December 2011

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School vs. Work (by Carmen Parisi)

School vs. Work (by Carmen Parisi)

This is a guest post from Carmen Parisi of Fake EE Quips. He’s the first of many guest bloggers who will be popping in to Engineer Blogs on a regular basis to add their opinions and insight into the field of engineering.   Though I’ve only just recently joined the workforce and am still a pretty green engineer, I’ve noticed some differences between school and work. The differences between the two aren’t necessarily good or bad; they just take some getting used to. From the outset, I can name my favorite aspect: being able to leave work (both mentally and physically) around 5PM. Knowing I do not have to slog through hours of homework once I get back to my apartment is a fantastic feeling. I’d almost forgotten what hobbies were! The rest of the things I’ve noticed so far aren’t nearly as polarizing but still worth noting. Let’s have […]

Weekend Journal: Are STEM Education Efforts Targeting The Right People?

Weekend Journal: Are STEM Education Efforts Targeting The Right People?

Now that my glut of “new job” posts is running out of steam, I should probably get back to an oldie-goldie topic here at Engineer Blogs. In fact, I’ve had this one in the hopper for a while and I thought it be good to bring up before the beginning of the new year when all the kiddies head back to school (well, I don’t have any children, but I notice around town when kids are out of school!). STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is a hot topic these days. People are finally starting to realize that the engineering work force is getting older and this could have detrimental effects in about 10 years if the queue is not filled with bright young engineers. And as of right now, there aren’t many in the pipeline. In my own experiences, I recently realized I am one of the youngest engineers […]

All Engineers Should Know…

It’s finals time here, marking the end of my first semester as a TA, and it’s been an enlightening experience. I’ve discussed some of the gaps between what I expect junior-level engineering students to be familiar with, what the curriculum tells me they should be familiar with, and what they actually have learned over at my own blog. One of the biggest challenges for me has been the differences between how my undergraduate education was organized, and how things are set up at my current university. In my undergraduate experience, we were generally taking major-specific courses in our second year. I remember getting design problems and more open-ended questions my junior year, because we already had a decent background to build from. Here, students are discouraged from declaring a major within engineering until the end of their second year, instead taking courses in general engineering and humanities. In some respects, I like this approach, […]

Weekend Journal — Starting an Engineering Job

Weekend Journal — Starting an Engineering Job

Last week I wrote about how I was leaving my engineering job, taking a week off and starting a new job this coming Monday. I’ve spent the week working on some of the projects I hoped to, but it went far too fast. The last task was to write about how I am preparing for my new job. Obviously I won’t know how it went until I actually start, but I recall starting my last job and wanted to try and do some things differently now. I’ve tried to generalize them for an engineer starting their first job or their thirteenth job, so hopefully you can find something useful in here. So what should you do when you’re starting your new job? Get to know the technicians, manufacturing people and customer engineers — I eventually got to know these people at my last job and my life got much easier once […]