How and Why I Got into Engineering
One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my story and inspire others to go into the STEM field. A big part of my story I have yet to share is how I got into engineering. I also thought I’d share why I chose this program as my reasons may resonate with some of you.
In terms of how I got into engineering, I consider myself privileged: my dad is an electrical engineer with a masters in microelectronics, so I’ve had exposure to the field ever since I was young. This made it extremely easy for me to become passionate about the field just like my father was. I remember having this “game” at home when I was younger where the goal was to build circuits; there were easier ones like turning a light on and more difficult ones like building a radio. My father and I would construct these circuits together and he would explain to me the logic behind it. I remember loving it and always asking him to “play circuits”. For those of you interested, this was an introduction to electronics project kit called 75 in 1, which wasn’t at all meant to be a kids game lol. Therefore, I have had exposure to engineering early on in my life, which without a doubt helped me get into the field. I also remember loving doing science experiments at home with my mom, which goes to show how the STEM topics have always interested me.
When I was in high school, even though sciences and math were definitely my forte, I had no intention in becoming an engineer. Throughout high school, I developed a strong interest for pop culture and fashion. I watched popular TV shows like Suits or Pretty Little Liars, where all the women pictured as strong and powerful work in law, politics, finances or health. It’s no surprise I too wanted to go into one of these fields. My parents always said I would make a great engineer and strongly suggested I consider the field. However, I wanted a glamorous job and in my teenage girl head, engineering wasn’t one of them.
How my Mindset Shifted
What made a huge impact on my career was seeing Karlie Kloss advertise and promote coding. Everything she did to promote the field, from starting Kode with Klossy to explaining why she loved coding made me realize that coding and the STEM field could be glamorous too. This is the moment I seriously started considering engineering as a career for myself. From there, I did some research, spoke with my parents about the field and it seemed like a great fit. I also had the chance to take a programming course in my last year of CEGEP (the equivalent grade 12) which consolidated my choice of going into engineering.
My interests for sciences and math as well as my curiosity where a fundamental reasons why I decided to go into engineering. However, there are a couple more reasons why I did so.
First, I chose engineering since I felt like it gave me a more “rounded” education than other tech-related programs like computer science. Required engineering courses include chemistry, law and ethics, which I felt resonated more with the type of employee I wanted to be later. Also, an engineer is part of an order which, based on experiences from relatives, makes it easier to reintegrate the job market after taking some time off work. This will give me some security later if I want to take some years off of work to raise kids or if I get sick.
Second, almost everything we use in our everyday lives is technology. I knew that going into the field would not close any doors for me, as all industries now need engineers. Therefore, once I get my engineering degree, I will be able to choose any industry I would like to work in. This industry could be technology, but it could also be fashion or law. This was a huge pro to choosing engineering for me, as it wouldn’t close doors to other industries.
Third, as I mentioned in the last point, engineers are wanted in every industry. Therefore, there is market demand for them and more engineering jobs are available than there are engineers on the market. As I mentioned in my blog post on CO-OP programs, the unemployment rate for recent university graduates is astonishingly high. I knew that by choosing the STEM field I would not be faced with this problem.
Link between my story and my blog’s purpose
In my story, I mentioned how Karlie Kloss helped me see engineering and the tech industry through a whole different lens. Thinking back on how I got into engineering is how I started this blog: there is a lack of women role model in the industry and it is affecting young girls’ decisions to join the field. My goal with this blog and my Instagram page is to be a role model of these young girls and show them a side to the tech field they may not have been be exposed to.
Feel free to share this post with your peers. It could help change a young girl’s view of the industry just like Karlie Kloss’ promotion of coding changed mine!
I hope this post inspired you to promote engineering to young girls and to see the field differently!