Engineering Career Services staff and peers are available to assist students through all stages of the career development process. It starts with a resume assignment in the first semester of the program, followed by career-related workshops, and seminar presentations. Individual appointments with the director of Engineering Career Services are available throughout the year to discuss job/internship search strategies, interview preparation, networking, and job offer evaluation/negotiation. The goal is to teach students life-long skills early on that they can use throughout their entire career. Engineering Career Services is part of the Engineering Student Success Team located in 3612 Seamans Center. The Career Services Peer advisors hold drop-in hours each day. For more in-depth advising, appointments can be made with the directors of ECS, Travis Greenlee, by calling 319-335-5763.
At the University of Iowa, we strive for student success. Our goal is for engineering graduates to leave the university equipped with the tools, resources, and connections to thrive in their professional careers. We’re proud to share that 93-98% of our graduates, on average, are employed, continuing their education, or not seeking within 7 months of graduation. Check out our comprehensive outcomes data on the University's Post-Graduation Dashboard.
The interactive dashboard created by the Pomerantz Career Center shows the breakdowns of what Iowa engineers do after graduation. The dashboard can be filtered by year, college, and major.
Resumes and Cover Letters
Resumes provide a summary of your education, experiences, skills, and accomplishments to capture the attention of potential employers. It's a "snapshot" of who you are professionally. They have a significant impact on whether students receive an interview, and ultimately land a full-time or internship position. Resumes can also be used to apply for scholarships and graduate programs.
The purpose of cover letters is to introduce yourself to an organization, demonstrate your interest in the company and position, draw attention to your resume, and motivate the reader to interview you. To be most effective, each cover letter should be unique and tailored to the company/position. It's an opportunity to tell more about yourself, show the company your communication
Our Career Guide provides a comprehensive overview of the first steps in your job, internship, or co-op search. It has resources and examples for creating a resume at any experience level, a list of strong action verbs to help develop content, and outlines the differences between a resume and a CV. There are also sections on how to write a cover letter, with examples.
Staff and peers in Engineering Career Services are available to help students construct and revise resumes and cover letters targeted to their career goals. Additionally, resumes can be uploaded to the virtual resume review platform, Vmock, or see a tutor in the Hanson Center for Technical Communication for a resume review.
Interviews allow employers to gain valuable insight into your personality and abilities and allow you to determine whether your credentials and career goals match the employers' needs. Each company's hiring process is different, but the two primary types of interviews used by companies are screening interviews and selection interviews. Screening interviews ensure that prospective candidates meet the basic qualifications for a given position. If you meet the basic qualifications, express interest in the position, and make a positive impression on the interviewer, you will likely be selected for a selection interview. Selection interviews are typically conducted onsite at the hiring company. A selection interview is usually more rigorous than a screening interview. At this point, a company is trying to decide whether you should move to the next step in the hiring process or be extended an offer.
Interviewing methods vary greatly between companies and even positions within the company. The interviewer may focus on one style or engage you in a combination of several styles. See below for the most commons types of interviews. These could be conducted in person, over the phone, via a video chat platform, or on-site.
- Traditional Interview
The traditional scenario is that a candidate sits down with one or two interviewers and answers a series of questions designed to help the recruiter figure out if you're a great candidate for the job.
- Behavioral Interview
This is the most common type of interview method. It's a test to how well you have handled certain stressful situations in your past; the interviewer is looking for behavior patterns rather than correct answers. Generally, you will be asked a series of questions on how you handled situations from your past that are relevant to the position.
- Case Interview
The case interview is a more specialized format where you're given a business problem or a puzzle to solve.
- Technical Interview
Technical interviews are designed to determine if you have the technical skills needed to succeed in the position.
- Group Interview
Group interviews aren't common, but you might find them for sales roles, internships, or other positions in which the company is hiring multiple people for the same job.
- Career Fair Interview
If you're attending career fairs as part of your job hunt, get ready for impromptu interviews, where you'll only have 10 or 15 minutes to sell yourself to the recruiter for a chance to come in for a full interview.
There are many resources available to prepare for interviews. Big Interview provides video tutorials and a virtual platform to practice many types of interviews and interview skills. Staff and peers in Engineering Career Services are available to help students prepare for job and graduate school interviews. Mock interviews are available through the Pomerantz Career Center on a regular basis. Students can search for and sign-up for mock interviews through Handshake.
Job Search Resources
With any job search, students need to use many resources as possible to generate a large number of high-quality job leads. Students can develop job leads through networking, career fairs, professional associations, online job boards, recruitment firms, company web sites, and targeting companies directly. Below is a listing of common job search sites to find engineering internship and entry-level positions.
University of Iowa On-Line System
- Handshake - Full-Time Positions, Co-ops/Internships and Student Employment
- Jobs@UIowa - Staff and Faculty Openings at the University of Iowa
National, Research & International Internship Programs
- IAESTE International Internship Program
- IES Abroad
- NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program
- NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Local & National Job Search Engines
Government Jobs & Internships
- Federal Government Pathways Program - Internships and Opportunities for Recent Grads
- USAJobs - U.S. Federal Government Jobs
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
- Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
- Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE)
- Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Associations often include job boards, membership directories, and professional conferences.
