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Engineering Career Timeline

Freshman Year | Sophomore Year | Junior Year | Senior Year | Graduate School Timelines


Freshman Year  click here to expand »click here to collapse «
The first year of college is an exciting transition! Begin exploring career goals, assessing your skills, and finding out about career-related work…

  • Register with Cooper Career Connection (C3). To assure that you do not miss out on career-related events, job and internship opportunities, and the Career Center's announcements, signup for the Cooper Career Connection.

  • Become acquainted with the Career Resource Library and learn the ways in which the Office can partner with you in your career pursuits.

  • Begin thinking about yourself by identifying your interests, needs, and skills. Do a thorough self-assessment.

  • Become a member of student clubs.

    Joining professional societies will allow you to join other students with similar academic and professional interests, while you gain access to event programming and networking opportunities that are directly related to your discipline.

    Club Registration Instructions:

    AIChE: Email cooperaiche@yahoo.com with name, email, class, major, and career interests. Place "Membership Request" in the subject line.

    IEEE: All incoming Electrical Engineering students are automatically enrolled the Cooper Union Chapter of IEEE. Students with inquiries about club involvement can email James Griffith, Chapter President at james.griffith@gmail.com, or Christopher Yu, Treasurer, at yu4@cooper.edu.

    ASCE: Email cooperasce@gmail.com or sign up at the Fall Festival.

  • Begin self-directed exploration of specific occupations in which you have an interest. Use Internet Resources to assist you in your research.

  • Begin to develop your résumé and a cover letter and make and appointment to visit the Career Center for advice.

  • Become actively involved in the Engineering Professional Development Seminar class (ESC000), which offers an introduction to academics at The Cooper Union and to the engineering profession for first and second year engineering students. Essential engineering concerns are addressed, including study skills, career strategies, legal and societal issues, ethics, entrepreneurship, communications skills, team issues, licensure, etc.

  • Explore opportunities that are available to you. Ask professors or your career counselor for leads and check job listings on Cooper Career Connection (C3).

  • Get involved in Student Activities of interest. In addition, consider joining national chapters of professional societies that are aligned with your career pursuits.

  • Take advantage of networking opportunities that are available to you, including those with alumni, recruiters, classmates, and family. The Career Center sponsors many events which involve alumni.

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Sophomore Year  click here to expand »click here to collapse «
Stay actively involved in your academic planning and career development. This is the time to begin researching and testing the exciting possibilities that await you upon graduation…

  • Register with Cooper Career Connection (C3) if you have not done so already. C3 is the Career Center's primary way to communicate with students, as well as a students' bridge to access job postings.

  • Get involved in professional organizations and other student activities. In addition, consider joining national chapters of professional societies that are aligned with your career pursuits.

  • Become active. Attend career fairs, local meetings, conferences and seminars whenever possible. Develop a network of contacts. Your network will especially be helpful when you begin your full-time job search.

  • Explore careers related to your major. Review materials available in the Career Resource Library. Speak with people in potential career choice areas and engage in "shadowing" experiences.

  • If you have not yet done so, visit the Career Center for a Résumé and Cover letter Review. Bring your résumé and cover letter to a career counselor for recommendations on how to best communicate your academic and work experience.

  • Every year, the Career Center hosts a variety of programming that is geared toward the job search process. We host two career fairs, one each semester, attracting over 35 companies at each one. Also, keep an eye out for the Engineering Career Evening and the Mock Interview Night, sponsored by the Career Center in conjunction with Alumni Relations and the School of Engineering. In addition, stay tuned for the abundance of alumni networking opportunities that are held in conjunction with Alumni Relations.

  • Sign-up for a Mock Interview at the Career Center to practice your interviewing skills.

  • List career choices related to your major and secure career-related employment. Begin an internship or part-time career related job. Or, if you are looking to do research over the summer, apply for an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduatesi). View intern and part-time positions listed on Cooper Career Connection (C3).

  • Talk with a career counselor about how to network with professionals in an area of interest and how to conduct an information interview.

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Junior Year  click here to expand »click here to collapse «
This is the year to sharpen your focus and build your credentials. Networking with possible employers, gaining experience in your field, and delving into your major coursework are all important parts of this year's career clock…

  • Register with Cooper Career Connection (C3) if you have not done so already. C3 is our primary way to communicate with students, as well as a bridge to access job postings.

