The university I attended had a Co-op program. During the summer work terms, we had opportunities to get engineering related experience. It was very beneficial for many reasons. It gave us a good preview of what real life engineering was all about. It exposed us to different areas of engineering and most importantly, it proved to be a real asset when it came to finding a job after graduation.
Employers will favour someone who already has some experience and good references from previous employers.
Good marks in school aren't the most important things that companies look at.
My advice to you if you really want to make $$, is to start your own business. You won't make as much for the first few years, as someone who works for a company but you will more than make up for it if you are successful.
Even if the business you start isn't totally related to your field of engineering.....the most important thing that engineering teaches you is how to learn and work hard. You will excel at whatever you endeavor.
If only I knew 25 years ago what I know now.
Oh ya....stay single as long as possible and always wear a condom.