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1 So You Want to be an Engineer? If I Could Do it; So Can You! And Heres How… Life In 9 Phases James H. Donahue, P.E. Captain, USCG, Ret.

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Presentation on theme: "1 So You Want to be an Engineer? If I Could Do it; So Can You! And Heres How… Life In 9 Phases James H. Donahue, P.E. Captain, USCG, Ret."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 So You Want to be an Engineer? If I Could Do it; So Can You! And Heres How… Life In 9 Phases James H. Donahue, P.E. Captain, USCG, Ret.

2 2 PHASE I From High School Through Freshman Year High School Graduation. So Whats Next? oWork, Play, Service or College? oDefine Your Goals, to the Best of Your Ability. (Hey, youre only a kid )! oChoices – We All Have Them. (Probably Life Time Choices). oCollege, Major, Job, Marriage, Children, etc. oThen Decide. oDont Look Back. Look Ahead. Live the Journey, Not the Station. (Robert Hastings Poem)

3 3 College: Back to school-high school that is. My First Mentor (Dick – Ford Motor Co.) Transition to College (i.e., What Do I Want to be When I grow up?) oCongratulations! Youve Been Accepted at ODUs Frank Batten College of Engineering & Technology. oYou Wouldnt be Here if You Werent Qualified. Think I Can Do It. oEngineering – an Evolving Profession. oWhat Was Important Then --- to Whats Important Now. --- Sputnick and the race for outer space to Environmental, Climate Change, Failing Infrastructure, Terrorism and Wars). oNervous in the Service - Summer of 59 – University of Massachusetts ---Orientation (Dean Marsden story). Got My Attention Like, Real Quick!

4 4 Freshman Year First Time Away from Home? Youre Free to Be, Dont Get Carried Away. So Youre Overwhelmed? Welcome to the Club. oWhat Not to Do --- Dont Rush a Fraternity - At Least Not Now!! Can be Death Knell on Graduating an Engineer. (i.e., Youre Here to Learn, Not to Play). --- No Heavy Drinking; Nor Drugs. oWhat to Do --- Study Hard; Party Light. --- Learn How to Study (paying attention; taking good notes; Mr. Neatnick).

5 5 --- Find a Mentor. --- Ask for Help. --- Prepare for Exams. --- Grades. You May Not Be a Genius. W elcome to the Club!!! (Jack Flaherty story) --- Overcome Fear of Striking out. Common Problem. Use as a Motivator to Study Harder. --- Exercise Regularly (Minimum One Hour/Day. Intramural Sports. Running. Swimming). --- Think About a Major. Understanding What an Engineer Does. Talk to Professors, Upper Classmen, Real Engineers. Find your comfort level the best you can. oNow Thats Behind You! Whats Ahead? oDont Look Back. Look Ahead. Live the Journey, Not the Station. ( Read The Station by Robert J. Hastings)

6 6 PHASE II Sophomore Year oWhy Engineering? oWhat Kind of Engineering? oYou May Have to Fail to Succeed. (My Story). oLearn Your Strengths & Weaknesses. oReorient Your Goals to Achieve Success. oChanging Majors – If Need Be. oJoin an Engineering Society. (ASCE, ASME, IEEE, etc.) oJoin the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME). Get Connected, Network (Important), Understand the Military – and Industry, Scholarship Opportunities, Internships, Eventual Full Time Employment, and all for Free!

7 7 Phase III Junior & Senior Years Junior Year oIncreased Comfort Level. (I think I can make it after all). oMajor Confirmed. (More Interesting Subjects). oAttaining Better Grades. oHitting Your Stride; Not Striking Out. oIncreased Confidence. (Yes, You Can Do it)! oAlmost Home. Yeah!

8 8 Senior Year oSeeing the Road at the End of the Tunnel. (But Dont Let Up-Grades are Important) oGoal - Make the Deans List!! oIncreased Confidence. oGraduating. (But do I know it all?-Prof. Tom Grow). oProfessional Registration (Fundamentals of Engineering Exam). oHallelujah! Youve Done It. oNow What? Graduate School? Now or Later? Another Choice. Lets Evaluate.

