My undergraduate STEM courses taught me the problem-solving approach that is unique only to engineers. In my personal experience, engineers bring a new perspective to the table when it comes to solving companies’ complex business problems from an analytical standpoint. Engineers are excellent at identifying all of the key variables, understanding their relationships, and determining the best way to manipulate these variables to achieve a desired outcome. Within my group, Capital Products and Infrastructure, I am currently helping oil and gas companies identify new technologies that will help streamline their business operations. These new oilfield technologies will decrease drilling times and in turn decrease the amount of hours, materials, and money spent on drilling new wells domestically. This is extremely important due to the current economic environment.
My work requires me to use critical thinking, analytical problem solving, project management, lean engineering, and many other skills that I developed while being involved in a STEM program. I would not be nearly as effective at my position today without my education. I firmly believe that my STEM background has allowed me to present solutions to my clients that I would not have been able to otherwise.
The nature of our work usually means we are always traveling, always engaging in client work, and always working together in teams. I arrive at the office in the morning, touch base with my team for status updates on our project, work with team members to meet daily work objectives, call the client to fill them in on our work, and hold meetings with other PwC staff or possibly sit in on meetings with future clients. PwC strongly believes that each employee brings value to our clients and they embrace that belief. I know this is a strong value to the firm because even as a new associate, I’ve seen my personal work presented directly to the client.
As an industrial engineer (or any engineer for that matter), I have found that my STEM background has helped me become an asset to the team in a variety of ways. PwC consultants come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, but since I have started I have found STEM students to be spread the furthest across the board in our different lines of service. STEM students have a deep knowledge base across a broad range of topics which means they can find their niche in just about any industry PwC works in.
An engineer becomes invaluable when they’ve established strong interpersonal or soft skills. When you are an effective presenter, an active listener, and someone who clients feel like they can trust, in addition to being from a STEM background, you will find many doors will open for you. Not only can you come up with creative and effective solutions for your client, but you can also be the one to present those solutions and establish a strong working relationship with them.
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