ECE Summer Break Tips
With the wrap of finals and the smell of summer in the air, thoughts of relaxation become the new beckoning call for many college students.
However, for undergraduates in the elite Electrical and Computer Engineering program at The Ohio State University, staying up to par on content and planning ahead remain important during the long break.
ECE Undergraduate Academic Program Coordinator Alissa Kasmer and Undergraduate program advisor Alex Thomas weigh in on ways to get the most out of the summer, without breaking the spirit.
Kasmer said students may not realize ECE advisors remain available all summer long, providing guidance, scheduling, and tips. Perfect opportunity to make appointments, while the hallways are quiet and the lines are gone.
ECE Freshman Status
Don’t stress. Finding an internship isn’t detrimental so soon into college yet. Instead, stay up to date on classes already taken, because this knowledge remains vital.
Kasmer said there are numerous resources online allowing students to stay in-tune.
“There are a lot of things students can do online for free,” Kasmer said.
Thomas said resources, including Khan Academy and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), could be very helpful when in the midst of taking ECE-related general education.
“For example, if you take Chemistry 1 in the spring, have summer break and then take Chemistry 2. The time will lapse and you may forget the material,” he said. “Use Khan Academy to just review Chemistry 1 again.”
Sophomore and beyond
With the basic understanding of ECE in place, it’s time to apply that knowledge.
“Starting in a student’s second year, we strongly encourage them to start seeking internships at the career fair,” Kasmer said.
The more career exploration, she said, the more knowledge is gained in finding a path.
“We encourage students to stay current with their engineering, to go off and do an internship or co-op,” Kasmer said. “And that is really going to test your knowledge… and it may take your career in a direction you hadn’t thought of.”
Both Kasmer and Thomas also suggest constantly networking, even over the summer. Talk to friends, family, alumni, and even neighbors involved in ECE about internships and gain future career advice.
This move forward is important in order to build career skills and to gain experience, Kasmer said.
“In Engineering Career Services, there is a whole registration process,” she said. “But once they register, they have access to something called Career Engine where employers go when they want to hire Ohio State students.”
It may be intimidating to start looking for internships, Kasmer said, but dedicating about 40 minutes to sign up for the Career Engine makes finding new opportunities a breeze.
Other advice – take a mental break, all jobs are applicable
According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, engineering students study 19 hours a week – and that’s just the average.
Instead, take some time off this summer and enjoy the sunshine, or take a part-time job.
Thomas said it doesn’t even have to be engineering-related because all jobs have transferable skills and branching out might reveal a positive work ethic. Everyone needs a break, though – it’s healthy.
“It’s kind of like running a marathon,” he said. “You have to pace yourself so sometimes you can take a little break, but you also have to make sure you’re training yourself so you can run the full race.”
The Ohio State ECE advising office is open all summer long. So, for any questions about internships, resumes, or classes, make an appointment today: https://ece.osu.edu/currentstudents/undergrad/advisors
Keep up to date on ECE department news and research via social media too.
Story by ECE Student PR Writer, Lydia Freudenberg