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Engineering, Manufacturing & Transportation


Engineering describes building solutions to engines, machines, structures or processes. Engineers apply mathematic, scientific, technical and design knowledge and skills to develop new processes or improve existing ones within businesses and government. Engineers may work individually or within teams to create solutions that are cost-effective and safe within a specified budget. Engineering is a large employment field that offers many specializations, and roles can vary from research and development to product design. All engineering specialties are experiencing job growth with many internship and employment opportunities available.

Internship/Full-time Positions:  Engineering intern (specialty area is usually included in position title)

Skills Needed
  • organizational
  • analytical thinking/problem solving
  • communication
  • teamwork
  • knowledge in math, science and engineering principles

Interviewing for Engineering

Common Interview Questions
  • Describe a project you initiated that was particularly creative or innovative.
  • Tell me about a time you improved a process.
  • How has your education prepared you to be successful in this industry?
Technical Interviews

Technical interviews are used to assess content knowledge regarding a particular engineering discipline. Employers may present an engineering-based issue and ask applicants to solve the problem. The employer may also ask applicants to explain their approach to solving the problem. Technical interviews may be a part of the interview process for positions. Technical interviews are usually a separate interview process from behavioral interviews.

Employer / Industry / Job Search Resources
Engineering-Related Student Groups
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
  • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
  • Engineering World Health
  • Biomedical Engineering Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE)
  • Advanced Computer Machinery (ACM)
  • NU Solar Car
  • Engineers for Sustainable World (ESW)
Campus Resources
  • McCormick School of Engineering
  • Engineering Career Development
Companies that recruit at Northwestern
  • 3M
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Bemis Company
  • Boeing
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Ford Motor Company
  • ITW
  • Johnson Controls
  • Kiewit
  • The Nielsen Company
  • Northrup Grumman


The manufacturing industry produces both durable and nondurable goods for consumption. Because manufacturing includes many complex processes, there is a broad spectrum of types of positions within the industry that are suitable for workers of varying skill levels. Within manufacturing you will find engineers, technicians, administrative and supervisory staff, production workers, quality control inspectors, sales representatives, and clerical support staff. Over the past several decades, manufacturing has grown increasingly automated, involving computers and robots. This shift in the industry has created additional opportunities for engineers, who are needed to program, install, and maintain automated machinery.

Internships/Full-time Positions
  • Manufacturing internship
  • Mechanical engineering internship
  • Manufacturing engineer associate
  • Project management intern
  • Finance intern
  • Sales internship
  • Advanced development co-op engineer
Skills Needed
  • conceptual, process improvement, functional and technical skills
  • ability to use manufacturing machinery
  • supply management
  • critical thinking
  • following instructions
  • dependability
  • knowledge of safety procedures
  • attention to detail

Interviewing for Manufacturing

Common interview questions
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • Tell us about yourself.
Technical interviews

Applicants will likely encounter many technical questions during interviews for positions in the manufacturing field. These may include problems that an applicant is asked to solve or think through as well as questions about an applicant’s specific manufacturing-related skills.

Manufacturing-related student groups
Campus Resources
Companies that recruit at Northwestern
  • Sonoco Products
  • Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc.
  • Federal-Mogul
  • ITW Construction North America
  • Daimler Trucks North America
  • General Motors


Transportation is the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transport is important because it enables trade between people, which is essential for the development of civilizations.

Internships/Full-time Positions
  • Logistic Sales Internship
  • Intern – Student Engineer
  • Co-Op Opportunities
  • Engineer: Mechanical, Electrical, Materials
  • Technician
  • Data Specialist
  • Sales
  • Customer Service Representative
Skills Needed
  • Problem Solver
  • Scientific
  • Technical
  • Interpersonal

Interviewing for Transportation

Common interview questions
Transportation-related student groups:
  • NUSolar
  • Society for Automotive Engineers (Formula SAE)
  • Baja SAE
  • Design Competition (DC)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Campus Resources:
Companies that recruit at Northwestern:
  • Boeing
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors
  • Chrysler
  • United Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Federal-Mogul
  • UPS

***Much of this content is courtesy of Wetfeet, Vault, and Glassdoor