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What kind of habits should I build if I'm interested in an engineering related future?

Habits often define how people act, what kind of habits should I start building to succeed in the future?

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Brian’s Answer

In line with the excellent suggestions from other contributors, I'd like to share some insights from my 20+ years of experience in the engineering field. Here are a few key aspects that contribute to being a successful engineer:

1) Stay curious. If a particular subject in class piques your interest, don't hesitate to explore it further.
2) Engineering often involves numbers, but the most effective engineers can clearly explain the significance of those numbers to their audience. Consider taking a public speaking or communications course. Becoming confident in presenting your work is essential for every engineer.
3) Don't be afraid to ask questions! If something is unclear to you, chances are someone else has the same query.
4) Maintain focus during your studies and make the most of the resources your school offers.
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Taryn’s Answer

The obvious answer is to find the specific work area you like and grow those skills, but what will set you apart are the "extra skills". Everyone will have a degree, work related knowledge, but be the one with extra skills that stand out.

Have great people skills, show your passion by showing how you love engineering outside of work by joining clubs and attending events/conferences. Show that youre a leader by running or starting your own clubs. Learn simple programs like Microsoft Office so you are a wiz with organizing thoughts and work documents. Be a master of powerpoint. Build helpful side skills and be a part of the community in which you want a job.

I knew I wanted ot work at IBM or Delta so I went there any chance I could. I would attent their events, add their employees on LinkedIn and eventually when I got my interview I got the job after someone actually knew me from all the events I attended
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Dave’s Answer

The main thing is to bring curiosity and discipline. Engineering can be a very complex, and fascinating subject. And it's hard at times. There will be challenges that require thinking differently, or taking different approaches. Discipline is critical as the skill required (math particularly) take time and require dedication. It is a fascinating subject. I have a degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science so had to learn a lot of new things. Some you will use a lot, others not so much. But it is a fascinating journey that I highly recommend.
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Brian’s Answer

As some others have said, most engineers are driven by curiosity. My experience is that after many years in the workforce seems to dampen curiosity. My best advice is to always ask "why" or "how". Why are we doing something this way? Can we change it for the better? How does this work? Can we make it better? When you are frustrated with something take a step back and accept that this is a challenge to solve rather than an annoyance that is blocking you. If you can keep your mind free from just following what others have done, you can keep the curiosity alive.
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Elmer’s Answer

Hey Ivan! I've heard that working on math problems can be super helpful. It helps boost your creativity when facing real-life challenges. You can try various solutions and methods if one doesn't work out. At least in Peru, I know that subjects like geometry, algebra, and trigonometry are areas where you should excel more than others in different fields.

Take care! Elmer
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Vishnu’s Answer

One of the key for becoming a successful professional in any field is to be curious and to choose what is close to our heart. As they say "Do something that you love and you will enjoy every bit of your profession". Fortunately, we can build interest towards anything if we can train our brain to build certain habits. A few common habits to be a successful Engineer are listed below.
1) Most of the Engineering professionals work on something to do with Technology. So from a young age, if we can start seeing the uses of technology in our daily lives, it can create a sense of curiosity towards technology.
2) Reading articles related to Technology and latest developments in different fields could also elevate the interest towards technology.
3) Applying what we see practically on a regular basis also helps.
4) Participating in Technology competitions from a young age also helps.
5) Question status quo helps in the invention of many new things which is what Engineering is all about. Building that from childhood helps to be a good Engineer.
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Nick’s Answer

Successful engineers are good at collaborating with others. Learn how to contribute your ideas with others who know more than you about other parts of the matter at hand. Be a good listener, it's the most important part of communication. If you listen to others, they will listen to you and the results will be exponentially better.

Learn how things work. Take things apart and look inside. You may not even understand it all but the process of looking and guessing, maybe researching it, is exactly what happens in engineering. Break down old appliances, bicycles, anything you can get your hands on, and safely investigate, reassemble, maybe even repair. Your ability to recognize problems and try solutions depends on how many experiences you've had even if they are in an unrelated field, even if they failed. Be ready to try again.

Watch every "How It's Made" on YouTube.

Establish hobbies where you create things. Typically artsy type people get the credit for being creative but engineers are expected to be creative and innovative on every project with very concrete, constructive and productive results. Otherwise, we don't need excellent engineers to just copy existing ideas.
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Kuldeep’s Answer

Begin engaging in activities related to STEM. Stay updated on the latest advancements in the engineering field you wish to advance your career in. Share your accomplishments and, most importantly, envision your long-term career objectives.
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Francisco’s Answer

Hi Ivan,

Thank you for posting your question. As someone who has spent the past 2 decades working in a number of Engineering roles, here are some of my recommendations;

1 - Being curious and asking questions goes a long way, therefore the same way you are doing here, it is important to let others know that you have a genuine interest in learning more about this field and being a future contributor.
2 - Develop problem solving skills. Engineers at all levels have to be critical thinkers and are often faced with scenarios that require some level of creativity and or out of the box thinking at a moments notice.
3 - Seek mentorship from individuals that are already working in your specific area of interest (e.g. LinkedIn). When reaching out to other Engineers, take the time to personalize the invite and send a clear message of what you are looking to discuss. Don't take offense to those who may not respond as many of us work in demanding roles and time is often limited. Be patient and eventually someone will find the time.
4 - If and when pursuing higher education, it is important to research the programs that are being offered and opportunities those programs include as you enter your final year (e.g internship placement). This will give you an edge with other students as you would have obtained some level of hands on experience prior to graduation. The non-traditional route via online course programs that are available today may also be a great choice as you can often focus in an area that is in high demand such as Cyber Security, Cloud, Network Engineering etc and pursue Certifications.
5 - Attend local/virtual webinars and or consume content that talk about your particular area of interest. YouTube, Google/Apple PodCasts, Meetup are all great sources to find this type of content.

Good Luck
-Francisco
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Bailey’s Answer

Hi! My sister is an engineer, and she suggests you develop good critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and communication skills. Getting an engineering degree is relatively hard, so be prepared to study a lot.
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Frank’s Answer

Great question! The main point I'd like to emphasize is: Stay curious. Engineering focuses on creating, enhancing, and figuring out solutions, possibly in unique ways. Always maintain curiosity about the problem you're working on, as there might be multiple answers – the goal is to find the most effective one. When trying to develop a new solution or improve an existing one, be curious about the original approach – ask questions. Consider what needs improvement, whether the whole solution needs re-engineering or just parts of it, and what efficiencies can be achieved. All these inquiries stem from being curious.
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Mohit’s Answer

Hello Ivan,

The first hobby I recommend is: Discipline
Develop strong discipline in your everyday tasks.

Additional habits to cultivate include:
Cultivating Curiosity
Mastering Communication Skills
Enhancing Analytical Abilities through problem-solving
Engaging in Daily Learning
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