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How do I find a support network in engineering?

I have a group of friends in a lot of the same classes I’m in now and I’ve found having that support and camaraderie really helpful. I'm concerned about moving on to college and a career where I may not have that kind of group. Do engineers usually work in teams or by themselves? Were you able to find a group to work with in college or at your job? What are some ways I can find a similar support network in college or when I get a job as an engineer?

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  • Jessica Stephens asked Kim de Groh, NASA Glenn Research Center

    Added Friday, April 26, 2019 at 6:42 PM

    I'm 39 and pursing my dream since I was a little girl of becoming an AE. I'll finish the program in 2 yrs (i have previous BSN), and worried about getting hired as an older applicant out of school.

    Answers 1
    Kim de Groh, NASA Glenn Research Center
    Answered Friday, May 31, 2019 at 3:24 PM

    Hi, first congratulations on pursing your dream of becoming an engineer at this point in your life! As a NASA materials researcher, I am not knowledgeable about hiring. And, I assume the answer would vary depending on the organization (NASA vs. ...

  • Added Monday, May 20, 2019 at 8:24 AM


    I have a group of friends in a lot of the same classes I’m in now and I’ve found having that support and camaraderie really helpful. I'm concerned about moving on to college and a career where I may not have that kind of group. Do engineers usually work in teams or by themselves? Were you able to find a group to work with in college or at ...

    Answers 16
    Priscilla Bennett, Spire / Laclede Gas Company
    Answered Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:00 PM

    First off, no worry about not having the camaraderie. I can guarantee you will find similar interests in the people you are in college with along with your work environment. Engineers (in college and in the workplace) are normally working on similar ...

    Kate Fay, Verizon Wireless
    Answered Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 1:43 PM

    Having the right support network in engineering is very important. In college, I would recommend looking to see if there is a program that allows you to live on a floor with other engineering freshman. I was able to make a very strong group of friends ...

    Madeleine Hirsch, BIG RED DOG Engineering, a Division of WGI
    Answered Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 1:48 PM

    From my experience, engineers work both in teams and by themselves. As a traffic engineer, I work on a team with many different people: other traffic engineers, planners, stakeholders, municipalities and many more. My college experiences definitely ...

  • Joanna

    Added Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 8:36 AM

    I am a 5th Grade student and making a project for school about petroleum engineers. I am doing GREAT, but the only problem is that we need to dress up as one. I did my research but still don't know what to wear. I will be so very grateful for even the little details. Thank you!

    Answers 1
    Answered Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 2:48 PM
    Hi Joanna,
    Petroleum engineers, like most engineers, dress differently based on what they will be doing for the day.  If they are in an office working on designs remotely, they will usually wear clothing that is appropriate for their office.  If they are ...
  • Payton Henson

    Added Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    I'm Payton. I am just a normal person like everyone else. The other day in my science class, I was watching a movie about Engineering. It looks FUN, but I just don't know. How do I know if engineering is for me?

    Answers 1
    Ana Luisa Mendoza, Northrop Grumman
    Answered Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Engineering is a fun job to do, I tell you that from experience. You don’t have to be a genius in math or science to become and engineer but like any other degree, it takes discipline and desire to want to do it. In my engineering career, I get to work ...

  • Petro Ngema asked Christina Castillo, Fox and Associates, Inc.

    Added Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 3:06 AM

    Answers 1
    Christina Castillo, Fox and Associates, Inc.
    Answered Monday, May 13, 2019 at 7:12 AM
    Thank you for your question! I am glad that you want to be and engineer! I am not sure how old you are but I would recommend that through highschool you work to take as many engineering classes that you can to determine exactly the type of ...
  • Theresa Brunasso, D&S Microwave, Inc.
    Answered Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 11:37 AM
    Hi Tessy. I don't have children, so I may not be the best person to answer this question. However, I do know many mothers who are working engineers, and their children seem to be doing great. There are many ways to handle parenthood and a career. Some ...
  • Ayanna Patterson

    Added Monday, March 4, 2019 at 10:11 PM

    I want to be an astronaut and many more things. How would I apply engineering to my life if I wanted to be a president or marine biologist?

    Answers 1
    Kristin Malosh, North Star BlueScope Steel
    Answered Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 5:22 AM
    Hi Ayanna. Of course it is OK to just learn engineering skills for fun! Engineering is all about problem solving- and it doesn't matter what career path you take, solving problems will always be a part of your career and your life. Engineering skills- ...
  • Added Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 6:27 PM

    Hello! I am currently a Junior in high school. I'm about to move onto my senior year and I'm concerned about what kind of math and science I need that would help be fulfill being an Aerospace Engineer. I'm also planning on pursuing a career in nursing. So far I've only had classes that will fulfill nursing. I'm also kind of concerned how I can balance both careers in the future. I am passionate about both of them.

    So far the only science + math classes I've taken ...

    Answers 1
    Answered Monday, April 15, 2019 at 6:35 AM

    You have interest in two very different fields, both of which have careers in high demand. I recommend taking as many of the subsequent math levels as possible before you graduate. Additionally, I’d recommend taking physics or other general or mechanical ...

  • Added Monday, April 8, 2019 at 9:17 AM


    I have a math teacher that I really don’t understand and I’m not doing as well in his class. I’ve always been pretty good at math, and I was thinking about majoring in engineering when I get to college. He said maybe engineering isn’t for me because I’m having trouble with the class. I never thought I was a bad student before. Is my teacher ...

    Answers 22
    Urbashi Mitra, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
    Answered Monday, April 8, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    Dear You-Can-Do-Math-too,

    Mathematics, like many acquired skills, requires practice. This is true of mastering cartwheels, baking, woodworking, painting – I could go on. This is also true for reading and for language in general, the more exposure we ...

