In episode 26 of The Structural Engineering Channel, we talk to Rose McClure PE, SE, LEED AP, a senior consulting engineer at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. Rose talks about SE3, an NCSEA Committee that works to improve engagement and retention of structural engineers. She provides us with the latest updates on the SE3 2020 survey, the state of engagement and equity in the SE profession, and the future of the profession from the perspective of a younger engineer.
In this article, I’d like to discuss how I stumbled onto the path of personal branding by identifying my area of expertise. By sharing this story, I hope you are able to take a few shortcuts to finding your own path to personal branding.
First, why are personal branding and expertise important?
- Personal branding is a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd, a time-tested cornerstone of career development. Additionally, it invites conversation with like-minded folks.
- Developing expertise is essential to personal branding. It may be subjective but can be seen as a skill that adds additional value. You may ask, don’t we all have expertise? Well, yes and no. To the outside world, a discipline (such as engineering) may be seen to have a level of expertise, but within the bounds of that discipline, at best, it can be a level playing field unless you actively build your expertise.
In episode 144 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk to Jennifer Goodman, writer and editor at Construction Dive, about how the coronavirus crisis has changed commercial construction and what the general outlook will be for the rest of the year and beyond.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Jennifer Goodman of Construction Dive:
Your Voice Matters is a guest blog by Mike Burns
Last month we discussed Continuous Learning, growing together as teachers and students, deepening our commitment to sustained personal and professional growth. As our COVID-19 response continues to mature, the AEC industry is rapidly advancing new ways of communicating, learning, and delivering projects. As we Zoom from meeting to meeting (cheesy pun intended), it is easy to feel connected without truly connecting. Yet this moment — this critical period of recovery — necessitates sustained empathetic listening in order to empower a diverse and inclusive chorus of critical voices. Infrastructure improvements will be a vital component of our pending economic recovery. We must concurrently fast track “shovel-ready” projects and restructure our capital improvement plans, setting the stage for a wave of critical infrastructure projects. Your voice matters, and is particularly critical today as we make difficult choices, pivoting to and accelerating new solutions. I hope that this embarrassing, yet rewarding story from my career inspires you to assert yourself in this moment for your community and our world.
In episode 25 of The Structural Engineering Podcast, we talk to Kayley Seawright, an aeromechanics structural analyst. Kayley talks about her career journey and provides some great advice to our listeners on how they should never give up on their dreams no matter how people may perceive them — and especially when people tell them they don’t look like an engineer.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Kayley in This Episode:
- You were the 2013 student body president at Clemson. You do not often hear of engineers holding that position. Tell us about how you obtained it.
- EMI originally found you through an article on a website called Vision Balm that talked about how some (or many) people told you that you didn’t look like an engineer. Can you talk about the effect this has had on you and your career?
- How has saying “yes” to opportunities and finding a way to make opportunities work affected your career as an engineer?
- COVID-19 has drastically changed our lives and our careers. How has it impacted you and how do you see it impacting your job or career long term?
- Please tell us about your journey as a Disney Performer.
- Our listeners are mostly engineers working on structural projects. Can you share any career advice with them that might be helpful in their career journey?
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed in This Episode:
This is a guest blog by Steve Soldati, P.E.
Picture this: It’s 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, you’re thinking about where to go for lunch, but you are still waiting for a response from your project team member. You had requested this information via email three weeks ago and every few days you get a, “You should have it soon.” You sent an email earlier that morning asking for an update on the project designs and calculations to incorporate into your plan set, which is due in just one week, but still no word. You go off to lunch, steaming and upset about the lack of urgency and communication of your colleagues.
When you arrive back at the office, you open your inbox to see an email from your team member with the requested design and calculations. “Yes, finally!” you shout out loud. But when you open the email, the design is incomplete, and your team member has additional questions that should have been asked much earlier. You storm over to their desk to chew them out and tell them how poorly they performed. You tell them they need to communicate better, learn to design properly, and take responsibility for their work. Then you head back to your desk to rework the design, spending many additional hours to get it ready for the upcoming deadline. And you grow even more frustrated and stressed because there is still so much on your plate that needs to be done, but you are now worried that won’t happen. This causes you to become even more uneasy, cranky, and unpleasant to be around.
This is a guest blog by BigTime Software, Inc
Navigating how to operate your business through the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge. While much is still unknown, and we’re a little over a month in the shelter-in-place order, we were curious to see how professional services firms in the architecture, engineering, and consulting industries are adapting.
What we found is that the AEC industry is depending on the resilience of the U.S economy, and the majority do not plan to consider staff reductions. Business owners seem to be taking on the risk themselves, as they likely view their firm as more than just a business, but a personal investment.
Learn more about the choices AEC firms of various sizes are making regarding the CARES Act, business strategy, recovery plans, and more in the infographic below.
In episode 24 of The Structural Engineering Channel podcast, Alexis Clark interviews her co-host, Mat Picardal. Mat hosts the very popular YouTube channel “Structural Engineering Life,” through which he promotes the structural engineering profession to engineering students who are not familiar with the industry perspective. In this episode, Mat talks to us about what he has learned from building his YouTube channel and how he continues to inspire the next generation of structural engineers.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Mat in This Episode:
- What inspired you to start a YouTube channel?
- What were the biggest struggles that you had in your YouTube journey?
- Is the audience that you are targeting the students who are pursuing a structural engineering career?
- How do you determine what content you want to feature next?
- Do you get a lot of organic requests from your audience?
- What are some of the things you plan to do to inspire the next generation of structural engineers?
- How did you manage to grow your channel so quickly and how do you sustain engagement with your audience?
- What are three of the biggest things from your episode, “Reality vs Expectations,” that you want to share with the listeners
- How do you get your content to your audience quickly and ensure it reaches the largest number of people in the shortest time?
- You have the “draw” part of your content; how do you then get the message out that you have new content on your channel?
- How did you craft your video, “A Day in the Life of a Civil Structural Engineer,” and how did you choose to include the pieces that you did?
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How Mat Uses YouTube to Inspire the Next Generation of Structural Engineers:
In this episode, I talk about how you can stay safe and keep healthy during the coronavirus pandemic by changing the way you think and doing things differently daily. During this pandemic we are indeed dealing with tough times, but if you can adapt a positive mindset, you might just find that even within these uncertain times, there are always opportunities out there.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How You Can Stay Safe and Keep Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic:
This is a guest blog by Peter C. Atherton, P.E.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, most leaders agreed that employee recruitment and retention was the #1 issue facing engineering and architecture firms. At the same time, employee growth and development were our talent’s top priority. What will change moving forward?
Our first concern at this moment must be safety and survival. Our next concern needs to shift to how we can more effectively attract, develop, and retain the talent that we need to grow and prosper in the “new era” that is accelerating forward.
The answer to doing so is to develop a formal and strategic employee learning and development program. To get there, we can leverage both proven models and innovative practices.