Paula , Troy High School asked Patricia Galloway, Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc.

AddedSunday, November 13, 2016 at 9:12 PM

Have you ever been discouraged?

Hi! I'm a junior in high school and I'm currently enrolled in my school's magnet program and because of it I have been able to take a class that is very much involved with engineering. Very often than not I find myself very confused and discouraged in this class. I know engineering is something I aspire to work in yet being surrounded by so many people that know what they're doing makes me lose that confidence I have in knowing I want to be and engineer. My question to you is : Have you ever been discouraged in your path to become an engineer and wanted to give up? And if so how have you overcome such challenges?
Related to Choosing a Degree, Preparation for College
  • Patricia Galloway , Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc.
    Answered Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 5:00 PM
    Discouragement can affect everyone at some point.  I was discouraged in high school when I told everyone I wanted to be an engineer and they told me I would "flunk out" and "fail" because I did not have the aptitude or the "smarts" to be an engineer because I did not have any calculus, chemistry or physics in high school and was a liberal arts person.  But I then remembered what my Mother told me that I could do anything I wanted to and to not let anyone tell me I could not do something.  With that advise I moved forward and became a very successful engineer!!!
  • Patricia Galloway , Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc.
    Answered Friday, December 29, 2017 at 4:52 AM

    My sincerest apologies for being so late in responding to your question. This past year has been a bit challenging for me as I have had some personal family health issues and am entering the next phase of my own career as I will be stepping down as President and CEO of my company to make way for the next generation. While I will remain Chair of our Company’s Board of Directors, I will be embarking on a new venture into my public board service and serving as an arbitrator. As I look back over my career, I often remind myself of what my mother told me when I was hesitant about becoming an engineer in a man’s world. She said, “If you really want to do something and put your mind to it, you can do anything. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you cannot do something.” Yes, I too have had times over my career where I was discouraged and thought I might drop out of engineering.

    The first time was when I was at Purdue. I started in structural design, but I found myself thinking I would be in an office at a desk when I wanted to be with people. I wanted to help people, but I also like to be with people and see what the outcome of the hard work. I went to my advisor at school and told him I was considering dropping out of engineering. When he asked why and I explained to him my reasons, he encouraged me not to drop out, to finish my structural engineering classes, but to consider getting a dual major and to try a few construction management classes. I loved it! It was exactly what I dreamed of doing. Thus, I finished Purdue with a double major in structural design and construction management and have been in the construction industry ever since applying my engineering knowledge while getting to work with some of the most wonderful folks I have ever met.

    I also struggled in my first company with the fact that I was excelling in my reviews, but some thought I needed “10 years” of experience before being put into a managerial position. It was a very valuable lesson for me. The company was fabulous and still is today, but I sought another company that shared the same goals as I did and believed in people for not how many years they had worked somewhere but the talents they brought to the table. I became an owner and eventually President and CEO of that company. As a leader in that company and now my own, I maintain that philosophy and allow people to grow at their own pace and if that’s a faster pace than others, that is a benefit to everyone! Disappointments just don’t come about in engineering, they are an every day fact of life no matter what career path you may choose. What is important is to believe in yourself, maintain your confidence and follow your dreams. I hope those dreams will continue to take you into engineering as we need more women in the engineering field and we need women who want to dream and aspire to make this work a better place for everyone to live. My warmest wishes to you and I hope you do well in whatever it is you chose to do.