Dispatching a job application to automobile industry behemoth General Motors with a cover letter she now says was “a bit risky,” Megan Mogouei didn’t worry too much about the outcome. After all, she hadn’t been seriously looking at the car sector when she began applying for entry-level positions during the capstone project period of her undergraduate SFU mechatronics degree.
But then – rather unexpectedly – she got the job and soon found herself moving to the Detroit area.
“I added a bit of myself to the cover letter and told them I wanted to have some fun with my first job. I was trying to stand out from the other applicants but I also thought I had nothing to lose since I didn’t really think I’d get hired anyway,” says Mogouei, who’s now a project engineer on shifting systems at the iconic Michigan company she joined in 2013.
“We’re focused on designing the plates that go into the transmission but it’s basically a very broad job that includes testing as well as visiting suppliers. My SFU program proved to be really useful for this because one of the big benefits of studying mechatronics is the experience and exposure you get to so many different fields.”
The school’s mandatory co-op program, she adds, was also highly beneficial.
“The policy that you have to do co-op before graduating helped me realize I could go on and actually get a job in engineering – it really gave me a lot of confidence,” says Mogouei, whose co-op postings included being a project engineer at Creation Technologies and also a product development engineer at Ballard Power Systems where she worked on optimizing high power electrical circuit designs for fuel cell buses.
The big surprise, she says now, is how much she’s been enjoying working in the automotive industry – and with GM particular. It’s a job she feels “very proud” to have.
“I don’t think I was the best student in school but I really never thought I’d get this far,” says Mogouei as she looks back on her SFU education. “Now I think I’d definitely like to stay in this industry. I really like the managing aspect of project engineering – and I’m also interested in getting promoted, of course!”