Post IQP/MQP Blues

Filed in From the Staff by on November 17, 2017


Coming back from a project center and adjusting to life at WPI can be tough. As a student who traveled to Capetown, South Africa in B’16, it was tough for me to adjust back to the classes. Most of all, I was always stumped on how to talk about my IQP experience with my peers, faculty and with prospective employers in interviews!

If you went to an off-campus project, it is bound to come up in your conversations and interviews with employers. Here are some tips on how you can successfully market your off-campus project experience in your job search:

  1. Resume

Resume is a great tool to include your projects on especially your IQP and MQP. While writing your description, focus on the main objective of your project and how you accomplished it. Some times, students leave out their IQP from the resume thinking that it is not relevant. However employers are really seeking out transferable skills like team work, research skills and international -cross cultural experience when looking for candidates and this can help you stand out from the pool! If you feel like your project is not directly related to your major, use it to advertise additional skills that you gained from your IQP. Take a look at some of the transferable/soft skills in the job description and evaluate on how it relates back to your IQP/MQP. Often times the transferable skills are the most important in the job search as these are qualities which employers want you to have before they can train you on the technical aspects of the job!

2. Interview

Before proceeding to interview with the hiring manager, you will likely get screened by the HR representative in the company. HR representatives try to determine whether you are a good fit within a company and using examples from your off campus project experience is a great way to show flexibility, teamwork and leadership skills. Your interviewer might ask you behavioral questions to determine how you have reacted to a similar scenario. Almost all of these behavioral questions can be answered with an example from your project. It always helps me to prepare a short elevator pitch, that I can use to give an overall idea of the project and guide the conversation. Try to look at glassdoor for sample questions and prepare answers for them based on your project.

If you feel that you have more to add about your project such as pictures of fieldwork, designs and final results, use an e-portfolio. You can use Digication, a platform subscribed by WPI to create your custom portfolio and add information about your projects. To access digication go to

If you have more questions about how to market your IQP/MQP experience, feel free to email or leave a comment below. Have a great thanksgiving next week!




About the Author ()

I am a Mechanical Engineering Senior with a minor in ECE. On campus, I serve as a Resident Advisor and Peer Advisor for the CDC. In the past, I have also acted as the President for the Model UN club and the Squash Club! I have a passion for travelling, exploring new cultures and trying new food!

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