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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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
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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Interview Question of the Day

By on January 24, 2018

Today’s interview question of the day is another behavioral question. I have been really busy with school so I will not be able to do 1 question a day so my goal for this topic will be maybe 2 a week. I hope you guys understand. Anyway enough with the excuses, here is today’s question:

Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?

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Riddle of the Day: Engineering Job Interview Riddle

By on January 14, 2018

Answer to Jan 13th, 2018 Riddle: A river.

Rivers and I have a love and hate situation. Since most of my work is on rivers I get to go on a few inspections. And falling into a swamp filled river is not fun!

New Riddle of the Day

Let’s kick it up a bit with riddles this week. Hopefully you’ll find these riddles helpful as they might come up in interviews. Fortunately for me, I’ve only ran into one riddle in my experiences with interviews.

This is a riddle I got while interviewing with a transportation engineering project manager from HDR Inc. Funny thing about this interview was that it was an on the spot interview. I had met this project manager earlier on in my freshman year of college, we ran into each other again during my 4th year at a talk that he gave at my school. He said that the lasting impression he had on me was, “you made a lasting impression by simply telling me why you wanted to do engineering.”

The riddle:

Next thing I know we’re sitting face to face and he’s bombarding me with interview questions, things like my weaknesses, my goals, my 5 years plan. Then he said, “this is something I always ask my interviewee, You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?”

The Answer:

Of course this would be an easy answer if you know that the earth is a sphere. The trick is he gave you directions: south, west and north, so you gotta be standing somewhere on Earth where you can walk that way and still come back to the same spot. The answer would be the North Pole. I later found out after reading Elon Musk’s Biography that this is a question Musk also asks his interviewee.

This riddle goes to show that they can really ask out of nowhere questions just to watch you suffer, trip your shit, but most likely to see how you think. Are you able to take on challenges head on or will you be hesitant and say, “I don’t know.” It could be a really hard riddle or something easy like, “what’s your favorite book and why?” Just make sure you compose yourself and take it on with confidence! They love seeing that.

Now you’re thinking, did you get hired though. No I did not. I did get an offer to work in Transportation Engineering in his group but it wasn’t what I was looking for as far as technical training. So I never got hired with HDR Inc.

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