  • Visit the Center for Career Development and review information resources to identify career fields you wish to consider further.

  • Get involved in student activites of interest. In addition, consider joining national chapters of professional societies that are aligned with your career pursuits.

  • International students, who would like to attain practical work experience, should apply for OPT by visiting with the Registrar's Office.

  • Get involved in a professional organization related to your career field. Inexpensive student memberships are often available. Ask a professor for recommendations or visit the Center for Career Development to identify an appropriate organization.

  • Network! Conduct information interviews with people in your chosen field. Use your list of contacts, professors, and those working in your chosen field. Expand your information network.

  • Sign-up for a Mock Interview with a career counselor to practice your interviewing skills.

  • Read magazines, newspapers, and journals in your field to become familiar with trends, galleries and design firms, areas of growth, and potential employers. Utilized The Cooper Library, the Career Resource Library, and the Career Center's online News Media.

  • If you haven't participated in an internship, secure an internship in your chosen field. Target and apply to companies of interest. Or, if you are looking to do research over the summer, apply for an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates).

  • If interested, research graduate schools. Conduct research in the library, talk to professors, call or write for college catalogs. Information on graduate programs is available in the Career Resource Library. In addition, the Career Center holds a variety of Graduate School-focused panels annually.

  • If interested, take graduate school entrance exams and apply to graduate schools. Information on graduate programs and applications for the GRE, GMAT, MCAT and LSAT are available in the Career Resource Library.

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Senior Year  click here to expand »click here to collapse «
If you have followed all the career clock steps leading up to your senior year, then it is time to land a great job or pursue your dreams for graduate/professional school! For late starters, there is still time to gain work and volunteer experience, network with employers, and perfect your interviewing and résumé writing skills…

  • You must register with Cooper Career Connection (C3) if you have not done so already. C3 is the Career Center's primary way to communicate with students, as well as a students' bridge to access job postings.

  • Have your existing résumé and cover letters reviewed by a career counselor. Use the résumé guide that is available on the Career Center's Web site.

  • Attend events organized by the Center for Career Development on job search strategies, résumé writing, interview preparation, etc.

  • Get involved in student activites of interst. In addition, consider joining national chapters of professional societies that are aligned with your career pursuits.

  • Investigate and research potential employers at the Career Resource Library and on the Web. Develop a target list of companies with whom you would like to work. Then, network with your contacts within these companies. Develop your networking script and request information interviews to expand on your current relationships.

  • Sign up for a Mock Interview with the Career Center to practice your interviewing skills.

  • Embrace the Career Center programming that is available to you. Take part in the Senior Etiquette Luncheon, which teaches graduating students the finer points in professional etiquette over a lunch with etiquette consultants.

  • International students, who would like to attain practical work experience, should apply for OPT by visiting with the Office of Admissions and Records. Use your OPT or lose it! Apply by April of your senior year to be sure you receive the benefit of OPT upon graduation.

  • Participate in the Fall Engineering Career Fair in October. Attend Career Center seminars, write your professional résumé, master the interviewing process and begin conducting your job search. Participate in résumé drops, signup for interviews on InterviewTRAK and review job listings on Cooper Career Connection (C3). Conduct your own job search.

  • Consider taking the FE Exam to become an Engineer in Training before graduation, while the technical information is the most fresh in your mind. The Career Resource Library holds study guides to assist in your preparation.

    The exam is offered two times per year, in April and October, and the deadline for registration is usually about two months in advance of the exam date. The FE Exam Schedule is as follows:

    Exam Date Scheduling
    10/28/06 (Saturday) 09/01/06 (Friday)
    04/21/07 (Saturday) 02/02/07 (Friday)
    10/27/07 (Saturday) 08/31/07 (Friday)
    04/12/08 (Saturday) 02/01/08 (Friday)
    10/25/08 (Saturday) 09/03/08 (Friday)


  • Arrange for references. These can be professors, contacts from internship positions, or others who know your interests, abilities, skills, work habits, etc. Give each a copy of your résumé.

  • If interested, take graduate school entrance exams and apply to graduate schools. Information on graduate programs and applications for the GRE, GMAT, MCAT and LSAT are available in the Career Resource Library.

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Graduate School Timelines

Engineering Graduate School       Law School       Medical School