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Alex, USA

AddedSaturday, May 18, 2013 at 6:10 PM

I don't feel ready!!
I have a master's degree in mechanical engineering, but I'm absolutely horrible at math, and I'm just starting to look for my first non-internship job and I'm panicking because I feel like I'm not good enough to be an engineer, even though I graduated with a 3.9GPA and got A's in every math class. I got good grades because I opted to have no social life and had to work harder than everyone else in my classes. I am thinking about ways I can use my degree without doing engineering because I worry that I will make mistakes or reveal myself to be incompetent. Is this just the "first job jitters" or should I consider finding a different career where I don't have to interface with math much? Thank you very much for any advice you can toss my way!
Related to Mechanical, Self Doubt
  • Rachel Rothman , Good Housekeeping
    Answered Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Hi Alex, The great thing about Mechanical Engineering is that you aren't pigeon-holed into one particular industry or field when you graduate. The options are literally endless. So finance may not exactly be the best option for you, but there are plenty of jobs where math does not need to be your strongest asset! For instance, I am utilizing my engineering degree in a multi-faceted job whereby the emphasis is on problem-solving and hands-on testing than specific mathematical computations. Some jobs are more design focused, others analytics, and the list goes on. Find what you love, what you're good at, and work won't be work! I'm happy to expand on other potential career options, or peruse the site and see what some of the other fields engineers have gone in to. It sounds like you will be a strong candidate for a plethora of jobs, it's a matter of lining up your strengths and passions with them!


  • Answered Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Hi Alex, you might want to consider that your feelings about this have been echoed by many successful people before.  It even has a name.  It's called the Imposter Syndrome, and it's very common among both women and men in engineering.  Don't let it beat you, and here is an article about the Imposter Syndrome you may find interesting.