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Old 10-17-2014, 10:05 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,584 times
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I'm relocating to the Denver Area in little over a month. I've been attempting to line up a job before I move out there for the past two months to no avail. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in chemical engineering this past May with a 2.8 cumulative, 3.25 senior/junior year gpa. My other problem besides my mediocre gpa is that I have no co-op or internship experience and so haven't been able to get companies to even call me back once I apply (even with a local CO address on my resume). I understand that I'm not competitive in the ChE or general engineering job market and need a job once I get out there so at this point I'll take any job I can get that pays well. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:35 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,208,400 times
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If you need to have a job/income and have limited financial resources ... IMO, you'd do better to delay moving here until you have better job prospects or a job lined up.

There's a lot of competition for the better paying tech jobs in the area right now. Jobs that don't pay a living wage are swamped with applicants, too.
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:54 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
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Yeah, move somewhere where there is some substantial demand in your career field--the Chemical Coast in Texas would be a good place to start.
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:56 AM
 
Location: C-U metro
1,365 posts, read 2,723,308 times
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As a ChE grad with a similar graduation GPA over a decade ago, I would recommend not moving to Denver without a job or expecting to get an engineering job when you are there. The cost of living is pretty darn high and you're competing against other engineers who already have experience but want to move to Colorado. If you go into consulting or work at an energy firm as a young engineer, you won't be in the office much anyways. Your job will be to go to the field and learn from the operations staff how things are done. What you have right now is a lot of calcs, formulas, theory. It takes 2-3 years in the field to see how things actually line up and that inefficiency is a part of life.

If you want to work for a smaller independent energy firm based in Denver, you should be able to get on with one of them from where you are in Virginia. You'll get a nice paid relocation package to a field location or get set up in a man-camp in ND. It pays really well right now but if the bust is on, you may wind up needing to have an emergency fund for when you have to move for another job. The Niobrara/DJ Basin is largely handled by senior people out of Denver because they put their heavy travel time in earlier AND management can easily inspect those areas on a day trip. Operations will want something that looks good and works and that doesn't happen with new engineers.

If you want a job with a bio-tech or semiconductor firm, I think you will be out of luck. Those firms are pretty exclusive to hiring out of their intern/co-op pool. You may be able to get on with a consulting firm if you have your EIT.

Good luck with your job search. PM me if you want some specific advice.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Denver and Boston
1,701 posts, read 1,528,732 times
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I was also once a recent Chem Eng Grad with no experience. This was when unemployment was over 10% and even those Chem Eng grads at the top of the class had trouble getting interviews. I could not even land a lab tech job as I was considered over qualified. So I had to lie and say I did not have a degree to get a $5/hr manufacturing job in a field that provided me experience, which I eventually leveraged into a real Engineering job.

Most entry level jobs for Chem Engs are not in fields like Petrochemicals. But in emerging fields in electronics (eg plasma tvs)

Last edited by Robert5; 10-18-2014 at 12:59 PM..
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:33 PM
 
695 posts, read 802,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Yeah, move somewhere where there is some substantial demand in your career field--the Chemical Coast in Texas would be a good place to start.
Oklahoma City needs you.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Just south of the river
55 posts, read 71,757 times
Reputation: 82
I'm in semiconductors out here in CO, one of the few fabs remaining. Back in the hayday, we used to hire a ton of B/S ChE's right out of the gate. I hate to break it to you, but IC manufacturing in CO is finished (maybe in the US for that matter, we'll see. IMO). We are getting seasoned ChE PHD's with years of experience for peanuts. Heck, my upstream Process Engineer was a Fab Director at one time, 15+ patents and thousands of employees under him. I have an Eng buddy, 15 years experience, down in the Austin area that's been looking for 2 years. Cripes, he's ready to start selling lady Kenmores. If you are interested in IC's, I would suggest applying as a technician and be willing to move ANYWHERE. Still good money in it at this level. If you can get on, you can always move up. They might even entertain moving expenses, I know Global Foundries up in Albany NY was. (as of last year). Good luck Hokie, hope you find something.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:08 AM
 
1,561 posts, read 2,818,915 times
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My daughter graduated last year with a ChE degree from one of the top engineering schools. She is now working for Pharma in SF (after doing a summer internship there betw Jr and Sr years). There was nothing in CO that interested her.
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:38 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
1,365 posts, read 2,723,308 times
Reputation: 1160
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyDenver View Post
Oklahoma City needs you.
Tulsa is FAR better than OKC and has slightly fewer opportunities. I wasn't going to discuss that though but since you brought it up, and well, Tulsa needs you too.

Considering that Oklahoma is not high on the average 20-something's list, you may want to start trying areas that don't have a lot of them. I would say if you want mountains, you may put Salt Lake or Reno on your list. Most other places with high mountains are far too expensive. If you can do without, I will say it pays well. I make a lot more now that I traded my office looking out at Pikes Peak for one that overlooks the Arkansas River in Oklahoma. I recently moved and now have one overlooking ONEOK Field.

I had not heard that Austin was that hard for engineers. It does make sense that wages would be low. Sometimes, you can make more selling appliances than being an engineer but that's a backup plan, for me at least.
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:38 PM
 
87 posts, read 98,651 times
Reputation: 121
Houston would be a better place for you to start. I'm in Upstream with a major Eng. firm. Our Denver office is in trouble; however, Houston is doing very well. Trust me...I hate Houston and love Denver. The place to be unfortunately is Houston. In Denver you'll be competing with School of Mine grads.....tough, tough, tough to beat. Tulsa or OK City would be good too. Just not a good time to be in Denver.
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