Dated:4 April 2012
What have I learnt?
In my previous posts I have highlighted the challenges that new graduates face whilst looking for the very first chance and challenges we have as engineers explaining to others about who we are. However, in today’s post I will share what I have learnt so far. For those who are now in the industry – first of all CONGRATULATIONS for getting through the very first hurdle.
Yes! I mean it. This was the initial barrier towards your career. It’s just a beginning of a very long journey ahead. I have always heard, “your first impression is your last impression”. It’s true but what no one told me was that it doesn’t mean once you are in, you stop impressing. No, now it’s time to work towards your career. For those already working, you must have already realised by now that being a new graduate in the industry is like going back to middle school again. It’s a beginning of a new learning curve. Learning to be PROFESSIONAL. Learning to be PRACTICAL. A phase where you put together every thing you have been taught over the last decade into practice. And try to make sense out of it.
It’s DAUNTING but REFRESHING.
This I can say from my own journey so far. Getting a new job, especially in the current market situations – is well earned. Still when I first received the offer, and not forgetting my first day at work was full of excitement, but I was also very nervous. A strange mix of ‘yay I can’t believe I got my very first job’ and ‘will I be able to do this job?’ Every thing was new and different from the university life. New responsibilities, corporate culture, good mixture of people with varied experience, from all age groups – exposing me to an open platform to shadow experience from people who have worked on amazing projects throughout their career. Allowing me to go as an engineer as a child does at school. Interaction / communication is the key here. Meaning totally up to you how to do it. Give yourself time to learn and pickup industrial practices before trying to prove your worth but do not loose track of your goal. I find that it’s good practice to keep record of: What have you done? What have you learnt? Where can you use it in the future? So you can go back and review it.
I am fresh in the industry but in this short time I have never seen two days that are exactly the same. Every morning brings something new for me- learn something new to explore. Learning, who is who? How does every thing fit together? Importance of Health and Safety in an organization. What does it mean by Sustainability in the real world? Policies, Strategies, rules and regulations etc. that when all put together will guide your future path. Learn where you stand in the company structure and how can you contribute towards something which will transform into reality.
Personally what I enjoy most is the flexible hours – working at hours that suit me the most. Most companies are very flexible with working hours – see what suits you and agree with your employer. Secondly, see what training is available to you as a graduate and make the most of it. Luckily, I started work just before the graduate programme for the year began. A mentor, who explains to you what to do and checks your work to ensure you have done it right is extremely beneficial for successful transition from academics to work. I have been given the chance to learn how what we design on paper (for those who don’t know I am on a design based role) relates to what is built on site. I have produced a set of calculations first with hands, then with software, and now learning different analysis packages not only giving me a chance to compare how all methods are interconnected but also to have a feel of what actually is built. I have also been on site visits. Visual observation of construction is an extra ordinary experience.
MORAL: IT’S JUST THE BEGINNING OF THE LIFE LONG LEARNING JOURNEY.
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