Looking at my previous posts, I did not accomplish all that I wanted to set out with my blog and with my life in general. For this I have nobody to blame but myself. I control my own future and my own faith. Although I didn’t accomplish everything, I would say that I did have a very successful year. My biggest accomplishment for this year was the fact that I passed the NJ Fundamentals of Engineering Exam!!! While some people may not see this as a big deal, and something that is easy, this was a big hurdle for me to overcome. I have been out of school over 5 years and failed the test 4 times prior to retaking it this October. I told myself that I was not going to let this test get the best of me, and that is exactly what I did.
In 2012 I am looking forward to more great things happening for me. Below is a list of the things that I will accomplish in 2012. In a future post I will expand on each of these items. I encourage you to message me aanytime you would like to know an update on my goals or if you would like to call me out and not maintaining my goals. After all if we are not held responsible for our words, nothing will ever be accomplished.
So hop on and enjoy the ride. Next stop….Success
- Start earning experience towards PE license
- Improve public speaking skills
- Increase the amount of community service I perform
- Make a new post once a week on this blog
- Contribute to other engineering blogs and websites at least once a month
This past weekend Hurricane Irene struck the East Coast of the United States. Throughout the weekend, meteorologists were anticipating record floods. Parts of NYC were shutdown including the MTA as well as numerous areas evacuated as water was expected to raise 8′ in some of the low lying areas on NYC. As the storm moved up the east coast, it did less damage than expected. While I expected there to be flood damage, I was shocked to see some of the damage that was done. In Spring Lake, NJ 1/3 to 2/3 of a 2 mile board walk was destroyed in 20 minutes according to town officials. From pictures that I saw in news articles and on friends FaceBook accounts, several sections were completely lifted off the supports.
Another area that received some serious damage was highway 12 in North Carolina. 5 sections of Highway 12 (the only route to get on Hatteras Island) were washed away. Repairs are expected to take around 3 weeks and until then, a local ferry service will need to be run in order to get access to the island.
It is events like these that reminds me why I want to be an engineer. Hurricanes and tropical storms hit North Carolina year after year. It amazes me that a system has not been created to help prevent this kind of damage from occurring. With an average width of only 1500′ something needs to be done to minimize storm damage that occurs to Hatteras Island.
When I started this blog, I thought I would be updating it on a daily basis with valuable information. Over time, the posts on the blog has slowed down and in 2011 appear to have ended. 2011 has been a busy year for me and I have not devoted the proper time to this blog or my professional development like I should have.
Over the last 8 months my work responsibilities have increased, I have been planning my wedding, I have been slowly studying for the upcoming FE exam, as well as getting used to living with my fiance with opposite work schedules (I work days while she works mostly nights and weekends). While these are some tasks that people regularly face, dealing with all of them at the same time has affected me more than I thought it would. However, I am not letting them defeat me or stop me from being the great engineer that I know I can become.
Starting today I plan on keeping this blog updated on a weekly basis. I look forward to reading your comments as you can continue to follow me on my journey.
Here is my latest article written for Powerful Purpose Associates. To read more, go to http://www.powerfulpurpose.com/blog
In order for our industry to continually advance, we need to keep ourselves educated and on top of our game. To do this we attend seminars, professional workshops, read professional magazine and/or journals and even return to school for a masters degree or continuing education classes. Sometimes we get self-centered and forget about the bigger picture. While we can educate ourselves, we also need to help our co-workers and younger generations so that the entire profession can grow, as opposed to just ourselves.
One of the groups of people that do not always get the most help in preparing for a successful career are students still pursuing their degree and the new graduate engineers. While there are numerous programs meant to introduce pre-college students to math and science fields, there still seems to be a strong push on increasing focus on math and science education and prepping the younger generations for careers in these fields. This push is even backed by the President of The United States and was one of the issues he discussed during his State of the Union address in January 2011.
Just because you may not be a teacher or have kids of your own, it does not mean that you can’t help out the younger generation. There are many ways that you can help give back and here is a short list of ways that you can help.
