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Industrial Engineering


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What to Expect

Organization is key to the study of industrial engineering. Students tend to hit the ground running.

Jason Smith says incoming students should expect to hit the books -- hard. "I didn't expect the first two years of core classes to be much more challenging than the last three years of engineering studies, but they are," he says.

Smith says he looked closely at the opportunities for co-op work terms when he chose his industrial engineering program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. "The co-op is definitely what I like best about my program," he says.

"I feel I have learned the ins and outs of a job search, and acquired valuable on-the-job experience in the industrial engineering field."

Though the co-op is Smith's favorite aspect of his program, it does have some drawbacks. Because you take time out for work experience, you'll likely spend more years in school. "It is a five-year program, so you'll be here for a while," he says.

How to Prepare

"Learn all the physics and calculus you can so you can breeze through it at college," says Smith.

"Also remember that success in high school does not equate to success in college. You will not have to study more, but adapt how you study and manage your time."

Time management can also be the key to less time at night doing homework. "I had less than one hour a night of homework to do during the week, but on the night before a test I have to do about five or six hours of studying," says Smith.


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