Hi everyone! It's Tuesday! The last day of February. Where has the time gone? Today I'm sharing my exciting news that I've been holding onto for several weeks. You might make it to the end of this post and be like, no big deal, Alyssa? But so much has happened in the last two weeks, and in the last two months (really in the last four years in general), and everything I'm about to talk about was/is a huge deal to me.
First I'll provide a little bit of context...
Most of you know that I'm currently a senior undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins University. Senior year in college is especially tough, because midway through the year, applications for grad school, med school, law school, teaching/mentoring positions, internships, or jobs are due. It's one of the most pivotal points of a person's life (for those choosing to pursue higher education).
I personally knew I wouldn't be applying to grad school, either at Johns Hopkins (the 5th-year Master's program), or elsewhere. I'll be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and a minor in Earth & Planetary Science. These last 3.5 years (4 years, in May) have been such a trial, and I'm burned out. I love learning, and I'm going to miss the classroom type of learning. But I knew I didn't want to pursue a Master's degree immediately after my undergraduate studies concluded. There is a good chance I'll do a part-time graduate program starting in Fall 2018, but nothing for now.
My plan was to apply for jobs in the fall/winter of senior year. I also planned to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, to become an Engineer-In-Training (EIT). Side-note: if there are any engineering students reading this post who want to know more about this licensing/certification exam, you can email me or check out NCEES's website. Email me about anything engineering-related, really. Anyway, becoming an EIT would be the next step in becoming a Professional Engineer (PE), which is where I'm heading.
Fall semester ended in December, and I spent the holidays with my family. Just after New Year's Day, I came back to the university and immediately began studying for the FE exam. I scheduled the exam for Feb. 8th, which only gave me about five weeks to study. Logically, five weeks isn't a ton of time. The FE exam is extremely difficult, especially the environmental discipline. But I really didn't want to take it in May, because I wanted to apply for jobs and have that EIT certification on my resume. I'd be a more marketable candidate, you know?
Meanwhile, I'd been applying for full-time entry-level engineer positions since November. I applied to so many firms and agencies, public and private. I knew the job application process would be difficult, but it was honestly so discouraging to be completing so many applications and not hearing back from any of the companies. Especially with so much backing me - the university name (JHU), my degree, my GPA, my coursework, my activities, my internship experience, my research, my work experience. People say that you need connections to get a job, and it's mostly true, in the engineering world. Simply applying for a position most likely won't get you a call, let alone an interview.
So, I applied to companies, and in January, started studying for the FE exam. I applied for more jobs in January, moped, kept studying, kept applying, kept working (I work part-time in a department at the university).
Turning point - towards the middle of January, I heard back from a few firms and agencies. I scheduled and went on interviews, sent emails, kept up correspondence... received offers. I almost cried in January, when I received my first offer. The firms are so competitive with their salaries and benefits, and that was awesome (and intimidating) to experience. The interviews weren't as grueling as I expected. Luckily, I was granted some time to contemplate, and go on more interviews.
Then Spring classes started on January 30th, and I was still studying for the FE exam. Can you imagine - juggling interviews, studying for a $225 exam, working, and then attending classes? I lost my mind a little, in the first two weeks of the semester. Taking the FE exam on Feb. 8th was a huge relief... even if it was so difficult I wanted to cry as I left the testing center.
I'd like to think I'm a fairly smart student, and I studied well for the FE exam, but finishing the exam made me feel like a failure, because it was such a difficult exam. It's pass/fail (no score given unless you fail), but I legitimately worried that I failed. I had to guess for the last 15 questions or so, which made me feel awful. I didn't even have time to solve them! Waiting for my result was torture. Did I mention that the exam costs $225 (not paid by the university)? It's like the MCAT, but for engineers (kind of). Did I mention that John Hopkins has a 100% pass rate, for environmental engineering students? Talk about pressure... I didn't want to be the first to fail.
To make this long story slightly shorter, my good news:
I passed the FE exam! I'm officially an EIT!
I have a job after graduation! I accepted an offer that was pretty perfect and entirely amazing, and I'm excited.
Why I waited so long to share this - I found out my result from the FE exam on Feb. 15th. And then the job hunt - I accepted this offer on Friday (Feb. 24th). I was still deciding certain things up until Friday. Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself by sharing this so soon (in terms of accepting that job offer). January and February were such stressful and wonderful months, filled with both extremes of the spectrum.
I'm truly grateful for having offers and accepting the one that I did - many fellow seniors and even 5th-year Master's students are still looking for jobs (the ones that aren't doing grad school). You might think, it's so early to have things finalized! But the hiring process is cyclical. Companies might stop hiring in March, or April, and then you're too late and might have to wait months for positions to open up again. I did my best with the hiring process, and I'm so happy where I landed.
