Am I Prepared for Work

I found the article, “It Takes More than a Major” to be a stressful read.  As a graduate student, when I look back at my undergraduate experience I know I wasn’t successfully prepared for the work force.  My undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering didn’t emphasize innovation, instead my studies focused specifically on mathematical computation of cookie cutter engineering problems.  Furthermore, I was rarely asked to prepare presentations or to compile reports, both of which are essential characteristics of successful engineers.  However, although I’ve grown in these areas as a graduate student, I’m often worried that innovation hasn’t been truly encouraged, nor am I confident that my graduate studies are closely related to real world work environments.

Here’s a list of things I’m sure will need improvements, but unfortunately I’m not confident I’m skilled to complete: a professional and eye catching resume (including compiling a portfolio), proficient writing, and CONFIDENCE in my ability to find unique (innovative) ways of resolving engineering related problems (e.g., creating theoretical models for predicting pavement deterioration).



Improvement through Technology



I enjoyed the beginning of the article article “The Myth of the Disconnected Life”.  Made me think of everything that upsets me about my visits to Northern Virginia.  You see couples pulling up in their posh cars, and both are staring at their phones.  It’s sad.  Funny, I remember 3 years ago I promised myself that I’d never give in to buying a smartphone.. well I failed, because now I have one, and it knows everything, from what I buy to where I’ve been.

I partially agree with “Is Google Making Us Stupid”.  It relates back to cell phones.  Up until  mid-high school (before I had a bulky Nokia phone), I remembered the phone number of all of my friends.  After several years of having a phone, I remember making the comment to someone that I can’t remember phone numbers anymore, and sometime it’s even worse when I can’t remember names.  We have changed, however unlike the article, I think my reading capability has significantly improved since the convenience of a laptop and the followed purchase of my first smartphone.  Unlike the author, I find new advances exciting.  The author is right, we are changing, but I don’t agree that the change is necessarily negative either.   So, I agree with comment in the article that people read more now than the had in ’70s or ’80s, but that’s the most I agree with.   Because of the ease of information, I hate reading less now than I had growing up.

Unlike some of the authors, I look forward to the future and I openly embrace new technology, even the prospect of having autonomous cars replace drivers.  I’m excited!