Don’t be afraid of not knowing

Being a 100% honest, when I picked engineering as a career, I was not too sure of what I exactly I would be doing once I graduated. I had no emphasis and did not know what areas interested me. Many other students had it very clear. They wanted to work for a specific company, or they wanted to focus on renewable energy, robotics, etc. It didn’t help that I didn’t have much knowledge on the area. I barely knew what some tools are called (didn’t help that most of the names I knew were in Spanish). Now imagine how blind I was in other guy-like subjects such as cars, engines, cylinders, etc. For me, I was just trying to get through school to somewhat ensure a successful future.

Now, having graduated, I could not like my job any more than I already do. While my job title states: Manufacturing Engineer, I do pretty much everything at work. Since my degree is Mechanical Engineering, I take advantage of my designing skills, which it’s my favorite thing to do by the way. I can aid the engineering design team when there is just too much work to do! I can also create other designs for internal use, such as fixtures, or replacement parts. I was taught the basics on product costing. I help with graphic design on some of our products. I have taken over assembling die sets in the tooling room. I even find myself on the floor helping in the line when something must really ship ASAP. I hardly spend any time sitting on my desk some days! My boss is just about the same way. He is always out and about which tends to be uncommon for engineers.

I have learned so much in the past year. It will be my first year anniversaryy in a little over a month. I can honestly see my growth from day 1 to now. Before I was so afraid to get hands on. I would doubt myself whether I would be doing things wrong. But one of my coworkers gave me a consejo (tip) on my first days: “Don’t be afraid to ask”. And I can’t believe what a big change that can make… If we walk into a place faking that we know what we are doing just to not look stupid, we will never get to learn. So, from day one, I had to accept that I will not always know everything, even if it was something covered in school! I had to be okay in saying: “No, I don’t know” or “Can you please explain this to me”. This was a big challenge for me since I am so shy and try to have the less embarrassing experiences as possible. However, now having done that for about a year I can tell you that I have never had a bad reaction doing that. If there is one thing that people enjoy is to know things and be able to share their knowledge with others. I can’t honestly explain how grateful I am every time someone takes time out of their day to show or explain something to me. Especially my boss, who encourages me to ask and keep asking. and ask again even if I already asked the same question, because nobody knows everything and nobody remembers everything.

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