Salary, Negotiation, and Relocation Resources
Whether students are preparing for an interview, focusing their job or internship search on a specific industry, or targeting companies by geographic location, thorough research is key for success. The resources in this section are designed to help students gather more information about companies, careers, and industries.
Researching Companies & Careers
- American Council of Engineering Companies - Listing of Over 5000 Engineering Firms
- Buzzfile - Listing of Employers by Major by State
- CollegeGrad - Engineering Career Profiles
- Glassdoor - Company Reviews and Salary Information
- Hum-Molgen - Registry of Biomedical Companies in Human Molecular Genetics
- LinkedIn - Professional Networking Site
- Medical Alley Association - Medical Device Companies in Minneapolis Area
- Occupational Outlook Handbook - Labor Market Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
- ReferenceUSA - U.S. Businesses Database
- Vault - Company and Industry Reviews and Rankings
Engineering Career Fairs
Our two annual engineering career fairs bring in 80-130+ engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, business, IT, government, and non-profit organizations each semester. Students can explore companies and careers, gain advice from recent alums, and learn about co-ops, internships, and full-time opportunities from small and medium-sized organizations to large Fortune 500 corporations.
Co-Op & Internship Program
The Co-op and Internship Program gives students the option of exploring and developing their careers through periods of professional practice. Experiences are institutionally supervised, professional engineering-related experiences in business, industry, government, or academia. The program is structured so there is goal setting at the beginning, analysis and reflection at the mid-point, and evaluation and feedback at the end. Experiences range from part-time positions during the academic year, to ten-week summer internships, to multi-term co-ops where students take off a semester of school to work full-time. The benefits to students are endless:
- Career Development: Develop professional and career skills through experience and application; Evaluate and explore different positions and organizations in Engineering
- Competitive Edge: Increase competitiveness for full-time positions/higher starting salaries
- Status/Documentation: Receive transcript notation and credit towards University Honors program requirements, ability to apply the work experience toward professional licensure, maintain full-time enrollment status, qualify for CPT, and earn an average pay rate of $15-$18 per hour
Handshake is the University's online recruiting system designed to connect students with employers and opportunities. Students can search for companies and positions, upload their resume to be viewable by employers, apply for on-campus interviews, find student employment opportunities, and more! Students have access from day one through graduation by logging in with their HawkID.
Did you know you can meet people with similar interests AND build your resume? Join one of our 30 engineering student organizations to collaborate on engineering projects, compete in teams, network with employers, coordinate K-12 STEM activities, or travel abroad. We have major and industry-specific groups, honors organizations, sustainability organizations, and diversity groups. Employers specifically seek out students with demonstrated leadership skills. Organizations are honored each year at the Career Services Awards Banquet.
Networking is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual. It's about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships. Because we understand this skill is a critical one for any successful individual, students will have several opportunities to network with companies and professionals through presentations, workshops, panels, and The Learn Series. LinkedIn, professional conferences, and career fairs are also great resources for networking.
Career Services Peers are another resource to help mentor students through the career development process. Junior and senior engineering students with prior co-op, internship, or research experience are available on a walk-in basis in the Student Development Center, 3612 Seamans Center. They are trained to provide advice on resumes and cover letters, interviewing skills, networking, LinkedIn, or answer questions with the online system, Handshake.
Trying to decide between majors or want to see which careers are in most demand? The following links allow students to explore careers, understand which skills are important for various disciplines, and review the projected growth and outlook for all occupations.
The Pomerantz Center also has resources to research and assess majors and careers.
Some fields in engineering require licensing, specific credentials to demonstrate competencies in a particular area. More information about the Professional Engineers (PE) License and the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) certification can be found through the following links.
Stop in for Virtual Drop-In Hours or schedule a time to meet with an Engineering Peer Advisor.
Handshake the premier user-focused career development platform for students to apply to internship, co-op, and full-time employment opportunities.
A comprehensive career exploration tool that provides in-depth intelligence on what it's really like to work within an industry, company, or profession.
Is a hands-on interviewing tool with tailored mock interviews to your specific industry, job, and experience level. Interviewing is not hard; it just takes practice!
Helps new and experienced job seekers find opportunities both at home and abroad. GoingGlobal Country Career Guides are a fantastic resource for anyone focused on country-specific employment.
Engineer Your Career
Endless opportunities. Whether you like to work with people, come up with new ideas, or want to make a difference in the world, engineering will open the most doors. We will continually challenge you to think about ways to enhance your education -- through co-ops and internships, research, study abroad, volunteering, leadership experiences, clubs and organizations, and other extracurricular activities. You ARE our next generation of leaders and problem solvers. The more you have developed your technical and transferable skills, the more competitive you will be as you enter the job market, and the quicker you’ll make a difference in an organization.
Dream big but be flexible. In this time of constant transition and change, students who can shift their plans to the conditions of the job market will have less stress and more success. Talk with companies you’ve never heard of and explore careers you’ve never considered. You might be surprised at what you find and where it leads you.
You are not in this alone. The opportunities are out there but it’s up to you to be proactive and take owernership of your career. Utilize a variety of resources to guide you through this lifelong process. Familiarize yourself with the University’s on-line recruiting system, Handshake. Attend the fall and spring engineering career fairs, employer presentations, networking events, and all of the other career related workshops and seminars you can. Take advantage of your existing network and seek out ways to make further connections.