Transitioning from a College Athlete to an Early Career Engineer


Unfortunately, not all of us are born knowing exactly what we want to be when we grow up. I am envious of the Wayne Gretzkys of the world, but there is a beauty in being lost. Curiosity fuels innovation.

This is for the people that have absolutely no idea. Cheers! 

For starters, if you have no idea what you want to do in your life, and you are majoring in mechanical engineering—take a deep breath—you are on the right track. The doors that are opened with a degree in mechanical engineering are limitless; the key is finding the proper fit. The secret is that you can open as many doors as you want. Keep opening doors until you find the right fit. 

Growing up, I always had a passion for math and science, as do many future engineers. At a young age, I was introduced to ice hockey, and the sport has taken me all over the world and given me more opportunities than I could have imagined. I have lived in Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, upstate New York, and Manhattan pursuing the sport. Hockey has given me an amazing community of teammates and coaches who have changed my life, and whom I will have in my network for the rest of my life. Hockey also led me to engineering school, and I will be forever thankful for that. After being introduced to engineering, and as I near the end of my college hockey career, I am looking for a new family. 

A membership at ASME, whether you are transitioning from a club/sport or not, offers a breadth of news, insights, and a community of more than 100,000 like-minded peers. It allows you to learn about areas of which you had no idea, and to attend events with the opportunity of meeting amazing people. ASME is truly setting the standard in engineering. It is a platform for cutting-edge technology and a network of a wide-ranging technical community. I believe that becoming a member of ASME has helped me understand my options as a mechanical engineer, and has inspired me to work toward something amazing. 

ASME offers amazing student benefits, as well. One of the best benefits for students, among many, is Access Engineering. Access Engineering is like a Chegg for engineers, but with more useful resources and guidance. Membership also gives access to many scholarships and grants for students. Having access to more free money means fewer student loans. Membership provides entrance to competitions, professional development events, and programs to gain experience and expand your portfolio, too. If you are uncertain of what your future looks like after completing your engineering degree, take the first step with a membership at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 

Sam Rappaport is a mechanical engineering student at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering.

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