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The Ignorant Engineer Student Who Cared More on Good Grades

I didn’t have to learn it the hard way.


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To the oblivious engineer, read on.

 

It didn’t occur to me while I was in engineering college that none of my grades will matter when I’m already in the field.

It’s a different world out here than in there, I can guarantee.

I’ve learned it the hard way.

If only I knew how not to be so grade-conscious engineering student, I could have actually learned.

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What happened was that I was so focused in getting the good grades to attain the highest GPA I could get, that I already forgot how it’s like to learn – to ask questions, to practice critical thinking, to explore perspectives other than my professors’, and to fail sometimes.

It only occurred to me when I’m already done with the stage it’s supposed to happen.

Perhaps it’s not yet late for a late start, but I regret having to take my engineering course as an academic requirement rather than a way of life.

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To become an engineer, just realizing this now, one has to think and act like an engineer.

That never happened to me in college since I was just a student taking an engineering course – I didn’t really absorb what I was doing, but what’s important to me was I studied.

The competition in college is nothing like the competition when an engineer is already at a job.

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It is not about complying for a grade anymore – it’s more on producing and performing in the service of mankind as an engineer.

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And I can validate that I didn’t really learn engineering that well despite the license to practice because I am just absorbing the fact that I need to learn how to engineer.

Yup, while already on a job. Sad fact, I know.

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I, for one, only felt this level of pressure now at work.

I feel that I lag behind my workmates with whom I shared my first day at the job with – they seem too far already from where we were, and I’m stuck at the bottom still scrambling on my way up.

If there’s anything I can give as a tip for engineering students who are physically present in engineering and yet mentally absent, it is this: while you’re at it, live it.

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Keep a burning passion of what you do especially on engineering projects that require critical thinking because that’s what you’ll live for later on. Forget about getting the best grades.

It is okay to fail as long as you learn.

None of that will matter later anyway. Be an engineer not only on paper, but more importantly in mind as early as you can be.

Are you still an ignorant engineer?

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Engr. Paige Peterson
Angel Investor & Director at GineersNow. MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. Electrical engineer from Uni of Melbourne. Strong Aussie girl living in Sunny California. Follow me on Linkedin linkedin.com/in/paige-peterson-288791126

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