[A couple years ago, the PTC Academic Program asked some of our most esteemed customers to reflect on the “skills gap” in engineering. We wanted to know what was missing when fresh graduates showed up on the company’s doorstep. What more could universities be doing to prepare the next generation of product developers? Many of the answers we received are still as relevant today as they were back then. With school starting up again, it's a good time to revisit these now-classic posts as you choose your courses and extracurricular projects for the year. ]
As we continue our series on what companies look for in graduating engineers, it becomes clear that company culture has a lot to do with the screening process.
At Santa Cruz bicycles, everybody loves riding, of course. But director of engineering, Joe Graney, says it’s not enough to simply say you’re passionate about cycling to get the job. He wants to see engineering students who can show that passion.
Graney wants to see the bike you kluged together in high school. Maybe you had an idea that you could go higher with an air foil on the back of a Huffy you found in the backyard shed. THAT’S passion!
[Note. Graney never says that your experiment had to be successful.]
Now that you’re in college? Graney says there’s a lot you can be doing to make the most of your education.
So, is Graney simply describing the engineer he was when he applied for his first professional job? (His high school bike experiment involved a ski on the front wheel for snow riding.)
No. He says he wishes he had understood more about manufacturing processes himself—machining, injection molding, draft rules, casting—as well as the processes that drive design, like shrinkage, wall thicknesses, pull directions, etc.
Find out more about what the Santa Cruz team most wants from its new engineers, in this recorded webinar https://communities.ptc.com/videos/4134
If you're not yet using Creo as your 3D design projects, you can download the student version free. Not a student? There's also a free trial version, available to anybody who wants to get started with developing designs on the same software used at top companies, like Santa Cruz Bikes, around the world.
Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC. She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years, working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.