Are you a “C” Student?

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Post #43 When your Engineering Grades are Average

Do you wonder what your future holds if your engineering grades are average?  It may seem that the students with the best GPAs are the ones with multiple internship/job offers.  Just because you may be an average engineering student, however, does not mean you cannot shine or stand out.   Here are some useful things to keep in mind  if your engineering grades are average.

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Different Employers Desire Different Skills

It is true that some employers will filter resumes by GPA.  Sometimes well-known employers implement a GPA threshold.  Is this a reason for you to worry?  Absolutely NOT.  In general, the more well-known, larger companies receive so many resumes that they turn down outstanding candidates.  Since most U.S. businesses are smaller and medium sized, you have no reason to be anxious about your average grades.  If an employer won’t give you the time of day due to your grades, there will be other opportunities with plenty of other companies (see Post #10).  Sure, you may have to expend more energy job searching but somewhere out there is an employer waiting for your value.

Life Challenges

Some employers put a high emphasis on grades.  At times, this works to their disadvantage since there are many intangible skills students have to offer.  For example, you can work extra hard only to earn a “C” in a course while dealing with a major family crisis.  Or, you may earn all C’s in a semester while battling a debilitating health issue.  Your grades offer no explanations as to your life situations or emotional intelligence.  Therefore, if given the chance to interview, you can emphasize your challenges and how you still managed to finish your semester.  In that case, earning C’s could have been an indication of great success.  Life challenges include everything from bad breakups to family crises to anything that interferes with your studies.  It is okay to show your human side during interviews and to explain how you prevailed despite unexpected circumstances.

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Finish Strong

Maybe you have one, two, or several semesters left.  And maybe your previous grades aren’t the best.  What you should remember is that you have control over your future grades.  If you can finish out your last semesters with improved grades, it will be a superb talking point in your interviews.  Employers will love to hear your story about how you finished strong after an undesirable start.

In summary, if your engineering grades are average, you will still have plenty of career opportunities.  Your grades are only one way to represent yourself to a potential employer.  Your personality, strengths and soft skills can very well make up for your average engineering grades.

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