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Advice for New Engineering Graduates

Advice for New Engineering Graduates

Feb 1, 2018 News Archive
Advice for New Engineering Graduates

Almost two months ago, with about a 3-4-day notice, I was asked if I’d be interested in giving a short speech during the “hatting” ceremony to celebrate the graduating students from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Houston. Despite the initial feeling of being not having been invited from the start, I agreed to do it. Below is the speech I wrote. I note that the actual speech only had about 80% of what I wrote, since I decided to give the speech without looking at the notes. To the surprise of my wife who told me it was a bad idea not to keep the notes handy, the speech went well (or so I think).

Of course, I’d encourage you to read the full speech, which can be found HERE,. but in the paragraph below I want you to see what, after almost 20 years of working in the offshore industry I decided to give to the graduating students, many of whom were not native English speakers, like me.

“Continue to work on your technical skills – they are valuable! But be sure not to ignore communication. If you are really good technically but not the best at communicating, you’ll be forced to have someone else presenting your work. If you are lucky, you’ll still get credit for your efforts. Think about this, though: would you really like to have someone else be in charge of your success? I think not!”

As it happened, the day of the ceremony was a very special and memorable day – it was the day it snowed in Houston!