Adriana Beal

Adriana Beal

IT Business Consultant
Austin, TX, United States
Adriana Beal
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Adriana Beal is a native of Brazil living in the U.S. since 2004. For the past 15 years she has been helping several organizations in the IT, telecom, and financial industries achieve the expected outcomes from complex software projects. Adriana has two technical books published in Brazil, and work internationally published by IEEE and IGI Global. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an MBA with emphasis on strategic management of information.
Answers by Adriana Beal

Hi, Abhi,

The first step you already took: decide you want to do something big, and be willing to go the extra mile to get there :-).

At this early stage in your career, my advice would be to start exploring "small bets". Small bets are affordable and achievable ways to explore an idea without letting perfectionism, risk-aversion, or excessive planning get in the way.

You can begin by talking to professors, reading IEEE magazines, joining groups in LinkedIn on topics you find interesting, etc. Once you find a topic you like, start studying and looking for opportunities to practice what you learn (in a school or side project, volunteering for an organization, etc.). If it seems promising, you can continue on the same path; if not, you can just choose another topic to start studying and getting better at, until you find something that will be worth pursuing in the long run.

Remember that the skills that allows us to develop a successful career typically aren’t the most fun or easy to develop. If you can force yourself to work through the pain and get better at something that others value, the rewards are going to be huge. 

Good luck, and come back to tell us how you are doing!

Hi, Jo,

First, congratulations for thinking ahead about career choices! Many people fail to do that, and later regret not following the right educational path to get where they want to be in the future.

Second, let me reassure you that there are plenty of jobs that combine engineering and commerce. I even wrote an article published by the International Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEEE) that is about how to map business strategy to resource allocation in an e-commerce environment. If you can navigate both worlds, understanding the business and technical aspects of how companies operate, you will have many opportunities open for you--it's the combination of knowledge of both areas that led me to a successful career as an IT business analysis consultant.

I don't think you need to find a course that combines engineering and commerce to achieve your goal (I only studied Electrical Engineering and developed knowledge about business and commerce while working as a systems analyst). My suggestion would be for you to do some research to find an area in engineering that appeals to you, and go from there.

While studying engineering, be serious about finding relevant internship opportunities -- you should find good internship options that will allow you to learn about commerce from these experiences (yes, even if the internship is on the technical side). You can also get help from an adviser about what classes you could take to develop valuable skills in the area of commerce, but I wouldn't worry too much about this aspect. In my experience, a good engineering foundation will open many opportunities for you to get exposure to the business, and these things combined will make you a very attractive job candidate for the type of career you are envisioning.

Good luck, and write again if you have more questions!


Hi, Mirella, The requirements for working as an engineer in the U.S. with a foreign diploma will vary depending on the type of work you would be performing and for whom (for example, all 50 States and the District of Columbia require licensure for engineers who offer their services directly to the public, and independent of licensure, a certification program may be required by an employer to demonstrate competency in specific fields of engineering.). My recommendation is that you talk to someone from an academic credential evaluation service such as Foreign Credentials Service of America or World Education Services. This type of institution is responsible for qualifying academic credentials awarded outside of the U.S. for various purposes, such as university enrollment, employment, professional certification or immigration processing. They would be able to help you understand the requirements that would apply to your case, and if necessary have your credentials evaluated so they can be recognized by licensing and certification boards in the U.S.