YPOV: Skills They Don’t Teach You in School | AIChE

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YPOV: Skills They Don’t Teach You in School


It’s impossible to learn everything you need to know for your career in a four-year undergraduate program. A proper education should prepare you with the tools and skills you need to problem-solve in the “real world.” However, the typical chemical engineering curriculum does not (and cannot) teach you all of the necessary skills you will need to thrive throughout your career.

If you are graduating and starting your career in the coming months, keep in mind that even though class is over, you still have much to learn. Here are some things your classes may not have addressed.

Communication and teamwork. Very few engineers work alone in the real world; we often depend on a bevy of teammates — such as operators, contractors, customers, and managers — to move projects from start to finish. That’s why teamwork and communication are two very important skills that young engineers must refine.

“Engineering in university is often taught as individual technical problem-solving, rather than a team sport. Getting others to help you might even be considered cheating,” says Alan Rossiter, President of Rossiter & Associates (Bellaire, TX). “Of course, real-world engineering does require individual problem-solving, but we can be much more effective when we have people we can turn to for help, and when we are open to helping others — especially when there...

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