Engineering Your Dreams into Career

Education tips

We understand that you studied engineering to fulfil your parents’ dreams but deep down in your heart, you always knew that it was not your calling. And, now this lucrative career has become a dilemma for you. Besides job dissatisfaction, you have no idea how to convince your parents about the same. Well, we bring you some inspiring stories of ex-engineers who dreamt differently and have gone on to become living legends.

1. Bill Nye

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Who doesn’t know The Science Guy from the teenage science show, ‘Bill Nye, The Science Guy’, which aimed at teaching science to pre-teens? It is not surprising to know that the man behind the show earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering before turning writer, producer and performer. This acclaimed TV personality with several Emmys to his credit, serves as a professor in reputed universities and in his free time, he contributes his inventions as a scientist to several NASA missions.

The outspoken scientist made headlines in the US when he spoke in favour of human evolution. In his words, “People still move to the United States, and that’s largely became of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science,” and “When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in that, it holds everybody back.” So, if you have faith in your abilities just like Bill Nye, then, sky is the limit for you.

2. Jimmy Fallon

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His is one face that nobody can forget because this US television host and comedian takes life with a pinch of salt. So, it isn’t hard to believe that this successful personality with his own show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, chucked away his engineering career to bring smiles to millions of faces. This computer science graduate, admits that his choice about studying engineering was a big mistake. In his own words, “I got out once it got really hard. I made up to C++. Then I couldn’t do the math – it got really confusing. I switched to communications, which is a ridiculous major – let’s be honest.”

We all know that everybody is not made for engineering and if you feel the same then you can take your engineering degree in a lighter vein and set stage for your growth, just like Falcon did!

3. Tom Scholz

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This rocker, who burned the stage with his several hits including More Than A Feeling & Peace Of Mind, was a mechanical engineer who served as a senior product engineer with a reputed company. It was at this job, that his interest in music became an obsession and the seriousness transformed him into a full-time musician. His passion for music and designing, gave birth to ‘Boston Guitar Sound.’ The inventor of Rockman Guitar Amplifier who was also a philanthropist is lovingly nicknamed as “un-rock n roll” figure” and never liked to be in the limelight. After a brief hiatus, Tom Scholz returned to his obsession with a music album that was recorded in his house and basement that had him playing the guitar, bass and keyboard. What you may not know is that this perfectionist rocker wasn’t satisfied with the outcome of the second recording and didn’t let it get released before the expiry of two years. Amanda is the result of the perfectionist.

So, if you are an engineer with passion for music and want to metamorphosis yourself into a musician, well, then you can draw inspiration from Tom Scholz who felt the same as you do.

4. Anil Kumble

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Are you passionate about cricket and actively want to pursue this sport? Well, you can bowl your maiden over just like the former Indian captain and legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble. This former mechanical engineer who stumped out his engineering career batted his way to a successful career in cricket. With this motivating story, you can toss the coin before your parents.

South African batsman Hashim Amla once said, that in his career he had faced several bowlers but Kumble has been the most dangerous that he ever faced. This spinner who has several awards and Padma Shri to his name, was once gifted with a car with a customised licence plate bearing KA-10-N-10 and perhaps, is the only sportsman with a traffic intersection named after him. His nickname ‘jumbo’ is symbolic of his game style, deliveries and also because his feet are quite large! As observed by his team-mates. So now even you can switch your career ‘as fast as a jumbo jet’ (pun intended).

5. Liam Neeson

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So you have always enjoyed entertaining your college buddies by enacting scenes from movies and writing your own plays. Well, I have good news for you, it is never too late to make new beginnings. You can draw inspiration from Liam Neeson, who despite his age became a star by accident in his sixties. The former computer engineer and physics graduate took up acting in his twilight years. The Anchorman2 star became most sought after with his role of Ra’s al Ghul and in the movie Taken.

So what made this engineer quit his stable career and took to acting? Well, the accidental death of his beloved wife Natasha Richardson in Canada, as a result of ski lesson gone haywire, prompted him to suddenly side-line his engineering career and resort to acting. The survivor who didn’t want to wallow in depression, resumed work, a few days after the demise of his wife, his is a true example of grit and passion of switching career with age no bar.

In short, with a strong determination and relentless approach, you can successfully fire your passion into a full time career. Catapulting yourself to new career may not be a cake walk but engineers are known for their never say never attitude.

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(Written by Jerusha David)