Only you can prevent languishing careers

Consulting-Specifying Engineer strives to shape the future of young engineers by recognizing and encouraging them through articles online and in the magazine.


Several years ago, I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. Fortunately, I worked at an animal hospital, where I learned the hard way how difficult it is to be a small-animal vet. The doctor I worked with let me put my classroom knowledge into practice, and I helped with labs, daily appointments, and even surgery. Though she didn’t know it over the course of the two years I spent with her, the doctor gave me the best mentoring lesson I’d ever learn: I didn’t want to be a veterinarian.


Fast-forward a couple of degrees later, and I figured I’d found my calling in publishing. I worked at a company that actually paid me to use my love of science and my editing skills.


After that first year in the “real world,” I found my passion. I had become a mentor. As a student obtaining a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree—plus a communications degree—I was uniquely poised to give other students something I never had in college. Though I worked at various jobs throughout my college years, I never had an internship in science writing. So I started one.


I learned a lot those first few years on the job, once again because the people I was working with trusted me to try—and fail—at different things. I wanted to give the same opportunity to other students. My current volunteer positions give me that same opportunity; I’m a big proponent of volunteering outside the workplace.


Though I cannot help your firm mentor junior members, I can help illustrate to young engineers what it takes to be rising stars. Consulting-Specifying Engineer is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals in the engineering community supporting the building industry. We strive to shape the future of young engineers by recognizing and encouraging them through articles in the magazine (read "Your personal development toolkit") networking events, and the 40 Under 40 program.


The 40 Under 40 program is now in its fifth year, and we will recognize this year’s winners in our May issue and at an awards reception on Oct. 18, 2012. I encourage you to nominate a young professional to the 2013 program, and show that person how terrific the “real world” can really be. Become that mentor who made a difference.

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