Tips for an Industrial Engineering MS looking for a job?
September 4, 2014 11:29 AM   Subscribe

My wife graduated from Northeastern University with an MS in Industrial Engineering earlier this year. She's had some difficulty finding employment relevant to her educational experience. How can I best help her in this?

She is a Chinese citizen and a native Mandarin and Cantonese speaker, but is fluent in English and has a US green card. She had a short internship in a factory in Shanghai, where they worked 12 hours a day 6 days a week. She did well, but she didn't think she could handle that kind of work environment for such long periods. Project management sounded more up her alley, so she took and passed the CAPM test.

A few months of job hunting later, she's getting discouraged. She's sent out resumes for a variety of positions, but has gotten few interviews. Other than just being supportive, is there anything I could do or suggest to help her find something? We're in the Boston area, but are willing to consider other locations if necessary.
posted by Earl the Polliwog to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have BS in industrial engineering and have worked as a process engineer, quality engineer and recently as NPI engineer. Most of the jobs were fairly easy to get as there is demand in the field although not specifically in manufacturing. To start off industrial engineering covers a very broad swatch of option from quality, project management to optimizing proces, modelling etc. What did she specialize in for MS Industrial engineering? Based on that I could recommend companies or organization that would help.

General recommendations for Industrial engineer:
- Join IIE ( Institute of Industrial Engineers) - jobs are frequently posted and meeting other industrial engineers will definitely help on the job search rather than shooting blank resumes.
- If she is looking at IE jobs, Lean Six Sigma Green belt would be a good certification to get as I have seen this as either a requirement or "good to have" in most of the job descriptions.
- Look for companies that have a large IE groups - Boeing, Toyota, UPS etc. Most companies still do not understand what IE's do but have jumped on the bandwagon of Continuous improvement, Lean Six Sigma or ISO9001. Going to companies that have established IE groups that have proven their benefit will make it easier to market her skills.
- How long was the internship that you mentioned? If the Shanghai manufacturing was her only internship, it would be a good idea to start as intern in the companies or Rotational Leadership positions which can very easily translate to a full time job.

If you need anything else , memail/Linkedin me . Always happy to help out a fellow IE.
posted by radsqd at 12:18 PM on September 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

She didn't have a single specialization, but her favorite topics were human factors and project management. The internship was just a couple weeks, I think? She had not had any other internships, unfortunately her school was not particularly helpful with that despite its reputation.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 12:53 PM on September 4, 2014

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