Breaking into the industry starts as early as your university days. The last thing you would want to do is to wait after graduation before building professional relationships. Like with any other line of work, a wide network can make things so much easier for your engineering career. That being said, you should make it your priority to know as many people in your field as possible.
There are a number of ways you can go about it. For instance, you can find a mentor who is willing to take you under their wing. Be sure to take it all in and take a genuine interest in their work. Above all, do not be afraid to seek guidance and ask questions whenever you need to.
In addition to that, you should also take the time to participate in hands-on projects and build your portfolio. After all, knowledge is both theoretical and practical. Future employers understand the latter is just as important as the former. So, it is vital that you build a well-organized portfolio early on. This can go a long way in terms of highlighting your skills and relevant experiences.
Studying to become an engineer is easier said than done. However, if you are truly serious about pursuing a career in this particular field, then there is no other way to go about it. Of course, students need to understand that their professors are there to help you learn. However, learning is a two-way street. That being said, you need to take full advantage of the knowledge they share and their willingness to teach.
For instance, do not hesitate to ask for additional examples if a particular equation or concept seems vague. Chances are, if you are having trouble understanding them, then your classmates probably are too. Moreover, your professor will appreciate the input. It is also a great way of putting the right foot forward as it shows initiative and active investment in learning on your part.
Of course, professors can play a crucial role in your development as an engineer, both inside and outside the classroom. That is why we also recommend that you find a professor you look up to and develop a professional relationship with them. They can not only give you tips on how to better understand the concepts being discussed, but they can also provide you with invaluable insight with regards to the industry.