    Priscilla Bennett, Spire / Laclede Gas Company
    Answered Monday, April 8, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    The opinion of one person does not/should not define us. Please do not take this person’s teaching style or opinion as a reflection of what you are capable of accomplishing. Study groups, online learning, a tutor, library resources, a classmate, someone ...

    Alicia Bailey, Sain Associates
    Answered Monday, April 8, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Doing poorly in one math class should not determine your entire future nor should it deter you from considering engineering. It could be an isolated issue that is causing you difficulty. My advice would be to find a tutor or a friend who is understanding ...

  • Ellie

    Added Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 9:01 PM

    I am advanced in math and have an opportunity to attend challenge math throughout middle school. Should I? I want to become an aerospace engineer and dream of working for NASA.

    I am 11 and in 5th grade. I dream of becoming an astronaut. I need a degree in engineering to do so. I want to do aerospace engineering because I feel I would be accepted easier. I do enjoy all things space and physics.

    Answers 1
    Moyra J. McDill, Carleton University
    Answered Monday, April 1, 2019 at 4:56 AM

    Hi Ellie

    It sounds like a great program and a great opportunity. "Being challenged" is part of science and engineering.

    I don't know the details of your math challenge program so you may want to check with your family and teachers that it will fit in ...

  • Priyanka asked Patricia Galloway, Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc.

    Added Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 2:26 AM

    Hello, I am a 2015 Civil engineering graduate, I have 2 years experience in Educational field as a Content Developer. I want to get back to my field, hence I need assistance to go about it like which software's to study. What do you suggest?

    Answers 1
    Patricia Galloway, Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc.
    Answered Friday, March 29, 2019 at 1:28 AM

    Glad to see you want to re-enter your field!!! The question is whether you want to use your 2 years as a content writer to promote engineering or whether you want to go back to engineering. As a content writer it is important to know have a fairly good ...

  • Atif malik asked Natalie White, CyberSource

    Added Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 2:58 AM

    I am becoming a software engineer and I am in 2nd semester of school.

    Answers 1
    Natalie White, CyberSource
    Answered Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 8:59 AM
    Great question! You have so many resources at your fingertips than we did even a few years ago. You can  learn basic coding concepts with Scratch (  and find a local coding group through Girls Who Code ( ...
  • Laura Buker

    Added Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 8:56 PM

    I have a BS and 2 MS in engineering (one in CE/Water Resources and another in Civil/Environmental engineering) and yet I feel dumb and lost at work everyday, to the point of considering a career change.

    I've been working for a small Land Development company for a little bit over a year and still feel unfit and lost. Daily feelings of impostor syndrome. I 'learn' how to do something and by the time I have to do something similar again I don't really remember how to do it or there are ...

    Answers 1
    Molly Lebowitz, Propeller Consulting
    Answered Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 9:36 AM
    So glad you wrote, Laura. There could be a few things at play here, all of which I've experienced at some point in my own career. Only you can determine what mix of the below is actually going on. 
    (1) Size of Transition. I've typically measured the ...
  • faiza asked Hannah Noll, ATI

    Added Friday, February 15, 2019 at 1:30 PM

    Hi Hannah – What is nano-metallurgy? I've heard a lot about it but i don't understand what is it and can't find information that's easy to understand. Can you explain it please and give some examples?

    Answers 1
    Answered Friday, March 22, 2019 at 12:00 PM

    Nano-metallurgy is the study of metals on a nano scale! As our electronics are getting smaller (cell phones, medical devices, etc…) a better understanding of the materials that go into them is required. Let’s say you want to make a very small electrical ...

  • Leyna

    Added Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 6:57 PM

    Do all grades matter or just math and science grades? I know most engineering is mostly math and science and I LOVE math and science. I want to be an Engineer when I grow up

    Answers 1
    Ursula Gibson, Dartmouth College
    Answered Friday, March 22, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    While the math and science grades can be enough to get you where you want to go, often your GPA will be used as a filter when looking at your admission file, so other courses could count against you. Perhaps you can find a school that has enough of a ...

  • Added Monday, March 11, 2019 at 8:48 AM


    I was told I should have a mentor to help me into an engineering career. Is it necessary to have a mentor? Did you all have mentors? If so, how did you find them? What should I look for in a mentor?

    Answers 26
    Kristin Sweeney, Pennsy Supply Inc., A CRH Comany
    Answered Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 11:22 AM

    The need for a mentor is a great question. For me, this wasn’t something I actively sought out, meaning I didn’t go up to people and say “will you be my mentor”, rather I when I encountered someone, be it an educator, co-worker, one of my employees, ...

    Hope Bovenzi, Texas Instruments
    Answered Monday, March 11, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    Everyone's journey is different and sometimes it’s challenging to find an engineering mentor before you start a career in engineering. With that said, I highly recommend you do find one as soon as you can and definitely once you enter the workforce. ...

    Alicia Bailey, Sain Associates
    Answered Monday, March 11, 2019 at 10:41 AM

    While it’s certainly beneficial to have mentor, it’s not required to excel in your engineering career. I have had several mentors. They have been natural relationships through work, rather than ones I specially sought out to be my mentor. The mentors ...

  • Madeline Heinle asked Kathy Moseler, Paradise Robotics

    Added Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 2:23 PM

    I have trouble staying in one place and staying focused for extended amounts of time. As an engineer I want the freedom to move throughout the day but still get work done. As an electrical engineer do you have this problem?
    Answers 1
    Kathy Moseler, Paradise Robotics
    Answered Friday, March 1, 2019 at 6:48 PM
    Hi! Don't worry, you won't be chained to your desk. Much of the work you will do requires a lot of "thinking" time. Some engineers think by sitting at their desk, looking like they are staring off into space. Others (myself included) think better while ...
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