9 9 PHASE IV Transition to Working for a Living The Real World of Engineering (More Choices; More Opportunities) oFirst Job. oFind a New Mentor – Perhaps for Life. (Note: you can have many mentors). oBig Transition from Solve the Problem to Define the Problem. (No Unique Answer; Its Not in the Back of the Book). oAnalyze, Analyze, Analyze. oCheck Your Solutions. Reasonable? Practical? Cost Effective? oDefine Alternatives. More Analysis. (Theres More Than One Way).

10 10 oPeer Reviews. Very important. You may not have the best solution. oFinal Solution. (i.e., Recognize that all Decisions are Political in Nature ). oOnce Again… (The Road Ahead. Dont Look Back. Live the Journey, Not the Station.)

11 11 PHASE V MOVING ON IN LIFE oWhats Next? For Me. My Family. (More Choices). oAim High. (Be All You Can Be)! oMy first professional Mentor (CAPT Larry Crowell) oMaintain a balance between work and play and rest. Dont lose your sight on whats important. (Family). oProfessional Engineering Societies---Whats in it for You? oProfessional Registration (Professional Engineering Exam). Why Now? oProject Management. - Importance of Documentation, Documentation, Documentation. - Examples: (Wilmington Moorings; Juliet Nichols Training Building)

12 12 oContinuing Education. Remain Current. (Important - Maintain Competence for Professional Licensure). oTransition from Engineer to Manager. Is it for You? (Can, probably will, be a major transition in life for you). oRecognize the Value of Experience – No Substitute. oAgain…The Road Ahead. Dont Look Back. Live the Journey, Not the Station.

13 13 PHASE VI NEXT UP? GRADUATE SCHOOL? FINALLY! oStarting Over Again (Studying). oFull Time? Part Time? oMaster of Engineering? MBA? PhD? Whats Right for You? oHigher Power Learning. Check Your Answers. oContinue to Work Hard. oFind a New Mentor (Professor Advisor) oThesis or More Courses? (Challenges of a Thesis). oCheck Your Answers. oComprehensives. oThe Joy of Finishing. oKeep a steady hand on the helm maintain a balance in your life. Never loose sight of the importance and meaning of marriage and family. oLast, but not Least…The Road Ahead. Dont Look Back. Live the Journey, Not the Station.

14 14 PHASE VII DEFINING CAREER SUCCESS oFor Me - Being a Coast Guard Officer, Engineer, Manager, Leader. (Joined for 3 Years…Stayed for 30). oWhat About You? oContinue to Work Hard --- No Substitute oContinuing Education (You Never Stop Learning). oBe a Mentor --- Now its Your Turn. oAccept Change. oNeed I Mention Again? The Road Ahead. Dont Look Back. Live the Journey, Not the Station.

15 15 PHASE VIII CHANGING JOBS, CAREERS, OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS oChoices, Choices, Choices. oThe Road Ahead. Dont Look Back. Live the Journey, Not the Station.

16 16 PHASE IX RETIREMENT oRecognize the need and fulfillment of giving Back to Our Nation, Community, Church, Profession. oMentoring Others. (Helping Others). oContinuing Education (for Fun; You Never Stop Learning). oLastly ---The Road Ahead. Dont Look Back. Live the Journey, Not the Station.

17 17SUMMARY oWhat Can I Leave You With? oRecognize that Throughout Life We All Have Choices (Early Choices are Usually Life Time Choices). oRecognize What You Can Control and Not Control. oNever Give Up. (Especially During Freshman & Sophomore Years). oStudy Hard; Party Light. oFind Trusted Mentors Throughout Life. oSeek Help --- When Needed. oFind Your Comfort Level --- then Hit Your Stride. oProfessional Registration. oNever Stop Learning. oTrust Your Judgment. oAbove all, maintain balance in your life. Live a Healthy Life (Nutrition; Diet; Exercise; Sleep). oAnd, Again, Never Look Back. Accept that You Made the Right Decision for You at the Time.

18 18 So You Want to Be An Engineer? If I Could Do it --- So Can You! Questions??


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