For this interview, I decided to speak to a family friend who is a professional engineer registered in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.
First, I asked him about why he decided to head into engineering. He said that he enjoyed math, science and especially physics. While he was thinking of his career, he decided that engineering would be the best career for him. Now that he has worked in the field for a long time, he wished that at the beginning of his career he did more research into what engineers actually do. He did not really understand what engineers did as a job and only had a vague idea.
Next, I asked him about the skills needed for engineering as well as what the most difficult part of it is. He said that the most important skill for going into engineering is simply a strong interest in engineering. Furthermore, he explained that it is not something that you can just try out for a bit to see if you like it or not. You need to have a good interest in it first. Otherwise, critical, and logical thinking are quite important for engineering. Now, the hardest part according to him is not knowing the full scope of what being an engineer is. Similar to what he wished he new before he began. A big part of engineering is interacting with others on projects. There are often many engineers working on the same project and an engineer needs to be able to coordinate with all of them for a successful job.
Afterwards, we discussed the interesting aspects of engineering, a work/life balance, and the rewarding parts of engineering. For the unique parts of engineering, he works in a very specialized part of engineering. He works specifically with fire codes in buildings and specifies criteria for designs. There are not many people in the country with his job, so he finds it very interesting simply working that job. For work/life balance in engineering, he said that in the beginning, many engineers tend to work long hours trying to impress the boss while also learning a lot. Often there is not a lot of work/life balance in the beginning of engineering, but it is eventually earned down the road. Nowadays most employers try to attract talent by creating a better work/life balance in the beginning of the job. Finally, the most rewarding part about engineering is seeing the finished products after you as an engineer have designed the building.
Overall, I’ve learned a lot through this interview. I think the most important takeaway from this interview is that I should do fairly extensive research into what the job I’m interested in actually does regularly. It’s very important to understand what you are trying to do and what it takes to obtain that goal. While I’m still quite interested in engineering, I think that I will need to do some more research into other jobs as well as engineering before I fully decide on what I want to do.