Hi! 👋 I’m Jessa

I blog daily about life, work, and the future

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What it means to be an engineer

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Four years ago, I was one of the unfamiliar faces you see in the photo. With a licensure exam and a future waiting, we were too excited for what’s in store ahead of us.

Getting your diploma makes you wonder what school is for. I think that it’s mainly for the cohort since you can now access global learning on the internet. And receiving your diploma also gives you a feeling that you can now go to the next step too, which is becoming an engineer.

And I thought you become an engineer after you earned the title.

I was wrong.

After all the celebrations and family gatherings, reality began to sink in: I am an engineer who only has a paper to prove it (and some domain knowledge).

I felt like an imposter.

And maybe because I was.

So if you are fresh out of college, just passed the board exam, and now have the glossy title of an engineer, you might feel like an imposter too.

And maybe that’s because you are.

But it’s okay.

Because it only means that you already know your end from the beginning. You are ‘yet’ to become an engineer. But having the title now allows you to direct all your decisions to become your future self. That’s right, an engineer.

I am still in the early stages of my career, and I am not that kind of engineer you are thinking. I’d like to call myself a researcher or student. Because these days, that’s what I do. And the more I learn about things, the more I realize how much I do not know about many things.

But what does it mean to be an engineer?

To be an engineer means you solve problems using the scientific method you learned from school. And that explains why you keep on solving math problems with equations you sometimes barely understand. It’s the essence of becoming an engineer, solving problems.

Engineers are trained to find practical solutions to problems even when emotions and politics are pushing untrained minds in the wrong direction.

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And when you solve problems, it also means you make things happen for you and other people around you. Such a great power you have in your hands.

So, as you become the engineer you ought to be, I hope you use your power wisely and fairly. Never use it for unjust gains. Because what you sow, you reap.

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