Danielle Larrabee
Danielle Larrabee
February 18, 2022

Advice for the Engineers of the Future

Danielle Larrabee
Danielle Larrabee

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is a special day during Engineers Week where volunteers, educators, and others act as role models, facilitate engineering activities, and show girls how engineers change our world. We reached out to some of our incredible engineers and asked them if they had any advice for a young girl interested in engineering. Here are their responses.

Gretchen Battle, PE

“Don’t listen to the doubters and haters. There are always going to be people that won’t support you and it’s easy to get caught in their words. Make improvements if there was constructive criticism and hang onto the positive words. I’ve got an email folder of only positive things from clients, bosses and peers. When those hard times hit, I go perusing in that folder for an uplift. Show everyone who you are by being the real you. You’ve got this!”

Amber Lang

“Engineering is the application of science and math to solve problems. Engineers figure out how things work and find practical uses for scientific discoveries.  There are so many kinds of engineering, spanning so many markets (architectural, transportation, medical, business, environmental, technology). Determine what interests you and how you want to better your life and those around you and fight for it. Being an engineer opens the door to so many possibilities. Go there.”

Chu Pwint

“I would suggest she get into the project operation field at the beginning of her career. It sounds difficult but actual site operation is the only place to see every engineering discipline in a very realistic way. It is a place to study plenty of actual work experiences and see how construction and engineering disciplines work together by coordinating each other. It is the easiest way to pick up lots of experience and it will be very beneficial when she will work as a designer in the future.”

Becca McGowan

“Don’t let a lack of representation dissuade you from doing something you’re passionate about. The best way to find a strong female engineer is to become one.”

Nicole Smith

“Never be afraid to ask a question. You never know where that answer might lead the conversation and what you can learn. Secondly, be uniquely you. Remember circle pegs were never meant to fit into square holes. What makes uniquely you brings diversity, creativity and innovation.”

Soon Young Shimizu

“Try not to be afraid of struggling–because you will and that’s okay. But know that you will learn how to overcome these struggles and that is what is most worthwhile!”

Kelly Cerri

“Don’t get discouraged. It may seem hard sometimes, but there are always people around you willing to help if you speak up and ask.”

Elizabeth Hagerty

“My advice to a young girl interested in engineering is not to be afraid to ask for help. Ask the dumb question, go to office hours, etc. No one understands everything the first time, and part of being an engineer is continuing to learn throughout your career!”

Julie Shaw, PE

“Be confident in yourself and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!”

Sarah Bower

“Engineers come in all forms of weird. I am a football-loving knitter who loves to run electrical modeling calculations. Find your weird and embrace it. Life is more fun that way.”