Professional Engineers Day is a great time to reflect on what our chosen profession means to us. It seems like yesterday that I started my own journey as a Civil Engineer. I remember making some embarrassing mistakes on my first assignment! Thankfully, I survived that initial fail and have had the privilege of practicing as a professional engineer for 33 years and counting. Here are a few things that I’ve learned along the way that may be of some help to those of you beginning your own personal journey:
- Don’t be scared to try new things. One of my favorite aspects of the Civil Engineering profession is the broad scope of what we can do. Your skills as an engineer easily translate to the various technical areas of our profession. If you have a chance to learn something new, jump on it! As a young engineer, I sought out opportunities to work on as many different types of projects as I could. Looking back, having diverse experience helped me be a better engineer and a better manager.
- Learn from other successful engineers. I remember as a brand new EIT feeling like I didn’t know anything. I had learned the theory in school, but now I was expected to apply it to real-life projects. I am forever grateful for two mentors that taught me how to be a Civil Engineering consultant. From Jerry Roberts (my former supervisor at Halff) I gained understanding of the principles and processes of infrastructure design. From Mark Berry (TNP’s former CEO and current CFO and Treasurer), I learned more about design, how to serve clients, and how to manage a team. Seek out those mentors that can help you achieve your career goals!
- Build quality relationships. Even the best and brightest minds in our business can’t be successful alone. Be a team player. Contribute to the success of others and accept the help others offer you. Get to know your fellow team members, as well as co-workers in other departments. As your responsibility grows, you will depend on a larger network of colleagues to achieve success. Our TNP Project Managers coordinate work with their team, multiple specialty teams (Surveying, Water Resources, ROW, SUE, Structural), and our support departments (Marketing, Accounting, IT, HR). Quality relationships are crucial!
Enjoy Professional Engineers Day!