Isabel’s Millennialogue: Why I Chose Engineering

In case you didn’t know, I’m a mechanical engineer-in-training (meaning I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and I’m doing my 4 years experience before I become a certified Professional Engineer).  I took my National Professional Practice Exam back in January and saw that I was one of the handful of women in a room of hundreds of engineers-in-training!  I completely forgot how male-dominated this profession is.

So I’ve been wondering a lot lately about why girls are not interested in pursuing a career in engineering. It’s not bad at all! That got me thinking to how I got introduced to it when I was a little kid and why I chose Engineering in the first place. If you’re an engineer, do you remember how you got introduced to engineering?   Do you remember why you chose to be an engineer? I’d love to hear your story so please share!  Here is my story …

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2 thoughts on “Isabel’s Millennialogue: Why I Chose Engineering

  1. Hi Isabel, thanks for the question. I saw it over at the LinkedIn APEGA group, but your question got a bit hijacked in the discussion. Fascination with how things work would be my answer – I was always taking things apart as a kid, and usually successfully putting them back together. Tinker toys were my favourite. For the past eight years I’ve worked part-time as a forensic fire investigator, which is really just a continuation of that childhood past time (except now it involves burned-out buildings). The process of sifting through the evidence, analysis and formulating hypotheses as to how a failure happened is a blast.

    When I started in the military in the early 1980’s, there were very few ladies in my occupation…perhaps 1 out of 40. The firm I work with now (www.resolvematters.ca) has more of a balance. I really value that workplace as it brings such a variety of viewpoints to the work. It’s also full of hope, as I can clearly see how the profession has developed and changed for the better.

    My daughter grew up with the same sorts of things you experienced, and is now in second year chemistry. Her best friend is 2nd yr mech eng at the U of A. The most interesting part of seeing things through their eyes is the assumption that everything is wide open for them. There’s little thought that there are things they can’t do by reason of who they are. That gives me continued hope for where engineering is going in the future.

    It’s a great profession – congratulations and welcome!

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    • What a great story! Thanks so much, Matt, for sharing. I share the same feelings as your daughter with the huge variety of opportunities out there — There is very little out there to hold us back!

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