Monday, June 23, 2014

Why I Chose a Career Path in Engineering

"Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own."
-Carl Jung

Instructors and counselors in grade school constantly informed me that math wasn't my strong suit, so I never told them how much I actually liked it; never even tried, because I already accepted failure. However, I was exceptional at it when I did decide to try. Sad to admit, but I spent my whole life, pretty much, embodying the definitions/labels other people placed on me. They weren't all bad perceptions, but bad or not, I am learning just how important it is to only be affected by how you define yourself. It became second nature to keep the possibility of impossibilities somewhere in the front of my mind and stick to what I knew. If I want to be a published author and blogger, there is no real need to challenge the other side of my brain, right? So many of us as give in to the stigma that if you go into a certain industry,your interest has to be restricted to that field, and I don't believe that at all. Honestly, I never wanted to be just a writer, even though I'm good at it.

Choosing a career path in engineering was through a long trial and error process. After understanding what the next step would have to be, academic-wise, I knew I needed time off from school to wrap my mind around the magnitude of the leap from journalism to...engineering. Of all things right? During this time, I studied. I prayed. I prepared myself, mentally, for the jump. I became more aware of myself and how I respond to certain things-in my immediate environment, then to other inner worlds. I retraced my steps and tried my best to remember everything-from the subjects preferred in school, to the toys I played with the most during childhood.

+Analyzing the aesthetics of buildings + landscapes. 
+Designing floor plans + blue prints. 
+Art and science projects
+Pulling toys apart to figure out how they were made. 
+Wondering about the mysteries of technology/computers. 
+Spending hours on The Sims and just building houses in a brand new neighborhood. 

This was some of what intrigued me growing up that I still take interest in now. Once I realized my ongoing, yet hidden/forgotten love affair with S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering and Math), my academic ambition to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering resurfaced (side note: this was actually my initial major).  I didn't decide on this with the post grad "perks" in mind, because the way the U.S. economy is set up, there aren't any specific college degrees that guarantees much of anything anymore, no matter what area of study. With this career path, I am swimming down the middle lane between logic and creativity to experience the best of both worlds, so essentially I'll still be able to do what I love. Also, it  would genuinely be rewarding as a woman of color to contribute and connect to the society at large that way. I kept it secret for a while, because I didn't care for what [I assumed] people would have to say about it. Now, however, myonly concern, especially when it comes to making life/career choices, is to do what feels fitting to me.

The final decision was made a while ago, but I still didn't immediately acknowledge that the necessary tools I needed to succeed were already inside of me. In order to gain that confidence, I needed more time to efficiently plan, to research, to reflect...and thanking God every step of the way for the wonderful gift of time. Perhaps, the universe realized how horrible I was at making quick decisions and granted me favor as a sympathy gift, because the years drifted by so fast and I still had not made a solid decision. That was the problem; I didn't have all the time in the world to keep tossing ideas back and forth in my head and on paper. The time that was so generously allotted eventually expired and I had to execute a plan and commit to it. Maybe the choice I made is a lofty goal and a little insane, but I made a promise to stick to whatever choice it was (until completion), so that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Now that I feel more fluent in my ability to absorb the present moment, I’m more confident about implementing everything that I love into my future career plans, believing that I can and will achieve it all in this lifetime.  I am fully aware that it won't be easy. The course load is rigorous, sleep will be limited, and I'll probably break down a few times, hit a wall, and want to give up. As long as I keep God first and lock in mind that through Christ, all things are possible, I’ll be just fine. Therefore, bring on the challenge. I’m more ready now than ever before. 




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4 comments

  1. Congrats and good luck on your endeavors in the engineering field. I am working towards getting back to my engineering roots. Getting back on track and getting out of my comfort zone.

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  2. This is so great! I'm wishing you the absolute best on your journey in STEM, you know I always love seeing more women in engineering. I relate to so much in this post especially when it comes to challenging stigmas and THIS - "I am learning just how important it is to only be affected by how you define yourself". You can be a writer, engineer, blogger, journalist all at the same time. Wishing you the best, love!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and wishes! I do too! It's so empowering to see other women in STEM, especially women of color and I hope that more women open up to the possibilities of STEM fields.

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  3. I never knew you were in a STEM field so awesome!! we need more women like you!

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