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Many people who earn their mechanical engineering degrees dream of working at a big-name organization. NASA, Google, Boeing, Apple and Lockheed Martin all seem like dream companies because they’re established leaders in the industry.

However, they’re not the only ones hiring mechanical engineering graduates. Start-up companies are always looking for fresh talent. They offer new challenges, collaborative teams and interesting projects. Look around, and you might just find that a startup is a better place for you.

What is a start-up?

A start-up is a newer company that’s working to solve a problem or develop a new solution in an innovative way. Many start-ups are in science and technology fields. These companies generally have small, close-knit teams where everyone works together to achieve a goal.

According to Forbes, a true start-up company must intend to grow and scale. That is, it must intend to create a service, product or solution and then replicate that on a regional, national or international scale.

Start-ups are defined by their focus on growth, innovation and disruption of the way things are commonly done.

Why work at a start-up?

If you like working on original and innovative projects, a start-up might be your dream employer. Many start-ups are working on unique projects or combining seemingly unrelated technologies to create something new and interesting.

Often, start-ups have smaller budgets, which means lower salaries for their employees, but they can make up for that in other ways. You may earn stock in the company or get other benefits as the company grows. Remember, Google was a start-up once too.

A small team means that you’ll be more closely involved with more projects. At a big-name company, a new employee might have narrowly defined responsibilities, but at a start-up you’ll be expected to help out in a lot of different ways. Start-ups are great for quickly building experience. They’re also perfect for people who like to meet new challenges all the time.

You may end up working directly with the CEO or other members of the leadership team. In addition, your ideas are more likely to be heard because start-ups value innovation and new perspectives.

How do I find start-ups to work for?

Because start-ups are smaller and generally have fewer employees than the big-name companies, they recruit a little differently. You probably won’t find them at your college job fair. They just don’t have the time or the dedicated human resources team to staff a booth.

Instead, take a look at LinkedIn. Many start-up companies post a LinkedIn profile from which you can learn all about the company and start building connections with leadership teams.

In-person networking events can also help you find start-ups to work for. Start-ups are often deeply invested in their local communities, so you’re likely to find CEOs at local networking events. You might even find special start-up-focused events near your university.

Reading business magazines and the business section of local newspapers is also a great way to find interesting start-ups you might want to contact.

A master’s degree in mechanical engineering might be exactly what you need to help build the product or solution of the future. Start today!

Learn more about postgraduate engineering programs in the U.S.

From information technology that’s connecting the world to advancements in the field of space exploration, your career will have a great impact on our global society. Learn how you could develop your skills in a high-demand industry by checking out our collection of postgraduate engineering programs at international-friendly universities in