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15 Things Only Engineers Would Understand

15 Things Only Engineers Would Understand

After years of crazy studying hours, insane exams, and wild expectations, you have made it! You’re an engineer! Whether mechanical, electrical, aeronautical, environmental, computer, civil, industrial (you get the idea…), you can proudly tell people that you are an engineer.

If only you could make them stop asking you to fix their fridge, or explain to them, in layman’s terms, what it is exactly that you do.

Here are 15 things that only an engineer would understand.

1. You were practically in a relationship with your caffeinated beverage of choice.  

The code doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. You need a week to understand the mathematical equations before you can even crack the engineering portion of it. The circuit board doesn’t work because of a burnt-out component. If there was something that could go wrong, it did. There weren’t enough hours in the day, but that’s OK. You don’t need sleep. You have Red Bull!

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    2. You took apart a radio or the back of the television just to see what was inside.

    Your mom was furious, but you’ve done it countless times again since then. I think you owe your mom a radio.

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      3. Your class size was always cut in half by the end of drop week.  

      You walk in on the first day of class. All the seats are taken. By the end of that drop week, half of those students are gone. And by the first assignment, you kind of wish you had left too.

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        4.  Everyone who knows you’re an engineer thinks you can fix their household appliances.

        OK, so maybe there are times you can fix it. But that’s not what you went to school for. You’ve worked on intricate projects. You’ve come up with revolutionary theories and technology. You’ve sat in one spot and coded for nights on end. You did not go to school to fix someone’s fridge or a Keurig machine that’s on the fritz!

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          5.  Contrary to #4, you have modified a household appliance that was working perfectly just to make it better.

          It’s not enough if something only works flawlessly.  It should work to your personally-desired needs.  Case in point: I know a NASA engineer who programmed his Keurig machine to his cell phone.  This way, he can turn it on from bed with no effort.  Ah, the user-friendly life of an engineer!

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            6.  Girls were practically mythical beings.  

            As a female engineer, I was a unicorn in the world for years. Sometimes, there would be one other girl in the class, which was twice as much as I was used to. Fortunately for all of us, there are more women coming into the engineering world. “Who runs the world? Girls!”

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              7.  When a child asks you a simple question, you explain the most elaborate answer possible.

              A little girl ask you, “Why is it raining?” You begin to explain the water cycle in detail, the transportation of water from the atmosphere to the surface of the earth, and of course, the different forms of precipitation. The little girl says “OK” with a blank stare and then walks away.

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                8. When you speak about your work, people think you’re nuts.

                Yes, it’s not just children, but adults as well who can’t understand the things you try to explain. Usually, someone will regret asking you about your work. But it’s not your fault. Sometimes, you can’t help sounding like a martian from the sixth dimension of the universe.

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                  9. You go above and beyond on projects….your kid’s science projects.

                  Chances are you designed this child’s project in AutoCAD or SolidWorks. You probably used PSpice if you threw in some electronics. Meanwhile, you son’s classmates have some baking soda and vinegar for their volcano, or a potato for their clock.

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                    10.  The people at Radio Shack can’t answer your questions. 

                    They’re always great at helping you locate what you need. But those intricate and convoluted questions are something you have to deal with on your own.

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                      11.  You were the president of the audio-visual, robotics, mathematics, and/or coding club at your school.

                      Your love of technology and the unknown is as real as your shopping addiction at Jameco Electronics.

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                        12. People think you know everything!  

                        The truth of the matter is that if you are an engineer, you realized a long time ago that you know nothing. And that’s great! It means your mind is open to everything.

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                          13.  The things you learned as an engineering student are not the things you do as an engineer in the real world.  

                          In college, those lectures, never-ending projects, technical reports, and mathematical lunacy were all just to help you lose yourself in the “reality distortion field.” It’s a place where nothing is what it seems. You have to lose your mind as an engineering student first in order to embrace the “anything is possible” mentality all engineers must embrace.

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                            14.  You envied those non-engineering majors.  

                            They had such balance in their life. They went to class, went to the library, and then, they actually had time to go out. Don’t even get me started on their study breaks! They could actually sit down to a meal without rushing or talking about the work. They didn’t even look at their study materials while eating. How luxurious!!!

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                              15.  You spend more time behind a computer screen than anywhere else.

                              And this was before the social media takeover! You were doing it before everyone else, and you probably still are. Since you’re usually looking at your screen, you might have more friends online than in person.

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                                As an engineer, you can understand the esoteric things. You love technical things, and there’s just something about it that calms your soul. After dealing with social pressure in school, demanding professors, and no sleep (ever!), you are an engineer. You can do anything. Congratulations! You’re damn near a superhero!

                                Featured photo credit: engineers via google.com.hk

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                                Last Updated on November 5, 2019

                                How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                                How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                                Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

                                But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

                                The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

                                Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

                                But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

                                As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

                                Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

                                There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

                                The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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                                • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
                                • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
                                • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
                                • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

                                But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

                                How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

                                When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

                                I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

                                Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

                                However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

                                Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

                                While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

                                Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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                                By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

                                How to Use Visual Learning for Success

                                Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

                                1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

                                We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

                                While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

                                I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

                                2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

                                Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

                                Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

                                As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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                                And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

                                3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

                                Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

                                With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

                                Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

                                It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

                                Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

                                Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

                                4. Add video streaming to meetings.

                                What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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                                When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

                                For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

                                Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

                                No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

                                You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

                                The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

                                More About Learning Styles

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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