• Look for science or math competitions that may be held locally and volunteer to help with logistics or even teaming up with a project team to serve as their mentor in the competition. One of the competitions that I have volunteered with since I was a sophomore in college is Conqueror of the Hill. It is a New Jersey based science competition where they have to make some kind of robot/machine to accomplish a certain task to earn points. Each year the tasks change so it is constantly expanding. The awesome thing about this competition is that it teaches kids about the basics of engineering, and not just how to plug numbers into a computer. All of the items used for the robots are everyday household items such as rubber bands, paper clips, Popsicle sticks, CD’s, and Velcro. In order for the object to go up the hill, it is spring loaded using rubber bands.
• Another way is to help is to reach out to high schools and offer to speak to their students about engineering and science careers. This could take place at an assembly, a career day, or even an after school program. You might be able to meet with a group of kids on a weekly basis and teach them about different engineering techniques, and what engineering is all about. Unless the kids get exposed to it, they won’t know it is out there.
• If you don’t want to make a huge commitment but still want to reach out to kids, you can. February 20-26 is National Engineers Week. During this week alone, there will be many programs and volunteering opportunities for you. To get some ideas on how you can help out, check out http://www.eweek.org/GetInvolved/Volunteer.aspx The website even gives a list of 50 different ways that you can help out.
• If you do not like younger children, or just want to help out with more advanced topics, look for college groups to help out. Many college campuses have student chapters of professional organizations. For example, if you are a Civil Engineer, ASCE holds several yearly competitions including Steel Bridge Competition and Concrete Canoe. While you would need to check the rules to determine how much you are allowed to be involved, there would still be a way to help out. Let’s take the Steel Bridge Competition as an example. If you work for a construction company that builds bridges, you might be able to help the team out with the welding of their bridge and teach the students proper techniques for welding so that their bridge doesn’t fail due to a poor weld job.
• Has your company recently hired new college graduates? Take some time and get to know them a little. Having that first “real” job can be scary for a college graduate. Talk with them and help put them at ease. Tell them about how you felt when you started working, and methods that you used to calm those nervous feelings. It is also a good way for the graduate engineer to gain experience. For me personally, I love listening and learning from more experienced engineers. Times have changed so much, and more focus is now put on the technology used to solve problems as opposed to making sure you understand what you are doing and being able to solve problems on the back of a napkin. If you take the time to reach out to the younger engineer, they will listen and it may even help you re-ignite your own desire for engineering.
No matter where you are in your career it is never too early or late to help other people advance their career. It is important to realize that you can’t just think about yourself, but rather your whole industry. Yes, helping out fellow co-workers may cause the bosses to recognize their improvement and be interested in seeing how much further they can go, but it is not a reason to avoid helping them. We need to think about the greater picture and advance the organization and society as a whole. After all, having fresh competition will help you stay on top of the game.
What are some ways you will help out the younger generations? If you are not prepared to help out now, what are some things you wish you had experienced when going through school? Even if you can not make it happen at the moment, somebody else may be able to build on your thoughts.
Welcome to 2011. If you are reading this, you have made it through another year of ups and downs. It is important that we always take a little bit of time for ourselves and focus on adjustments that we would like to make in our lives. While we always say we are going to make changes, we don’t accomplish everything we set out to do. One of the biggest reasons is that we push it off and just forget about it. One way to avoid this is to make your goals known so that you your friends and family can hold you accountable to your goals.
If you have been following my blog over the last year, you will start noticing changes in my blog. One of the changes that I will be implementing is posting on a more frequent basis. My goal is to post on a weekly basis. I will also be adding several additional pages to the blog. Some of the tabs will be: recommended readings (will only be stuff I have actually read myself), list of my goals for 2011, and list of interesting civil engineering sites/projects to visit.
I look forward to a wonderful 2011 and hope you enjoy the ride as well.
Do you find yourself rushing throuhg life? Are you missing out on big opportunities because of it? To learn more check out my latest guest blog on Powerfulpurpose.
Check out my latest blog entry on the Powerful Purpose Blog.