Mar 7, 2010

Social Benefits of Studying Engineering

When I was in college, the college humor magazine published a top 10 list titled "Don't break the ice, make it!" It listed a variety of opening lines guaranteed to stop a conversation at party. My friends and I joked that saying "I'm an engineer" should have been on the list as it often seemed to have the same effect.

I was recently talking with the teachers in my engineering class, and they believed that after studying engineering for over 6 months now, engineering has actually refined their social experiences. One woman was told by a friend that she was more interesting since studying engineering because she could connect current conversation topics to related engineering tidbits ("Did you know that..."). Another student found herself asking more detailed questions of people who introduced themselves as engineers ("Really, what kind of engineer? What are the projects and challenges you work on?"). Yet another student said she felt she was taken more seriously because she was more conversant on engineering topics.

Who would have guessed that engineering knowledge could be the gateway to interesting interactions with people? Now if only the teachers could teach me patience with children, organized but flexible methods of teaching, and ability to handle the emotional learner!

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