Interview with an Engineer

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Being an engineer takes a lot of hard work. Peter, a successful mechanical engineer, and now an engineering manager has inspired me with all he has done.

What is a typical day for you?
A typical day for me consists of a lot of meetings. I have to read at least 100 emails a day. There are always a lot of negotiations and discussions on budget and schedules. Also, I have to talk with people and try to understand their problems and the status of their work so I can help.

What does your schedule look like? Is it flexible?
My schedule is always packed. I start the day early and end the day late. Often, I have to eat at my desk so that I can catch up on emails because people take email for granted nowadays to convey information and agreements. My work schedule is flexible because colleagues and customers are global and the conference calls are either early or later in the day.

What are your responsibilities as an engineering developer?
I have to get results through other people. Also, I am accountable to deliver projects or products on time with quality and within budget. I am also responsible for the development of people whether it is their skills, training, or career opportunity.

What are some personalities or characteristics you need for this job?
The most important characteristic would be having patience and the will to listen. You need to be willing to speak up as well. You have to be able to understand diverse culture so that you can build business relationships across the globe and in the U.S. another important characteristic is that you have to produce under pressure. You need to be a good organizer.

What is the most spectacular thing you have accomplished in your job so far?
The most spectacular thing I have accomplished was when my team was able to create a product from an idea to actual production, while working with different teams in four different countries. You have a lot of satisfaction at the end when you can witness the fruit of what you have planned.

What is the biggest challenge in your job?
The biggest challenge in my job is being able to motivate people and having them produce to their maximum capability with lesser budget and time.

What pet peeves have you developed with your job?
One pet peeve I have developed is people who only listen to what they like to hear and not consider the whole “picture.”

What is one thing you would change about your career?
I would like to work in a more balanced way so that my family needs and work needs would be more balanced than they are now.

Who inspired you to become who you are now and why?
My current boss inspired me because she is hard-working, very focused, and is a result oriented person.

How important is your position for an everyday person like me?
I guess one thing that my position can nurture is innovation and promotion of higher education.

What kind of education do you need for this job? What amount of education did you get?
At the minimum, you would need a college degree. It’s better if you get a masters degree or higher in the technical field that I am in.

Communication training would benefit you a lot too. I have a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering

If you could have any other job in the world, what would it be?
I would like to be a writer, because my legacy would be continued and be noticed by others for years to come. For example, if you write a book it’s going to be in existence for a long time even after you are long gone.





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