“So you want to be an engineer!”
I’m certain that the first images that arise in people’s minds when I describe my choice of study include cubicles, coffee, and Microsoft Excel – not to mention business ties and the occasional suit (or, in my case, skirt and heels)! But what about a group gathered to discuss a life-changing, cancer-fighting, or even energy-saving technology? Or a team hard at work designing a communications system for our military, or software used to bolster national security?
These are the images that I hope will become my reality.
Yet ultimately, I want to pursue a career in education.
Perhaps this evokes surprise –after all, how typical is it to meet someone who plans to pursue engineering as a means to a completely different end? Some think I’m crazy in accepting the years of intense study, late nights, and caffeine fixes “just to become a teacher” – and not to mention the noticeable decrease in salary. Yet I can’t think of a more intellectually rewarding way to capitalize on my experiences as an engineer and use them for the benefit of the future generation. I want to engage kids in the promising subjects of mathematics and physics; I want to inspire them to “dream big” and imagine feats beyond even today’s scope. I hope to impress upon my students that engineering is much more than cubicles, coffee, and business casual dress – it is a profession that seeks people who want to truly improve the world.