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Old 12-03-2012, 11:59 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,812 times
Reputation: 10
Default College grad tentatively moving to the Bay Area

Hi all,

I'm a third year college student currently residing in Wisconsin going for my undergrad in mechanical engineering. My career goal for many, many years has been to go into the consumer products industry, specifically consumer tech, doing product design and such. Naturally, San Francisco and the surrounding area has been my target area to move to. I've done a plethora of research over the past year just to get an idea of where the jobs are for the type of work I'm interested in, and no surprise, they're all in that area. For that reason, I find it justifiable to move out that way after graduating.

Being that I live over half-way across the country, I highly doubt any company will be willing to fly me out for an interview as a new graduate. I have 3 years of related experience (manufacturing temp work over two summers plus an internship as a manufacturing engineer at a rather prestigious tech-related company in the Madison area doing design work) plus other applicable qualifications (i.e. I'm artsy-fartsy, 8+ years experience with a medley of CAD software, etc.), so I'm not going out into the job market without something to back me up.

I still have two years to go, but a friend who is going for a computer-science/business-y major and myself plan on heading out after graduation with or without a job lined up and subletting/renting a couch or bed in the interim while applying like mad fools.

I plan on networking like all get out when I get there on top of the applying, as well as hoping to find at least a part time job so that affording rent and food isn't as stressful. I'm setting aside extra money from work and student loans so that I have something to live off of ($4-5k) for at least a few months, and being a college student, I've mastered the art of eating on the cheap without starving myself.

Am I crazy? I figure with going for an engineering degree, and my experience tacked on top of it, it shouldn't be as difficult getting a job as some others may be facing. I just fear getting shoe-horned into the wrong facet of engineering if I stay here, since the type of work I'm wanting to do (the kind that inspired me to go into mechanical engineer) is virtually non-existant in this area. Plus, it may sound selfish, but I want out of here.

What areas as close to being centrally located in the Bay Area would most likely have cheaper rent?
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:35 PM
 
1,553 posts, read 993,371 times
Reputation: 1103
It's never crazy to move to a new area to further your career and to do the work that you really want to do. I'd suggest you get a few interviews lined up before you arrive here (yes, companies do hire out of staters contrary to popular belief).

As for the where to live, I suggest you post this question to the San Jose forum (if you haven't already done so) since I suspect most of the companies are located in the Peninsula and South Bay. But just off the top of my head: certain parts of Sunnyvale, Campbell, Santa Clara, Fremont tend to be more affordable then the rest (still be prepared for the sticker shock). If you don't mind living somewhere a bit ghetto, try the cheaper parts of Redwood City, Menlo Park and maybe East Palo Alto (but don't live too deep, stay close to the Ikea).
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:27 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,246 posts, read 6,104,677 times
Reputation: 2798
a) you won't get an apartment without a job (and without good credit and an income that lets you afford the rent)
b) but, not being in the area will make it harder to get jobs. So definitely try to line up some temporary, cheap housing until you get a job.
c) 4-5k won't last you long especially if you're paying rent or living in a hotel.
d) people do get hired from across the country. If you're a good employment prospect then you should be able to line up some promising in-person interviews and could fly to the Bay Area and stay at a hotel or hostel and do the interviews then see what they say. This would add up but it's cheaper than living in a hotel.

If you can line up a job quickly, you can definitely move to the Bay Area on an impulse, it's what I did in 2004 with about $18 in my bank account. (thank god for credit cards) Once you have a job everything else falls into place. It's just a question of how easy it is to get a job, but it sounds like you have decent qualifications. Do a lot of research into your job market in the Bay Area, and maybe find some industry-specific forum where you can ask some local mavens questions about it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:03 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,812 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the responses.

beb0p: I definitely plan on trying to get some interviews lined up. I'll considering reposting this in the San Jose forum to see if anyone has any feedback there.

mayorhaggar: My friend and I plan on splitting the cost to rent a room or a couch or whatever, so I doubt any of those month to month places would require specific income. I've been scouring Craigslist the past few months to try to get an idea of what prices we'll be looking at and I've found some anywhere from Cupertino to Oakland ranging from $400 up to $800 a month, but split that between two people. I figure the $4-5k could last me at least 3-4 months assuming we do find a cheap place, and then I have credit cards which is about an extra $2k. I'll do some searching on forums related to my field; good idea!
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, CA
2,518 posts, read 1,525,007 times
Reputation: 580
This sounds incredibly risky. I admire your attitude, but in an era where people being unemployed for 2+ years is not against the norm, I would seriously reconsider.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:11 PM
 
Location: A bit further north than before
1,522 posts, read 1,617,697 times
Reputation: 1191
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocGoldstein View Post
This sounds incredibly risky. I admire your attitude, but in an era where people being unemployed for 2+ years is not against the norm, I would seriously reconsider.
Better you do this right out of college, it's an adventure you'll look back on fondly however it turns out.
Once you start accumulating people and things in your life, dropping it all and moving cross country becomes a lot harder!
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:15 PM
 
196 posts, read 185,303 times
Reputation: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by gone down south View Post
Better you do this right out of college, it's an adventure you'll look back on fondly however it turns out.
Once you start accumulating people and things in your life, dropping it all and moving cross country becomes a lot harder!
LOL you've watched too many movies. DO NOT DO THIS. Also:

1. If you're good enough they will fly you out and pay for hotel, transportation, food, basically all your expenses incurred for the interview.
2. Do not move here without a job first.
3. 4-5k won't last you more than a couple months, which may or may not be enough time for you to get a job.

Given that you won't have a really long time to find a job if you move here first, why not stay in WI? If you're good, it'll take you 1,2 months max to find a job and companies will fly you out here. If you're not good, it'll take you more than a couple months to find a job.

This comes from an engineer in his 20s.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, CA
2,518 posts, read 1,525,007 times
Reputation: 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by gone down south View Post
Better you do this right out of college, it's an adventure you'll look back on fondly however it turns out.
Once you start accumulating people and things in your life, dropping it all and moving cross country becomes a lot harder!
Yeah, but you could also end up homeless and thousands of miles away from any support.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:11 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,812 times
Reputation: 10
luau, thanks for the perspective as an engineer. That's what I was hoping to come across on here.

As I said before, this would really be the if all else fails situation. I'm willing to take the risk. If I do go through with it and things aren't looking promising, I'll swallow my pride and head back home before I dig my grave too deep. I have over a year to put together a concrete plan, being the way I work I like to plan things out far in advance.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, CA
2,518 posts, read 1,525,007 times
Reputation: 580
I don't understand why you wouldn't just find work first, then make the move. Is there something preventing you from actually applying for a job instead of doing something this risky?
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