Starting a career in engineering can be stressful, so we asked Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Design Engineer In Training Raihan Khondker to tell us the three most important things students need to know about starting their careers in engineering.
As we learned in Part 1 of this video series, Khondker has been working with OPG for just over 18 months now, so he knows the ropes. In Part 2, he explained a typical day in his life as a Design Engineer In Training.
No engineer is an island
Khondker says that, in school, engineering students mostly solve problems by themselves in test environments with little teamwork. And, if you get it wrong, you fail.
He was surprised to find that, in the real world, engineers and other professionals work together as a team to solve each and every problem.
He says being able to work as part of a team is crucial to students’ success as engineers in training. A big part of being able to work effectively as part of a team is communicating well; whether you’re speaking or writing, your colleagues and outside contacts need to know exactly what you mean.
Just because you’re done your degree doesn’t mean you’re done learning
Khondker says the biggest surprise he experienced when he first started working at OPG was the intensive two-year training program he and other new recruits must complete. He’s already been working there 18 months and he still has six months of training to go!
The first two months of the program consists of in-class training. Then, he completed two four-month rotations. Now, for the duration of his training, he’s working at his home location.
Get some real work experience under your belt before (!!!) graduation
Khondker says he thinks he landed a job at OPG because he had lots of well-rounded work experience before he graduated. He was a flight commander, a network engineer, and he even worked in the library of his school.
His advice to engineering students is to get work experience now, while you’re a student, because once you’ve graduated it’s too late!