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Picking ME electives - is it worth it?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:48 pm UTC
by QED-1
Hey guys, I have a question that has been bothering me for a couple days.

I'm a junior ME that transferred last semester (fall 13') to my current university and I've come to the point where I can see the end (haha). As in I want to setup the rest of my classes for the remaining 2 years. I've been thinking about going into power generation and turbines and so I had started choosing the classes that would seem appropriate (two sequential HVAC classes, turb for sust power, heat transfer II, thermo of mech systems). I have 15 tech elective credits to take and I was creating the list of classes for each semester and then I thought - is it worth it? I'm currently taking thermo and while I think it's interesting I don't think I will pursue graduate school. Because of that, should I just go with the electives that are relatively easy but are not what I want to go into? Will a company that I go into look more at my GPA or the classes I took? This is experience aside, I do plan on being more active in clubs than the minimal presence I had this year.

I guess my question is: would a company that'll hire me look more at my electives and experience or GPA and experience? I'm thinking that it's the latter and while I'm not too fond of that, I may just do that. I'll probably mix it up a bit but how much still stands. I'm curious to read what you guys think.

Thanks!

Re: Picking ME electives - is it worth it?

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:48 am UTC
by Ormurinn
QED-1 wrote:Hey guys, I have a question that has been bothering me for a couple days.

I'm a junior ME that transferred last semester (fall 13') to my current university and I've come to the point where I can see the end (haha). As in I want to setup the rest of my classes for the remaining 2 years. I've been thinking about going into power generation and turbines and so I had started choosing the classes that would seem appropriate (two sequential HVAC classes, turb for sust power, heat transfer II, thermo of mech systems). I have 15 tech elective credits to take and I was creating the list of classes for each semester and then I thought - is it worth it? I'm currently taking thermo and while I think it's interesting I don't think I will pursue graduate school. Because of that, should I just go with the electives that are relatively easy but are not what I want to go into? Will a company that I go into look more at my GPA or the classes I took? This is experience aside, I do plan on being more active in clubs than the minimal presence I had this year.

I guess my question is: would a company that'll hire me look more at my electives and experience or GPA and experience? I'm thinking that it's the latter and while I'm not too fond of that, I may just do that. I'll probably mix it up a bit but how much still stands. I'm curious to read what you guys think.

Thanks!


I've often found that the more competitive positions ask for what modules you've studied, and an outline of them, in addition to your course.

Re: Picking ME electives - is it worth it?

Posted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:16 pm UTC
by Bakemaster
QED-1 wrote:I guess my question is: would a company that'll hire me look more at my electives and experience or GPA and experience? I'm thinking that it's the latter and while I'm not too fond of that, I may just do that. I'll probably mix it up a bit but how much still stands. I'm curious to read what you guys think.

Depends somewhat on the company, but your electives contribute to your experience, and experience trumps GPA in most cases. How you represent yourself and your experience is also important; you'll probably end up representing your experience more effectively if you take courses you're more interested in, whether they're broad or focused, theoretical or applied.

I liked my core engineering thermo course, but had some trouble with the heat transfer elements of an elective I took afterward that focused on energy efficiency in buildings. It's probably important to my future employers that I have that foundation in thermo, but taking a more advanced thermo class probably would have done less for me than the elective course, because I can talk about why I took the elective and what I got out of it.