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Woman Engineer – Engineering: Graduate School

By on February 19, 2018

This one is going to be a short blog on school post graduation. I’m still very unsure of my decisions so please take my words with a grain of salt. To be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing either with this one.

So I’m in my last semester, graduate in May. Ever since I entered college, the decision to take on grad school has been split. Until the spring of my second to last year. Half of the people I knew said continuing for a masters degree would be useful. The other half gave the exact opposite opinion. So naturally I started exploring my options. To which I found that I didn’t have to take a technical route when it comes to grad school! Instead I could go for a management route i.e. MPA or MBA . I do work at a private firm so everyone here either has an MS or a PHD, that means I will have to get one of my own. Right now, my decision is to definitely get a graduate degree; however, I will look into different options such as an online program and other non technical routes.

Many people still say that it’s very important to get the P.E. ASAP. I’m still seeing on job applications that the professional engineering license is a requirement rather than the masters degree. However, I will continue into graduate school. I have decided that if I can get into the graduate program, I will continue with graduate school right away. I will focus in Environmental and Water Resources for my graduate degree.

The reason is that I don’t want to regret my decision of not getting a technical degree. I have a feeling that I will be out of touch with school if I wait some time to pursue my Master’s Degree. I have been told by those going back to school after 3+ years out of school that it is very hard to get back in the groove. So I decided that I will do it now before it’s too late. My mentor has also told me that a post graduate is necessary, so I will take his advice this time. Although he did say any type of Masters degree is good but I will go with technical degree for now.

Since I’m being very general about this subject, I have to say that not every engineering major needs a graduate degree. For example, when in Geotechnical, Structural Engineering (Civil Engineering in general) a graduate degree is a must. It used to be that one didn’t need much more than an undergraduate degree to get anywhere in Civil Engineering. But I’ve learned from talking to multiple recruiters and engineering firm presidents/CEOs a graduate degree is pretty much a must now. Although it does not have to be technical, it could also be an MBA. I believe a graduate degree is getting more attention in the electrical and mechanical engineering field but it’s not very popular as many schools do not offer these graduate degrees.

I will cut this one short for now and will update later on. But I just wanted to share some words for those in my position to not have to beat themselves over the decision to wait or continue graduate school right after post graduate. 

I hope this helped in some way.

Until next time,


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Celebrating Tet aka Lunar New Year

By on February 16, 2018

Ever since I can remember, I have always love celebrating Tet with my family. Tet, aka Lunar New Year is a holiday that many Asian countries share. In my Vietnamese culture, we have 3 days to celebrate the special new year that why we literally combine every holiday celebrated in the West in these 3 days. We thank our ancestors, our families, we wish good things upon our family and neighbors. Most often we will give each other gifts in forms of money, food, clothes, or anything really. During these 3 days food is galore! And most stores will be closed, just like Christmas day. There is also a tree, in the Vietnamese culture people decorate their house with a really special seasonal flower call “Hoa Mai” the translation is yellow apricot flower.

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Engineering: Professional Wardrobe

By on February 14, 2018

I am writing this post after a long talk with my office administration manager. In our industry, it’s not uncommon to hear “dress professional”, but it’s also very common to hear “It’s the brain not the clothes” or “I don’t need to dress well, I’m an engineer.” This whole mindset has become more popular especially with the new tech era. Everyone in Silicon Valley comes into work wearing jeans and a t-shirt so it’s catching on to everyone else in the tech field. I mean even Elon Musk’s wardrobe is jeans and t-shirts. BUT, it should be understood that the guys in Silicon Valley dress the way they do because they do not deal with clients face to face. They work from their desk 60 hours a week and deal with clients through email. Of course, these ones most often of the lower hierarchy, they don’t have to deal with important clients.

Image from Famousfix.com
Elon Musk Professional Business Wardrobe

What I mean is, do you see Elon Musk talking to his top investors wearing jeans and a t-shirt?

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Balancing Life and Engineering

By on February 12, 2018

Just a tiny little bit about S.R., I had the opportunity of meeting Miss S.R. in college. She has been a very genuine friend and there’s no one else as much of a girlfriend as S.R. is in my world. To me she is a great motivator, she was always one step ahead of me and I just had to follow her footsteps. She does very well with balancing here life, she is very hard working and is a huge competitor in our Civil Engineering industry. Therefore, I have asked her to write a little something about her world to share with you guys and thank goodness she agreed!

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Lifestyle: San Francisco Road Trip

By on February 9, 2018

Happy Friday everyone! Valentine’s Day is in 5 days and maybe you want to do a trip but don’t know where to go, I hope this blog will give you some inspirations to travel to your one favorite place. In the summer of 2017, I made a last minute-2.5 days road trip to San Francisco, California! Our itinerary went something like this.

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