TLC Engineering for Architecture shares their answers to the most frequently asked questions from engineering students.

Q: When is the best time to start looking for an internship?

A: We offer about 28 internships every year, and this year [2017] we had every internship filled by December. Our advice is to start looking for internships as early as October and November.

Q: How do you recruit potential hires?

A: We attend 8 college campuses every year, visiting a mix of Architectural Engineering programs and Engineering programs across the country. We receive over 400 applicants for our entry level openings so we’re really focused on looking for candidates that are hungry, motivated, and looking to excel in their field. Unemployment in engineering is about 2% so our goal is to find the best candidates for the positions we have available.

Q: What do you look for on a recent grad’s resume?

A: We look for experience outside of their education. We also look to see if a candidate has taken the FE- it’s not a requirement, but it brings someone to the top of our list if they have passed the exam in their discipline.

Q: Do you recommend that students take the FE?

A: Absolutely, I tell everyone to take the FE as early as possible. When they start their career, it’s likely they’ll work some overtime. At that point, it will be hard to make time to study for the exam. If they wait to take it, they are less likely to remember the material they learned in school making it will be more difficult to pass, so taking the FE exam before they graduate can be really valuable.

Q: When is the best time to take the FE?

A: Students should be looking to take the exam before they graduate. A few college campuses we visit have built passing the FE exam into their graduation requirements. If you’re school doesn’t require this, students should consider taking the exam before finals their senior year or right around graduation time.

Q: What advice would you give students who are about to enter the workforce?

A: Take the FE exam as soon as possible, make sure you are actively looking at internships your sophomore year and have internship hours before you graduate. If you’re thinking about taking the PE, communicate this to your hiring manager and look for companies that have PE’s and will support you and encourage mentorship at their company.