Student Frequently Asked Questions

Engineering Career Services

How does Engineering Career Services help students?

Engineering Career Services supports current students and alumni in many ways. A few of these services include holding three of the nation’s largest career fairs each year, coordinating thousands of on-campus interviews each semester, managing the College’s experiential education (internship/co-op) program, presenting dozens of seminars each semester, meeting individual with students for career advising appointments, and managing the CyHire system. An overview of all services provided can be found on the main Students page.

How do I schedule a career advising appointment (resume review, interview prep, offer evaluation, etc.)?

To schedule an advising appointment please follow the steps below.

  1. Log into your CyHire account and click on the ‘Advising Appt’ shortcut on the left side of the homepage.
  2. Then click on ‘Request New Appointment’.
  3. Choose one of the College of Engineering Types.
  4. Pick a time that works for you.

We look forward to meeting with you! Also see the 10-step Student Guide to Employment.

Career Development

Do I need to include my GPA on my resume?

Yes, employers expect to see a cumulative GPA and if they don’t see one they may assume it is lower than it actually is.

How can I make my resume more effective if I have a low GPA?

Your resume should always focus on your strengths and transferable skills. Advice specific to students with low GPAs can be found here.

If I don’t have work experience, what should I include on my resume?

It is important to include work experience on your resume whether it is engineering-related or not. If you do not have any work experience, consider including activities you are involved with, or a course projects section. You can treat these sections similarly to work experience, in that you want to highlight the tasks you performed, the skills you used, and the impact of your work. Utilize the links below for more information.

Where can I find information about the fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and obtaining a Professional Engineer’s (PE) License?

For more information on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam please visit http://ncees.org/exams/fe-exam/ for more information.

For more information on the Professional Engineer’s (PE) License please visit https://ncees.org/licensure-engineering/ for more information.

How do I represent my military experience on my resume?

Military experience provides many opportunities to develop skills, traits, and knowledge that civilian employers highly value. Try to present a complete picture of yourself including both technical skills and professional skills such as teamwork, leadership, and problem solving, and keep the terminology civilian friendly. More information for veterans can be found here.

Experiential Education (Internships & Co-ops)

Should I complete a co-op, which will push my graduation date back by a semester?

Yes! You may take a semester off or complete a summer internship.  You can maintain your full-time student status without paying tuition by registering for an R credit class through Engineering Career Services. Taking a semester off allows you more time to complete projects and develop skills compared to just a 10 week period in the summer. For more information, please see the Experiential Education page.

Should I register my internship or co-op?

Yes! There are many benefits to registering your internship or co-op highlighted on the Experiential Education page. The three easy-to-complete assignments help to ensure that you have a good work/learning experience. For more information on how to easily register your internship through CyHire visit here: How to register

What are the benefits of internships and co-ops?

You will gain practical experience and expertise in a chosen field of employment, earn money to defray expenses, and have a competitive edge when obtaining a job upon graduation.

What is the difference between an internship and a co-op?

The difference is in the duration of the work experience. Co-ops are a semester or a semester plus a summer. Internships consist of at least ten or more weeks during the summer. Both co-ops and internships are institutionally supervised periods of work experience intended to primarily advance the students’ academic and professional development.

Where can I find an internship or co-op position and where can I expect them to be located?

You can view open positions through CyHire or by talking to employers at our career fairs.

When can students start a co-op or internship?

Students can start an internship or co-op after they have completed one semester of coursework at ISU. International students must complete two semesters. Some departments require certain core courses to be completed before starting an internship or co-op. (Check with your academic advisor). Most companies hire sophomore, junior and senior students, but some employers hire freshmen to establish an early relationship.

Can international students be involved in internships and co-ops?

Yes, however, some employers require U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, refugee, or temporary resident status for participation; therefore, opportunities may be limited.

Will a co-op or internship postpone my graduation?

Co-ops will delay your graduation date, but you do not pay tuition for the semester(s) when you are participating in one of these experiences. The professional development and competitive edge that these experiences give you when seeking full-time employment are definitely worth it.

Am I considered a full-time student while working in a co-op or internship position?

Yes! Once you have filled out the application, the Engineering Career Services Office will give you information to register for an “R” credit course. There is no tuition or fees assessed when registered for an internship or co-op class. The course is graded satisfactory/fail.

How do I register for classes while I’m on an internship or co-op experience?

You will receive a RAN number via e-mail. Contact your academic advisor if you didn’t receive one.

Can a student do more than one internship or co-op experience?