I'm also over the moon with joy, about passing the FE exam. It was so hard! I don't even think studying more would have helped! I churned out hundreds (possibly thousands?) of practice problems to study for the exam (because it's 110 computational engineering problems), so I honestly didn't expect to feel so clueless. After taking the exam, I figured I knew at least 50% of the questions - but the cutoff to pass is around 65%, for the environmental discipline of the FE exam. But clearly I knew more than I thought, because I passed! YAY!
So, now you know! I'm so excited to share this news. I've blogged since midway through my senior year of high school, and here I am, four years later, blogging midway through my senior year of university. Some of you have been here since I started my journey at Hopkins. I know things are going to change around here in June, when I start working.
On another note - I am ashamed to say that I am well over a month behind on replying to comments on my blog. I've done a good job of commenting on other blogs, but leaving comment replies on my blog has really suffered since the beginning of January. Now you know why. February 2017 has been my "worst" month in posts - only 31 posts for the month, which is an all-time low, in my 4+ years of blogging. You can kind of tell how the job hunt, interviews, the FE exam, and the start of the semester on top of all of that has affected my blog. So please forgive me as I work through so many comments! I am so grateful to all of you who stuck with me over the last two months, without even knowing why I wasn't as active on my blog and around other blogs. There are so many of you and I appreciate every single one of you!
I didn't want to get too emotional or deep, but this is a deeply personal post for me. I don't share a lot about my personal life, but with everything that I've gone through, and everything that has happened in the last two months, I feel comfortable sharing this. And if you've made it to the end of the post, I salute you and thank you. Thank you for letting me share this with you.
And finally - thank you to everyone who helped in bringing The Eater of Books! to ONE MILLION unique pageviews! I don't want to detract from this post but I will definitely be writing a separate post about that milestone. I am honored! Be on the lookout for that post.
Until then - have a lovely day, friends!
WAY TO GO!!! That is fantastic news regarding both the exam and the job offer!!! xxReplyDelete
As someone who recently graduated (Fall 2016 baby! Yeah!), I know how it goes. I didn't know to the extent you were stretching yourself, but it paid off and now you can relax (slightly) as that test is over. $225! Damn. I'd be stressed to pass, too, bc I probably wouldn't get another chance to take the test for awhile!
Props are due for even commenting and running a blog during this crazy time! But to have a job lined up and a passing test score, and to go to school at one of the most acclaimed schools in the country...well, if you haven't given yourself a pat on the back, girl, it's long overdue!
Keep up the good work and almost done! I'm honored that you shared the experience with us.
Good luck 🍀 for the rest of the semester!!
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! SO HAPPY FOR YOU MY FRIEND!!!! *happy dance*ReplyDelete
It's still a wonder for me how you still managed to blog through all of that!!
You are one hell of a smart, strong chick and whoever hired you is lucky to have you!!
ALL THE CONGRATULATIONS ON THE EXAM PASS AND THE JOB!!!!!
OMG!!!!! Congrats!!!! I am so crying happy tears right now for you! This is amazing! You passed that hard test, you got a job you finished your first month of your last semester. Alyssa this is amazingly awesome!ReplyDelete
Wow! My undergrad is in ChemE, so I totally understand what you are going through. these are all amazing accomplishments. **applause**ReplyDelete
WOAH. CONGRATULATIONS! You're amazing to have accomplished ALL THAT OMG how did you do that!?ReplyDelete
Oh wow!!! Congrats!! That is so freaking amazing!! I bow down in awe of your awesomeness!! So happy for you!! Congratulations!!!ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh! That's HUGE! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!ReplyDelete
Congrats. I am so happy for you. Wow I do not know how you juggled all that but you are amazing. All your hard and dedicated work has paid off.ReplyDelete
Congrats Alyssa! I know you've been working so hard. It's nice to finally be recognized:-)ReplyDelete
I teared up as I read your latest experiences and fantastic news. So happy for you, Alyssa. You've worked so hard and I'm glad it had such a fantastic result. :)ReplyDelete
That's amazing, Alyssa! Not that I had any doubts you could do it, but I'm so happy for you! And having the job nailed down is major, and a major relief I'll bet. Unfortunately, the connections thing holds true in pretty much every industry, but I knew you'd find something awesome because they'd be crazy to say no to you. I hope you get to relax a little now. Take a well deserved break, and congratulations again!ReplyDelete
WOW CONGRATS ALYSSA!! THAT IS AMAZING NEWS!! <3ReplyDelete
And that is a very valid reason for not replying to comments! You're forgiven ;) Lol.
