Career shift for Engineering Students - Why, How, What, When?


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This is a presentation I've held in Faculty of Engineering Ain Shams University under the organization of the Annual Conference for Engineering Students and their activities.

The idea is to expose my experience with career shift and a summary of how to go about it.

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Career shift for Engineering Students - Why, How, What, When?

  1. 1. CAREER SHIFT By Abdelrahman Wahba
  2. 2. Outline • Why shift? • Identifying the need to shift • How shift? • Clichés Stereotypes • What if I can’t find an opportunity? • Questions
  3. 3. WHY SHIFT? It is absolutely personal and subjective
  4. 4. Shift to do what you really like! • Life is too short to spend it working on something you don’t like! • You don’t need to be happy all the time, but you must not be dissatisfied all the time! • It is never too early, or too late! • Always revisit your reasons for your current state, if you are not happy change it!
  5. 5. IDENTIFYING THE NEED TO SHIFT You ONLY find what you are looking for
  6. 6. Identifying the need to shift • Keyword: Explore!  yourself and the world • Nothing is straight forward like solving “the sheet” • Possible exploration paths • Activities, Clubs, hobbies, communities • Training/internship • Talk to people who do different things • Events, tradeshows, exhibitions, conferences, business NGO’s, Chambers of commerce • Read the news in its variety • Imaginatively Fast forward your life to the future • Try new things, screw-up early, fast and often
  7. 7. HOW TO SHIFT?
  8. 8. How to shift? • Establish a baseline to shift from & use on your shift • Drastic Shift – Cold water jump • Seize opportunity – Start a company, trading, investing • Gradual Shift – Part time job/internship – Part time studies – Freelance jobs – Volunteering – Shifting on steps
  9. 9. How to shift? • The main tools to shift • Very strong reasons • Very fast learning capability • Very High Flexibility and tolerance to ambiguity • Dynamic Mindset • Readiness to fight • Forward orientation • Extreme time management • High tolerance to falling on your face! • High ability to quickly recover from screwing up
  10. 10. How to shift? • Your advantages • You are still studying • You study engineering • Science forces certain thinking patterns on you • Studying forces you to obtain certain survival skills • You spend most of your time problem solving • You have your whole life ahead of you • You have the energy to fill it up with new experiences
  11. 11. SHIFT AND DO WHAT? What?
  12. 12. Shift and do what? • Shift and do what you like! • Shift within Engineering • Shift within industry • Shift jobs and industry • The world is changing too fast to stick to a state too hard
  13. 13. CLICHÉS AND STEREOTYPES “The Engineering Food Chain” & co.
  14. 14. Clichés and Stereotypes • Myth: The Engineering Food chain • R&D • Design • Production, Fabrication, Manufacturing, Construction • Project/Product Management • Deployment • Support/Maintenance • Pre-sales • Sales
  15. 15. Clichés and Stereotypes • “I’ve spent my life doing this, this is all I know” • “I don’t want to waste my studies” • “I don’t have options” • “The world will resist me” • “I’m waiting for X to happen”
  16. 16. WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND AN OPPORTUNITY? Be realistic, move in steps
  17. 17. What if I can’t find an opportunity? • Work to discover what you like – it is a process • Move in the gaps that open • Establish the baseline • Keep your eyes on your objective
  18. 18. DO WHAT YOU LIKE! And make the best use of your experience! If you need to shift, then shift!
  19. 19. DON’T LISTEN TO ME! Do it yourself!
  20. 20. THANK YOU  Questions?