By Brian Frascella, Contributing Writer
At what point in your career do you switch from being “some punk kid,” to a “respected mind?” I know the cookie-cutter answer: It doesn’t happen overnight, kid; it comes with experience. OK. But part of me doesn’t like that answer. The minions of the world (yours truly) see how things unfold at a lower level than a management team would. But isn’t a bottom-up perspective valuable, too?
I happened upon a conversation a few weeks back that involved members of my team speaking about a contract that we have with one of our customers. Unaware that I had some business schooling, they never stopped to ask for my feedback on the issue. Why would they? I was just another engineer on the project. I developed a few impromptu ideas that I think would have helped them based on my schooling and my perspective of the situation. But I kept quiet.
Someday I would like the opportunity to contribute to conversations like that. But how do you know when to jump in? I guarantee that if I blurted out my ideas, they would be cast aside quicker than Milli Vanilli’s Grammy. If I posed my ideas as questions to those with experience, would my thoughts become more intelligent ideas? Or would I just come off as naïve?
Business opportunities that complement my everyday engineering responsibilities motivate me. I would really enjoy participating in the business conversations to see how far I can stretch my ability. Have you found a way to break out of the everyday? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Frascella graduated from Binghamton University with a BSME; he’s en route to receiving his MBA from the University at Buffalo in 2011. Despite entering engineering school with the hopes of someday designing skis, his interests later steered him toward the realm of control electronics. Brian has worked with the Moog Industrial Group in East Aurora, N.Y., in its Electric Flight Simulation product line since 2007 as a Product Engineer. Brian will be posting to Careers and Education in Engineering periodically.
E-mail Brian at email@example.com.