Congrats again! :) :)
CONGRATULATIONS, ALYSSA!!!!!!!!!!!!! You've had an INCREDIBLY busy few months and I'm so excited for you!!!!!! <3 <3 <3ReplyDelete
Wow, Alyssa! That is such amazing news! You have so much to be proud of and I'm thrilled you passed the exam. I know what it feels like to stress out over something like that, so yay! :)ReplyDelete
AWWW!!!Yay!! CONGRATULATIONS Alyssa! All your hard work has paid off! Taking any of those hard tests for certificates/MED School/Grad School is very time consuming and stressful. I know I couldn't have done that and also try to keep up with blogging. You're amazing person! :)ReplyDelete
Congratulations, Alyssa! You are truly an amazing and inspirational woman!! My son who is going to high school this fall, wants to become an engineer, as well. I hope that he will have a work ethic like you do and will work hard to achieve his goal.ReplyDelete
Congratulations! We all understand the being so busy part. I must say that is so awesome and wonderful for you to already know about the job! What a relief! And passing your test, so wonderful! We look forward to having you come back when you get time and letting us know more about how things are going for you!ReplyDelete
Congratulations Alyssa!!!!! I personally love academia, but I'm burned out too after completing my undergraduate degree and graduate degree. I can only imagine how kickbutt Engineering is!ReplyDelete
YES! I am so happy to hear this Alyssa, since I kind of suspected that this was your big news you'd been hinting at. Congratulations, girl! You worked your ass off and now you get to reap the rewards. Enjoy it, and take it easy on yourself -- you deserve a vacation! Haha.ReplyDelete
I totally hear you re: how gruelling the job hunt can be. I just finished my Master's in December (yay), and while I do have a good library job that's better than a lot of what my peers are dealing with, it's not one that requires a Master's (boo). It's totally normal in my field -- and sounds like it's the same in engineering -- to get one interview for every 30-40 job applications. Good grief! I completely understand how much of a weight it must be off your shoulders to know what you'll be doing come graduation, Alyssa. Congrats again!!!
Congratulations and congratulations Alyssa! That is so huuuuge! You were really pushing yourself to all sorts of extremes there - I'm so glad it all paid off.ReplyDelete
Funnily enough my hubby graduated as a mechanical engineer. He doesn't really work as an engineer, but in what he does do I know he uses strands of it on a daily basis.
I cannot believe how actually active you have been as a blogger over the last couple of months considering all you have been going through! It's pretty amazing stuff. You've pressured yourself there too to even consider blog visits and not taking a bit of a hiatus! And yet I'm glad you've been around - I love your posts and love reading your reviews, even if I don't get to comment on all of them.
Thanks for sharing a more personal post - I've been floating around for about 9 months and haven't seen that much about YOU! It was great to read and great to hear how successful you've been... Not to mention a million UNIQUE! page views! Wow.
From what I do know of you, and from what I have seen in your dedication to blogging and your school work - whoever gave you that call, that interview and eventually that job offer is damn lucky to have you!
Again, congratulations and best of luck through the last days of your college and the first step into your new life!
Congrats, how exciting to pass that exam and find a good job in the your field of study!ReplyDelete
Congratulations!!! That is so exciting! Congrats on passing the exam and a job!! It is very challenging to find a job know a days and you do really need to know someone it feels. Best of luck!!ReplyDelete
Congrats! you're on your way! I took that exam and let's just say, I failed the P.E. exam unfortunately. the P.E. exam had stuff on it I never studied or came close to seeing at work. I only needed one point to pass!!! So close. But then life got in the way and I never tried again (I was pregnant when I took the P.E. and now have 3 kids). Good luck--your future is so bright. I'm also an environmental engineer, but now use my background to write educational books for kids instead of working for a consulting firm.ReplyDelete
That is an awesome accomplishment (accomplishments, really,) and of course you'd share it on your blog! Congratulations. I'm so glad all of your hard work paid off! :)ReplyDelete
OH MY GOSH ALY THIS IS WONDERFUL NEWS!!!! CONGRATULATIONS, GIRL!!! I'm so excited for you. I can't believe you completed two bachelor and a minor degree in only 4 years. That's dedication and I admire you for accomplishing something that not many people do. I'm in awe right now. I really wish you the best in this next step of your life!ReplyDelete
Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews
Congrats! That's fantastic news!ReplyDelete
I know how difficult those can be, because when I was a kid, two of my friends I grew up with in Baltimore, who just happen to be twins AND Engineeers shared that tip many years ago. I know you were worried, but just from reading your posts and the things happening in your life, I knew you would nail that exam. You're just too brilliant. Add to that your other degrees, and you're definitely gonna be a success in whatever path you choose in life. Posts like this that are so personal, really make me cry and appreciate the people I meet in the Blogging World. Kudos to you and congrats on the 1 Million! HUGE Hugs...ROReplyDelete
