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Guest Post: Academic Engineer to Real-World Engineer

There are two big challenges in the career of an engineer. The first is getting through college. As engineers know many of your engineer friends will either switch degree programs, switch schools, or even drop out altogether because of the difficultly of any engineering program. When you do make it and graduate you will face your second biggest challenge: getting a job and becoming a real-world engineer.

There are a few steps to overcome when going from school to the industry.

  • Be Adaptive – You have to be able to take a task and adapt to any challenges that will come in the way. There won’t be a teacher or an answer in the back of the book with a simple answer.
  • Self-Motivation – You have to be able to motivate yourself to complete your tasks when it is not an assignment to complete for a class you have to take, but instead a task to help benefit the company you work for.
  • Time Management – The biggest challenge that many students have difficulty with and will cause the most problems if not taken seriously in the industry. You have to be able to understand what you need to accomplish, prioritize it, and complete it within time constraints.

There are a few ways help overcome the challenges.

  • Internship – If you can get real world work experience while in school it will be the best benefit you do to prepare for your future. It will teach you what your weaknesses and strengths are in the industry.
  • Set Goals – If you can see what you want to do and where you want to do it, it will make the challenges much more easily attainable because you know what the end will be.
  • Do What You Love – Most importantly work somewhere where you want to be doing something you want to do because that means you will try that much harder and be happy doing it.

Going from an academic engineer to real-world engineer is difficult, but is can be accomplished as long as you set your mind to it. Don’t let the challenges scare you away if it is something you want to do.

Brian Tocci
Director of Operations
Larsen Motorsports

Brian holds a bachelor degree in aerospace engineering and is currently working on his MBA. He is the Director of Operations for Larsen Motorsports, the world’s largest turbine powered race team. If you would like to learn more about Larsen Motorsports, be sure to check their site out:!


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