Do you have time for other things?

Hi, my name is Jacob. I'm doing an engineering project focusing on civil engineering. I just want to ask a couple questions.
Do you have time in your day to spend time with your family?
What is your average day like?
And is your job stressful?
posted by jacob ray, fairchild wheeler high school on September 16, 2013

Answer by Tricia Compas-Markman

Hi Jacob,
Thank you for your questions.  That is exciting that you are doing an engineering project focused on civil engineering.  I am happy to answer your questions.  First, I would like to give you a little background on career path.  I did not take the conventional path as most civil engineering graduates have right out of college.  After finishing my master’s thesis in Civil and Environmental Engineering, I decided to start my own small business based on water treatment for disaster relief applications.  The core technology is what I developed during my graduate work.  My day-to-day now happens to be much more expansive that just civil engineering, but the tools I gained from my education translate into the day-to-day business (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving, design, etc.)

With that back story, I will now address your questions.  Though, it may be of your interest to ask some other civil engineers as well!

Q: Do you have time in your day to spend time with your family?
A: Yes, I do make time for my family.  My husband and I both have civil engineering backgrounds and typically work an 8am-5:30pm schedule.  Once we are both back home, we will go for a run together and make dinner.  Then, I generally will do more work in the evening.  On the weekends, we spend time together with extended family and friends.  Sometimes our schedules may conflict do to business trips, or longer work hours, but we always make family a priority.  

Q: What is your average day like?
A: My average day is typically goes from 8am-5:30pm, break for family time, and then more work in the evenings from 8-11pm (but that is due to being a business owner).  Majority of my day consists of phone calls, writing emails, and communicating my business vision.  In summary it is a lot of communicating and writing.   Additionally, I lead team meetings and play a big role in the operations of the company (e.g., manufacturing, product development, and working with other vendors).

Q: Is your job stressful?
A: My perspective dictates whether my job is stressful.  I do have to juggle a lot as a business owner and make a lot of decisions.  This can be stressful at times.  However, when I approach these challenges with the motivation and confidence, it actually can be very exciting.  I find it good to work through things with co-workers, advisors, and mentors to address potential stresses.

Hope this helps!  Good luck on your project.

Best regards,
Tricia