Nerissa asked Victoria Coverstone, University of Illinois

AddedThursday, March 29, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Feeling Unprepared for Engineering School
Hello, I am a junior ME student and often I feel the effects of being a woman in a man's world. I hear of (male) classmates who took engineering courses in high school or had engineering related jobs before coming to college. I didn't decide that I wanted to go into engineering until my senior year of high school so I sometimes feel like I am "behind" the boys in class. I am just wondering if this was the case for any of you and if it affected your success in obtaining jobs after graduation. Do employers more often look for someone who is naturally very smart and has a very in-depth understanding of engineering fundamentals, or someone who may not have to upper advantage but is willing to work hard and is personable? Were you able to acquire your "dream job"?
Related to Opportunities/Challenges for Women, Self Doubt
  • Victoria Coverstone , University of Illinois
    Answered Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 7:38 AM
    Dear Nerissa, The willingness to work hard and to be a team player is every bit as important in the engineering industry as having a mastery of engineering fundamentals. If you want to be an engineer, then I encourage you to go for it! You can always learn outside of the traditional classrooms and catch-up on any background material that you think you might be missing. The skills and talents that you bring to our profession are needed. And yes I had similar feelings as an undergraduate but most of those feelings were unfounded in the long-run because I did land my dream job. Good luck in the coming academic year!