Transition from Student Life to Professional Career
Transition from Student Life to Professional Career Dialogue with experienced engineers Frank Fong, P.E. Retired Stan Horwitz, P.E. Agenda Career Paths and Engineering Skills Working World Realities Engineering Professional Career Habits
Lessons Learned Transition Student -> Professional 2 Engineering Career Paths Industry Government Academia Entrepreneur product, service
Non-engineering business, entertainment, medicine, law, etc. Paths may change, overlap, or repeat over a career. Explore to grow and find your passion. Transition Student -> Professional 3 Your Engineering Skills Student Life Professional Life
Breaking problems into Map system requirements to system architecture and smaller pieces flow down to next levels Analysis based on full Analysis based on partial facts / data information available now Tradeoff choices for Tradeoff choices early. Revisit again after having best solution more information later Innovate and explore Innovate enough to solve problem within constraints Strong problem solving and analysis skills are valuable.
Transition Student -> Professional 4 Agenda Career Paths and Engineering Skills Working World Realities Engineering Professional Career Habits Lessons Learned
Transition Student -> Professional 5 Career Ladders in Industry Technical specialist Lead and contribute to critical technical capabilities Program / project management Lead technical and business efforts to meet customer needs Organizational management Lead engineering organizations, major business units, or corporations Transition Student -> Professional
6 New Experiences in Working World Competing with engineers globally Challenge and stretch yourself to adapt and embrace change Working with greater diversity among team members Show flexibility to accept shades of gray and opposing opinions while working to build team consensus Meeting project goals Handle obstacles like resource constraints, costs, schedule and changing priorities that will pop up Being prepared for performance evaluations, layoffs, and continuing efforts tomanage own career
Transition Student -> Professional 7 Keys for Successful Career (1 of 3) Adaptability Learn new things and apply knowledge from other fields Take on new challenges Embrace changes Flexibility Work well with others to achieve goals (building teams) Appreciate other perspectives Explore other feasible options Capability to handle obstacles Expect changes / challenges / constraints
Work with others to solve problems creatively Raise problems early and offer suggested resolutions Transition Student -> Professional 8 Keys for Successful Career (2 of 3) Self-assessment Honestly know your strengths and weaknesses Build strengths and reduce impact of weaknesses Work with mentors Using your time wisely Set priorities, not just react to urgent problems / requests Limit handling personal tasks at work Take time to build relationships and networks
Managing perceptions by bosses and team members Dress successfully and conduct yourself professionally Learn the ropes and expectations of your work organization Avoid negative reactions and attacks on others Transition Student -> Professional 9 Keys for Successful Career (3 of 3) Successful career skills Maintain positive can-do attitude Keep learning through classes, seminars, meetings or experimenting Communicate clearly and effectively from audiences perspective Treat others with respect even when you have different opinions
Save (pay yourself first) early and regularly to let money grow with time for financial independence and retirement Transition Student -> Professional 10 Communication Skills Write status reports, technical memoranda, or detailed recommendations Organize your thoughts Adapt the message to your audiences preference and concerns Present current status, technical review of accomplishments and issues, recommendations Negotiate schedules, costs, resources and
expectations for tasks Develop inter-personal and technical communication skills. Transition Student -> Professional 11 Leadership Skills J.D. Hokoyamas 3 Ps of leadership: Passionate, persistent, people-focused Inspire others to become better, and teams to achieve greater goals together Can lead even without a formal title Volunteer to get practical experience with low risks Employee affinity or technical groups Demonstrate by developing your effective teams
Build relationships and trust with others Transition Student -> Professional 12 Mentoring Seek mentors throughout your career Get honest feedback and advice Gain benefits when mentors introduce your name as candidates to new opportunities Seek people you respect and want to imitate At least two levels above you to provide broader perspective Mentor others throughout your career Share your knowledge and skills with young and old Develop others to backfill for you when you move up Transition Student -> Professional
13 Agenda Career Paths and Engineering Skills Working World Realities Engineering Professional Career Habits Lessons Learned Transition Student -> Professional
14 Engineering Professional Apply science, math, economics, and broad experience to solve problems Satisfaction in seeing own/team design become reality Evaluate different solutions to solve problem Find that one best matching requirements, real constraints (schedule, cost, risk, etc), and expected performance Directly impact general welfare and society Will not cause unintended harm to the public health or safety Transition Student -> Professional
15 Engineering Professional Traits Learn continuously Develop depth and breath Expand tool chest of knowledge and experience Provide unbiased assessment based on facts Demonstrate integrity and trustworthiness Accept responsibility for our tasks and actions Communicate clearly to gain support for technical recommendations Transition Student -> Professional 16
Engineering Professional Ethics Know your technical societys code of ethics and consider joining Order of the Engineer Serve the public good before personal gain Uphold dignity / honor of the profession Provide fair efforts to employer / customer Conduct myself in manner to earn public and team trust In conflicting situations, proceed based on principles fairness, honesty, integrity, duty, etc Transition Student -> Professional 17 Toyota Ethics Case Study
Toyota found liable for wrongful death caused by sudden acceleration in a Camry (Bookout vs Toyota Motor Corp) Liability found based on embedded systems experts testimony Found electronic throttle source code to have bugs that can cause unintended acceleration. In particular, critical variables were not protected from corruption in noisy environment. Demonstrated that a single bit flip can cause losing control of engine speed due to software malfunction that is not reliably detected by any fail-safe. (Michael Barr, CTO of Barr Group) Engineers cannot anticipate all possible defects or faults, but Can test all paths as thoroughly as possible Can test for off-nominal and stress conditions as much as possible Transition Student -> Professional 18
Engineering Professional Licensing Demonstrate level of technical competence typically recognized by other states Pass two exams: Fundamentals of Engineering, Practice of Engineering Show extra commitment as professional Legally recognized and obligated as engineer to protect public health, safety and welfare Career flexibility in keeping options open to work for government or regulated industries Could be valuable competing in global economy Transition Student -> Professional 19 Agenda
Career Paths and Engineering Skills Working World Realities Engineering Professional Career Habits Lessons Learned Transition Student -> Professional 20 Recommended Career Habits (1 of 2)
Be patient with others and your expectations Take time to build relationships Listen first openly and then respond Learn from past, live in present, prepare for future Acknowledge and apologize for own mistakes Forgive yourself and others without anger Transition Student -> Professional 21 Recommended Career Habits (2 of 2) Show respect to others even when they disagree or act unprofessionally Use kind words rather than angry /critical
comments Look for common grounds rather than differences Renew yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially Transition Student -> Professional 22 Agenda Career Paths and Engineering Skills
Working World Realities Engineering Professional Career Habits Lessons Learned Transition Student -> Professional 23 Lessons from One Further along the Engineering Career Road Follow the Golden Rule Treat your fellow travelers in your life and career with kindness and respect Find your destiny / passion Frustrations, setbacks, and disappointments are
small compared to what is inside you Be ready to offer thanks and forgiveness openly Leaving a positive legacy is the final measure of success. Transition Student -> Professional 24 Grateful Thanks Kind attentive audience Professors Amini and Hashimoto Transition Student -> Professional 25
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