of your specialization. For example, you can aim to pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering and still take a Biomedical Engineering course. Diversifying your knowledge will help you collaborate with others more easily once you’re practicing in the field. Additionally, learning about how other types of Engineers approach different situations can help you develop your own problem-solving skills.
Build Your Portfolio
Some Engineering students tend to skip over this tip simply because they can’t find the time. However, it’s very important that you start building your portfolio when you’re still in school.
Try to participate in as many hands-on projects as you can, particularly those outside the classroom. If you have trouble finding these opportunities, use your university’s resources to find initiatives you can join. For example, Engineering competitions are egg-cellent opportunities for students to practice their skills, demonstrate initiative, and show their passion for the field. Plus, they’re fun!
Planning ahead is a great skill to have, and you’ll be thankful for it later. These tips and tricks can help you make the most of your time and develop your skills along the way.