Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blended GPA's


Nassim here. While we all know GPA isn't everything, for those of you who transferred or completed the majority of your GE unit's prior to your current university, it's somewhat depressing not seeing those lovely grades reflected in your GPA.

Last quarter, when discussing my resume with industry representatives, I discovered blended GPA's. The idea is that, since students who aced their GE's at the current university can have that reflected in their GPA, then you can as well. You combine your two GPA's and present them as one (but be sure to clearly state what you are representing).


Schools Attended:

XXXX Community College 80 units
XXXXXXXXXX University 120 units

Blended/Combined GPA: 3.8

I was assured that it made no difference to the company, and gave students who had lower GPA's, due to taking upper division courses after transfer, a fighting chance over those who had done their entire four years at that university. While GPA is important, it is what comes after it (research, experience, extracurriculars, design teams, etc) that really matters, and this way it gives more students a change at making companies GPA cutoff.

Anyways, I know I won't be the only one redoing my resume for the career fairs coming up.

Best of luck!

N. Riazi

Ingenious Inventions Part I

So one of my life goals is to die with at least one patent.  There are some inventions that are so simple that I wish I came up with them by myself....but I didn't.

This post gives credit to the inventor of the air bag for your shipments, like the things that replaced styrofoam peanuts. (I'm not talking about bubble wrap....because that process is a little too complicated for this post.)
Think about it! The box that contained your textbook for your Heat Transfer class is made up of plastic and air.  They are selling you air....

Let's think again: What do you need to create this bag-o-air? A compressor (for the air), and plastic....well you might need a sealer and labeler...THAT'S IT!

This is why I consider Bag-O-Air to be one of the most ingenious inventions.  It's too simple to not be credited....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Freshman Advice

Freshman year is tough.  You don't understand where you fit in the scheme of things, especially academically, socially, and emotionally.  Academics is often sacrificed for social activities, and you never know when to reach a balance.  So my advice:
  • Do your best academically. Some people are 4.0 driven, which can be good.  But not everyone can get a's very difficult.  Do your assignments, ask for help, and do your best on the tests.  At the end of the 1st or 2nd quarter, you'll find where you rank and whether or not to'll probably have to, but that's okay :-)
  • Still have fun, especially if it's Friday night. Don't be afraid to get soaked in the rain. Or get lost in a city. Or microwaving CDs...actually I don't condone this. All I can say is, it wasn't my idea.
  • Socialize. This is NOT limited to your peers on your dorm floor.  Find clubs where you can meet upperclassmen (and valuable advice). Get a mentor.  Maybe find some graduate school friends? Finally, make small talk with your professors; they are people too! You might find that these actions will pay off early on. 
  • Look forward. Similar to my "Maintaining Foresight" post, be sure that you start building your resume early on.  Create a resume...even if it has High School stuff on it.  Attend to career fairs*. Talk to employers. Hand out your resume. See where your degree will take you.  It's better to find out these things very early on than getting 6 weeks to graduation and realizing you will be staring into a microscope all day (and you abhor it).
*Be prepared to be shot down because you are a "freshman."  It's okay. It happens to the best of us.  These recruiters don't realize that these same "freshmen" will be speaking to them in like...two years? And they don't forget things, haha. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Big Sis/Lil Sis

So start of a new quarter! Winter Quarter means that UC Davis SWE starts is Big Sis/ Lil Sis program! Can you tell that I'm excited?

I've been hoping to use this blog as a forum for questions from the Littles.  Updates Soon!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Maintaining Foresight

After telling someone my major, I usually get the following response: “Um, Wow.  So why did you pick engineering?” Sometimes I’m dumbfounded, but then realize that not everyone is me.  It can be difficult for others to comprehend why engineers chose what they do, especially in these wondrous years of college.  This can even lead to you pondering the choice, especially after the countless all-nighters and numerous ounces of caffeine consumed over the years; “Why didn’t I just pick Psychology?”

Well, I have an answer: Maintain Foresight.  It’s useful regardless of situation.  Why did YOU choose this major?  The following reasons should NOT be the main reason why you wake up groggy every day.

  1. The money.
  2. My parents told me to do it.
  3. I like math.
Okay, now don’t get all controversial with me.  Let me tell you why these are not good reasons.  
  1. You can make a ton more money in other professions.  The hefty paycheck is a nice incentive, but should not be the ONLY incentive.  
  2. It’s your life, live it!  Your parents want what’s best for you, but if you truly aren’t into the-whole-I’m-doing-math-all-the-time thing, you are probably are in the wrong major (If you can use your abilities to your fullest, I would go for that…most parents just want to see their kids to be successful).  Also, I never want to get out of bed saying, “I’m learning heat transfer because my mom-told-me-so.”  Sorry, Mom.  
  3. Math is the basis of engineering principles.  However, MATH does not equal ENGINEERING.  Again, an incentive, but shouldn't be the main reason.

So I’ll admit.  I’ve used these answers a time or two.  To be honest, these answers do not maintain a strong argument with you or your inquirer.  Here are the questions I ask myself:

  1. What inspired you?  Machines?  Astronauts?  The Shuttles?  I always dreamt about being in the flight room during shuttle takeoff;  I would probably start smoking if I took that job, haha.  My other dream job: the packaging engineer who makes it possible to get everything inside a 2x2x1 box….but never back in once you take it out…  I always know that person is semi-genius.
  2. Who do you look up to?  I often refer to the JPL engineer as my reference.  But there are certain faculty in MAE, where I say, “I want to be in her place in 15 years…”
These two questions have helped me maintain foresight during a set of homework problems.  Where did you come from and where do you want to go?  Keep these questions in mind, and nothing will sway you from your dreamsJ

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Advice for the New Quarter

Hi Everyone,

I found this article regarding the "secrets" of syllabi. 
It's a new quarter, meaning you get to start fresh! You might want to also keep the following in mind:

  • Write down all important dates (midterms, homework due dates, finals, etc.) for ALL classes in a planner or overall quarter/semester sheet.  Keep this list posted in your room/study area and refer it regularly. 
  • Despite that "small" homework percentage, complete ALL of your homework.  Reasons:
    • Homework = test questions (or something very similar). 
    • Every amount to your grade helps....unless you obtain 100% on ALL of your tests (which you probably won't, sorry), it's really awesome to get these points....something I like to refer to as "free points"
Have a wonderful quarter! If you have any other organizational tips for the new year, feel free to leave a question in the comments.

Good luck!