Yes, there is no limit on the number of internships a student can complete. Work terms must alternate with academic study (i.e. you cannot work back-to-back spring/fall or fall/spring semesters).

Will an internship or co-op experience enhance my career opportunities?

Yes! Employers indicate that when interviewing full-time candidates, the two key factors in choosing one qualified candidate over another, is work experience and communication/teamwork skills. Acquiring practical work experience gives you the opportunity to gain both.

What impact does having an internship or co-op have on scholarships and financial aid?

Scholarships are usually just put on hold until the semester you return. Check with the Financial Aid Office and/or the Scholarship coordinator in the Engineering Student Services Office (515-294-7186 or engineer@iastate.edu) for specific information.

How do I find a place to live while out on an internship?

Housing information can be acquired from the employer. You can ask your employer if they have other interns that you could possibly live with.

When I return from an internship, will I be able to retain my space in my residence hall?

There are several options available to students when it comes to retaining space in your current residence hall. It is best that you stop by 2419 Friley Hall to find out more about these options before leaving for your internship.

Can I still participate in a co-op if I have already registered for the next semester?

Yes! Fill out the Internship Application in CyHire. You can find the directions here5. Once it’s completely approved, ECS will send you information to add the co-op course. At that time, we will have you drop your other classes.

Am I obligated to work for the company after graduation?

No, neither students nor employers are obligated to continue the employment relationship after graduation. However, many students are extended offers of full-time employment when they graduate.

Can I do an internship or co-op with an employer that does not recruit at ISU?

Yes, if the position you have accepted is engineering related work. ECS will reach out to the employer to explain our internship/co-op program. Once this is done, then you can fill out the necessary paperwork to get registered.

Can I live at home and participate in the Experiential Education Programs?

Yes! However, this may limit your options. We recommend that you remain flexible in your willingness to relocate and look at industry and job content first.

Do I have to pay tuition if I want to take online classes through ELO?

Yes. Please refer to the ELO website (https://www.elo.iastate.edu/ regarding the cost of tuition and fees for on-line classes.

Will I be able to pay for college expenses through an experiential education experience?

Engineering internships and co-ops generally pay well and should help with college expenses. The level of contribution will depend upon your salary, living expenses, and money management skills.

How much can I expect to earn in an internship or co-op position?

Salary information can be found on our web site here.

How much CPT do I have left?

International students need to contact ISSO (https://isso.dso.iastate.edu/) regarding CPT status.

How do graduate students register for co-ops/ internships?

Graduate students need to work with their major department and professor.

What do I do if I have a workplace concern or issue?

Talk to your supervisor or the HR Department of your employer. Contact Engineering Career Services if you do not feel comfortable with these resources or have any questions. If you have registered your experience, you can view the ‘Dealing with Challenges in the Work Place’ module of the canvas course.

What do I do if I already signed a contract for housing and a meal plan?

You will need to contact the Department of residence. http:// www.housing.iastate.edu/contracts

Graduate School

What do I need to do to apply for graduate school?

Approximately 13% of ISU engineers decide to pursue graduate school immediately after a bachelor’s degree. Please see our Pursuing Graduate School pages for help in the graduate school application process.

Information for International Students

How do I find employers that are interested in speaking to international students?

Getting started: Simply follow ISU’s GoinGlobal link or use the link found under ‘Resources’ in CyHire.  Click on ‘Create Account’ and use your ISU email address to setup your account.

Finding employment can sometimes be challenging since the employment practices followed in the U.S. may be different from those followed in other countries, and some employers choose not to hire international students.  However, many international students do secure employment and prospects continue to improve. The document linked below was prepared by Engineering Career Services to guide international students interested in co-ops, internships and full-time employment in the U.S. The second link is to an external site that provides a list of employers that have hired international students on an H1-B visa in the recent past. Below these links you can find information about GoinGlobal. GoinGlobal is a terrific resource and tool for anyone seeking international employment opportunities.
Supplemental Information for International Students Seeking EmploymentList of H-1B Employers

GoinGlobal – This online resource provides location-specific employment information for over 40 countries, over 30 international cities, and nearly 50 U.S. cities. Helpful information includes:

  • Work permit/visa regulations
  • Cultural consideration related to a job search
  • Top employers for a location
  • Helpful information for visiting or living in a particular country or city
  • US employers that have provided sponsorship for H1B visas
  • A global job search capability that pulls information from Indeed.com
  • Plus much more!

Career Fair

How should I approach employers at the career fair?

