Where to Go After Graduation?

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 January 2017

As the new semester kicks into gear, I’m realizing that this is my last semester that will have this common progression: Early ease/confusion, then cruise control on the next three weeks, then progressive chaos from week 6 to week 14. I’m sure graduate school will have its own rhythm, but this is my last uniquely undergraduate semester. As I look into where I’ll be going for graduate school, I realize I’m going to have to get over my desire to know where I’ll be. It’s likely I won’t know that until June.

My two options are Ohio University’s graduate school to work with my advisor, Dr. Cyders, or GE Aviation’s Edison program. Graduate school here would be great, but it would be the safe option. My advisor wants to work with me, so I don’t have to convince him to hire me—I’ve been doing that for the last four years.

What’s not safe and is pretty scary is the Edison program. It’s a graduate-school track GE has to teach their engineers in depth how they do things, design things, etc. It’s super selective. I have to convince them that I can handle it and that they should invest in me.

I think what scared Jane would prefer would be gradually building her resume with safe options that just take time and hard work, until the point that I can apply to my dream job and there’s no convincing required. However, to make the most of my early years I need to take risks. I need to apply to places that might reject me. It’s scary, but necessary. So I’m applying to the Edison program. They don’t interview until June, but it’ll be okay. Everything will be okay. It’ll be an adventure.

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