What I am, professionally: I’m a mechanical engineer working in industry.
What is my daily/weekly job like: I do a little of everything. At the core, I’m making design decisions on products we buy to integrate in our product as well as designing parts and creating drawings for the items we produce. So sometimes I’m calling vendors or researching off the shelf parts. Sometimes I’m working with a vendor to get them to build us a custom part and sometimes I’m making and updating drawings and parts lists and controlling our internal configuration. I also write test plans and go to the lab or out to the field to test the new equipment.
What I like about my job: It’s nice when there’s some project that I get a decent amount of control over. Most programs have so many people senior to me that I’m only doing the work after the design decisions have already been made. But every now and then you get to have more control over your project and it’s very satisfying to see something all the way from conception to design plan to testing to final implementation.
What I don’t like about my job: Probably the same things most people don’t like. There are a lot of personalities and a lot of engineers at many levels, including into management. People don’t always agree on what the best thing to do and many departments are quick to point the finger at each other.
What’s the next level for an engineer: Some engineers move into senior technical specialist roles and many others move into lead and management positions. Though I’m comparatively junior, I find that you are forced to move up into project management types of responsibilities rather quickly and already spend a quarter of my time in meetings. If you work for a large corporation, as I do, there are many options that might be available to you.
Thanks, FrauTech, for sharing your corporate life!