Eee. Such a lovely post Alyssa. <3 Thank you so so much for sharing all of this with us. YOU ARE AMAZING. (Also, I read all of it, haha. <3) Going to school sounds so stressful. Ack. I'm so proud and happy for you, that you have made it :D CONGRATS on passing the exam :D YESSS. That is SO AWESOME :D And congrats on the amazing job too :D EEE! That's the best news :D I'm so, so happy for you Alyssa. <3 Hugs. I'm sorry things were so stressful this month, though, ack. That's the worst. But so so glad it was all worth it. <3 Giving you all the hugs. And wishing you the very best future :) Cannot wait to know how it all goes. <3ReplyDelete
Yay! I was hoping for some good news Alyssa and this is wonderful, I'm so happy for you. Welcome (soon) to the workforce, I hope you love it and it's all you imagine.ReplyDelete
Congrats Alyssa! I hope you are doing well in your classes!ReplyDelete
Congratulations! This has to be such a relief. I remember how hard it was to find that first job out of college. You are ahead of the game.ReplyDelete
That's fantastic Alyssa, to pass and get a job!ReplyDelete
Sounds like you had a full plate. Congratulations on passing your exams and scoring a job after graduation! Woohoo!ReplyDelete
~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum
Congrats on everything Alyssa!! I appreciate all the time you take to visit my blog, read my reviews and leave me comments. It means a lot <3 <3ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness CONGRATULATIONS!! I'm actually in the second semester of my freshman year of college and I have to say, the job search process for my senior year already sounds daunting. I'm so happy that you managed to push through with a positive attitude and now you're officially an incredibly fancy person with fancy certifications and a fancy job! :)ReplyDelete
OMG, Alyssa!! Congrats!! And I actually didn't even know that you were SUPER busy because you were posting (and commenting) like normal! I don't know how you do it!ReplyDelete
Glad that you finally accepted a job! Good luck !!!
When I studied with Open University I struggled through my astronomy course and was convinced I'd failed so it was such a relief to pass. I can fully understand how you feel! I think it is more satisfying to pass something you were worried about. Congrats on that and your new job!ReplyDelete
That is quite the journey Alyssa, I admire your resilience and I am glad that everything is finally falling into place for you. Congrats on passing :D I am really happy for you. I hope the job scene isn't too stressful. Don't worry about the comments too much, this def takes priority <3ReplyDelete
Congratulations Alyssa <33 This is huge and don't worry about replying to comments for a while!! We've gotta take care of life outside blogging too <3 I know how it feels about the exams! I wrote a huge entrance exam recently too..to get into integrated PhD in Genetics and Molecular biology and the best institute in India and i'm legitimately scared about the results! I had to guess for some 10 questions too and not happy about that!!ReplyDelete
I'm so so happy for you! Good luck with everything that comes by <33
oh I am so happy for you darlin'!!! I am so glad that you were able to pass and get a good job offer out it, makes all the stress and hard work worth it.ReplyDelete
CONGRATS ALYSSA!!!! That's so awesome! I'm so impress that you kept blogging too, haha! I felt like I was going to die when I was studying for my national exam (which was $500 out of our own pocket and we need to pass it to practice/work). I'm glad all your hard work paid off and I hope your new job is amazing!! All the best!!ReplyDelete
Congratulations on all your good news Alyssa! Best of luck in your job and the rest of your school!ReplyDelete
Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist
Congratulations and good luck with your job! Thanks for sharing!! :ReplyDelete
This is amazing news! Congratulations on passing your exam and finding a job! I had no idea you were going through all of that and blogging! I'm sure you will do phenomenal at your new job! 👍💚😁ReplyDelete
CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so happy for you, this is really inspiring. I'm technically only in my second year and I'm already feeling the pressures of university. This post will definitely keep me motivated, especially with midterms around the corner. Congratulations once again, I'm wishing you the best of luck in your new job, the last few months of you undergrad, and a masters if you decide to do so.ReplyDelete
Woah, I don't know how you keep up with the blog with all of that going on! That's amazing though. Congrats!!!ReplyDelete
Aw congrats!! How exciting! I wasn't an engineer but went to a school with a big engineering college and most of my friends were engineers of some time from mechanical to nuclear so all the testing...yeah I remember that. lol Hope you have a great rest of the month and are enjoying your achievements!ReplyDelete
Just seeing this post! Congrats! I'm so excited for you.ReplyDelete