Becoming an Engineer: Deciding Why and Learning How


Like many other students who choose engineering as their major, I chose this because I wanted to make a difference in the world. Throughout high school, I had very few friends who wanted to go to college and do what I wanted to do. I actually had some friends who were interested in technology and science but shied away from engineering out of fear of the difficulty. They would say things like, “You really want to do all that math,” and, “Why would I put myself through all that trouble?” It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized engineering is a lot more than just math.

More accurately, engineering is about solving problems, finding solutions to obstacles that you may or may not even know exist yet. I realize that may sound pretty general, but honestly, I believe that’s about as specific as you can be when it comes to engineering. It’s an engineer’s job to take the information that exists and use it in a way beneficial to any operation. Every day people think of things they wish could be done easier or faster. But without the correct knowledge and tools, coming up with a solution can be difficult, to say the least. However, as an engineer, these tools are something with which you graduate.

For that reason in particular, I knew engineering was something that I could see myself being passionate about for the rest of my life. During my first few years of college, I did everything I could to get an opportunity that could push me a little closer to my goal. I entered competitions, pursued scholarships, joined the robotics club, and later was even selected to work as a project leader for a robotics research team at my school. I especially enjoyed this opportunity. While I had worked on small hobbyist engineering-related projects on my own, I had never before been awarded the opportunity to work on a team with such highly capable engineering professors and students.

However, even with a general knowledge of the field I wanted to go into and the goals I wanted to achieve, I still struggled in determining how to go about achieving them. It wasn’t until I joined ASME that I was able to connect with other students and professionals who were going through or went through what I am now. Through these connections, I obtained valuable tips on how to develop not only academic skills but professional knowledge. This, along with the help from others, eventually led to me obtaining a position at ASME as an executive intern. So far I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on meetings with some of the most fascinating men and women within the engineering discipline. I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am for these opportunities and how excited I am to keep going.

Kaelaan Maynor is a mechanical engineering student at University of Hartford.

You May Also Like: What I Wish I Knew: The Benefits ASME Offers Freshmen Members