Start with a smile, eye contact, and a firm handshake. You will deliver your elevator speech and then give them your resume. At a minimum, you should introduce yourself, your interests, and a few of your relevant strengths/skills in your elevator speech and then ask them to please review your resume. Please see our additional information on elevator speeches and preparing for the career fair.

Where can I find maps for the career fair?

Approximately two weeks before the career fair, you can find maps under the ‘Resources’ tab of your CyHire account and in the MyState app under the Fairs section. Also note that you can see a complete listing of employers, along with profile information, under the ‘Events’ tab. View the Career Fair Advice page for more tips.

Where can I find contact information for recruiters from the career fair or on-campus interviews

We attempt to collect a business card from those who attended the career fair and/or conducted on-campus interviews. Binders containing the business cards are kept in the student waiting area of the Engineering Career Services Office in 3200 Marston on the 3rd floor of Marston Hall. You can access the information between 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday-Friday.

CyHire

CyHire is the primary online tool that ISU engineering students should use to identify job opportunities, submit resumes for consideration, and arrange interviews. All professional employment opportunities (full-time and internships) being recruited for on the ISU campus should be in CyHire. The system also contains information about employers and has a “Job Alert” function that will regularly email job seekers with information about job postings that meet a customizable search criteria.

How do I set up an account?

Each Iowa State student has an account automatically created for them. During the first week of classes, Engineering Career Services (ecs@iastate.edu) will send you an email containing your login information. Go to https://shibboleth-iastate-csm.symplicity.com/sso/ and use your ISU login information.

What do I do if I can’t log in to my CyHire account?

Please make sure you are using https://cyhire.iastate.edu/students/index.php to log in.  

Alumni: If you forgot your password, please email ecs@iastate.edu and we will assist in getting your password reset

Current Students: If you forgot your password visit https://www.it.iastate.edu/resources/students. Click on Account Setup II: Password Reset. If you are still having trouble and your password is not the issue, please email ecs@iastate.edu and we will assist.

Why is it necessary to upload a resume and how is it done?

CyHire makes it very easy for job seekers to submit their resumes to employers and it makes it easy for employers to collect and review resumes.  For many job opportunities, you must apply for the position by submitting your resume using CyHire.

Before you upload your resume, make sure you have prepared a resume that is likely to lead to an interview.  Review our information on best practices for preparing an effective resume.  You can also make an appointment with career services to get advice on your resume.

Steps for uploading a resume

  • Save your resume as a PDF before uploading to CyHire to avoid delays due to document conversion.
  • Click on the My Documents tab
  • Click Add New
  • Type a label. Recommendation for the label: Full Name_MonthYear (Example: Kevin Smith_November2013)
    • If using for a specific company, add the company’s name (Example: Kevin Smith_November2013_Boeing)
  • Click Choose File and select the correct file; click Submit
  • You can upload up to 30 documents

To edit a resume once it has been uploaded, you will need to make changes to the document outside of CyHire and then upload the edited version using the steps above.  If you have submitted a resume to an employer for consideration, you will need to withdraw and re-submit the resume (the same applies for other documents) in order for the employer to have the most current version.

Who can see my information on CyHire?

Only career services personnel can see your information in CyHire. Unless you have applied for a position, employers cannot see any of your information, including your resume. Once you have applied for a position with a company, they can see your resume and any information you release to them in order to be considered for the position.

Where can I find the most comprehensive list of engineering internships, co-ops, and full-time jobs?

CyHire should be your primary tool when searching for open positions since all employers are required to post their positions in the system for Equal Employment Opportunity compliance.

To review current employment opportunities:

  1. Click the Jobs tab on the top navigation menu
  2. Click Search in drop down menu under Jobs
  3. Use the ‘More Filters’ to select your Major then click Apply
  4. Use Position Type to select either Post-Graduation Employment or Experiential Education then click Apply
  5. Click on Search

How can I narrow my search for jobs to a specific major, location, etc., and set up a job alert?

To create narrowed a search and create a job alert:

  1. Click the Jobs tab on the top navigation menu
  2. Click Search in drop down menu under Jobs
  3. Use the ‘More Filters’ to select your Major then click Apply
    • You can also filter by:
      • Class Level
      • Location
      • Work Authorization
  4. Use Position Type to select either Post-Graduation Employment or Experiential Education then click Apply
  5. Click on Search
  6. Click Create Job Alert

Tip: After searching, click on the Job Alerts. You can then choose to have the system run this search a regular basis and email you the results.

How do I apply for a job?

