The career night gathering served as an eye opener for me as it broadened my scope of understanding on the critical requirements to succeed in the field of electrical engineering. In the beginning, I had limited my thinking to the thought that an electrical engineer only focuses on designing, maintaining, and improving products that are powered by or produce electricity. However, my meeting and interaction with professionals from the industry changed my perception. I had an in depth discussion with three engineers who were very cooperative and insightful.
I interacted with Eng. Davis Butler from the I&M Blue Chip Inc on the skills needed to breakthrough in the industry. I was enlightened that high levels of creativity, critical thinking skills, attention to details, analytical and problem solving skills were amongst the most desirable skills for an electrical engineer. I was surprised by Eng. Davis' emphasis that in the modern world, excellent interpersonal, refined communication and marketing skills are also very critical as we operate in a people-oriented environment, thus the need to know how to meet with people and put information across.
Another Eng. Jennifer Perkins from Innovative Machine Solutions in Pleasanton took me through the activities involved in an electrical engineer's day. To begin with, she noted the latest development in the number of women who are now taking up positions in this field that was male dominated in the past. Perkins mentioned that electrical engineers are involved in projects from the concept development , designing through to the implementation stage. They may also be involved in the maintenance and design of new and better electronics, or test equipment and solve problems.
Dr. John Piermont, the third engineer I talked to was a specialist in Chemical Engineering. He shared with me how he developed his interest in this area since his days in high school, the obstacles he has had to overcome to be in the industry for about thirteen years now. I was amazed at the integration of different engineering branches; electrical, mechanical, civil and chemical, in the industry field. Dr. John mentioned that these are closely related and at some point in operations, one may find himself conducting activities that cut across the industry. For example, in an oil refinery all different engineers contribute in operating the refinery. He shared a brief speculation into the future of engineering industry, by mentioning that more capacity is needed to come up with greater innovative ideas that will transform the industry tremendously. He encouraged me that the future will be transformed by the younger generation that is currently studying engineering.
Generally, I enjoyed my experience during the career reflection night as I benefited more. What I liked most in the event was the diversity of companies that were present as it was my first time to hear and know about some of them. I also liked the opportunity to interact and talk to the engineers who empowered me more. Knowledge is power and now I will move forward in my career with more confident of a better future. What I hated about the event was that it was very crowded as people turned out in large numbers. I suggest in future, the event should be well organized in two days for people to attend on whichever day is convenient. This will eventually reduce crowding.