On the Job Postings page, click on the title of the job you wish to apply for. The left column displays the job description and the right column displays details about the application.

You will be asked to apply in one of 3 ways (indicated under HOW TO APPLY).

  1. By visiting the company’s website.
  2. By seeing the company at the career fair.
  3. By clicking the Apply button.
    • Select your resume (that you previously uploaded to CyHire) from the drop-down menu.
    • Select any other required documents (marked with an *).
    • If you would like to add a message to the employer, you can do so in the NOTES section. This is not a required field.
    • Click on Submit.

Clicking Submit means the employer will electronically receive access to your resume. Resume books are not created and employers do not browse through the system. Employers will never see your resume unless you submit it. Your action is required for the employers having access to your resume.

On the Job Posting page for interviews, what does Screen Criteria mean?

Employers can set screening criteria to determine what qualifications students must meet in order to apply for a position with on-campus interviews. The following screening criteria within CyHire may affect your qualification for interviews:

  • Graduation date
  • Major
  • Work authorization
  • GPA
    • NOTE: Your GPA is downloaded from the ISU Registrar and cannot be changed. A GPA from another institution is not averaged into your ISU GPA.

To view or edit your qualification information, log in to your CyHire account and click on the circle with your initials in the top right corner. Click My Account then Academic Profile. Keep your profile current so you don’t miss any job opportunities!

Tip: Keep your profile current so you don’t miss any job opportunities.

What happens after I submit my resume to a company for an on-campus interview?

  • In the upper left-hand corner of your homepage, you will see that you have 1 Requested Interview.
  • The employer will review your resume, and if he/she invites you to interview, you will see the message, ‘[company] has invited you to an interview’ in the News Feed on your homepage.
    • Click on the link, and under Requested Interviews you will have the option to View Job and see the interview sign-up start/end date
    • To schedule or decline an interview, click on the three dots and select the desired time and then click Submit.
  • If an employer does not invite you to interview, it will state ‘Not Invited’

View Tips on Interviewing

How can I cancel or reschedule an interview time?

  • On your CyHire homepage, click on Scheduled Interviews.
  • Choose the appropriate interview schedule.
  • Click the cancel interview or the reschedule tab under the Interview Details section.

Note: Employers must be provided with at least 48 hours notice when it is necessary to cancel an interview.  Please see the cancellation policy for more information.

I submitted the wrong resume – can I change it?

You can withdraw your application and re-apply through CyHire. Simply click on ‘My Job Applications’ in the Jobs section. Then click on the 3 dots to the right of the appropriate job and select “Withdraw”. Please be aware of the closing date for the position, if the position has closed you will no longer be able to make changes.

Is an unofficial transcript find to use when applying for a position?

Yes, you can upload an unofficial transcript to CyHire (simply copy from AccessPlus and paste into a Word document), and use this when applying for positions.

To get a PDF copy of your transcript you can follow these steps.

  1. Login to AccessPlus
  2. Go to the Student Tab
  3. Select Grades & Transcripts
  4. Select View Unofficial Transcript
  5. Select Printer Friendly Version
  6. Select Print to PDF

Why is the Events tab important?

Networking is an essential part of the job search process.  Networking is simply building relationships and connecting with others to exchange information, advice, contacts, and support. In the job search process, face-to-face networking is the most effective and occurs at career fairs, information sessions, professional society meetings and other events where there is an opportunity to engage with employers. View more information about Networking.

  • Career Fair – To view upcoming Career Fairs and Information about individual employers please follow these steps:
    1. Log into your CyHire account and click on the Events tab on the left side of the homepage.
    2. Then under Type select Career Fairs and Click Apply.
    3. Then click the Career Fair your interested in.
    4. Select Employers to view a full list of employers attending the Career Fair.
    5. Use the More Filters and Type of Employment functions to further narrow down the Companies.
    6. Click the name of the company will take you to the company profile and may provide a position description along with the screening criteria.
    7. Company profiles are great to research before attending the career fair. For more tips visit the Career Fair Advice page.
  • Information Sessions – Info Sessions are meetings held by representatives from individual companies to allow students an opportunity to learn more about these companies. In addition to learning more about employers, information sessions provide opportunities to meet company representatives and do a little networking. In some cases, employers may fill open slots in interview schedules through the networking that occurs at an information session. To view upcoming Info Sessions and information about the individual sessions please follow these steps.
    1. Log into your CyHire account and click on the Events tab on the left side of the homepage.
    2. Then under Type select Info Sessions and Click Apply.
    3. Then click the Info Session your interested in.
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