Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekly Blog #4- Interview 1

Next time I go to UTD, I'll make sure to bring an extra pair of shoes to walk in. Last Tuesday, I went on my first research interview! Though my feet hurt from walking down Rutford Avenue, this experience was invaluable as I received insight beyond the scope of my interview questions.

One piece of advice Dr. Panahi explained to me was that investing in my field of study, rather than branching myself out too wide, would help me focus and excel in my path. His advice made me reconsider my future path in college; as much as I enjoy all the various extracurricular activities I'm involved in, I still need to remember that my primary focus should be on my major. As he wisely remarked, it would be better to excel at and have passion for one field than to not excel at any field.

I received lots of information in this interview, but I also received some inspiration simply from perceiving Dr. Panahi's passion for his work and support for his students (he couldn't think of an answer to "What are the most challenging aspects of your job?"). Tomorrow, I have another interview scheduled at SMU, and I hope to gain even more insight into this field. I definitely learned a lot more about preparation and conduct this past week, and hope to better communicate with professionals.

More information on interviews can be found at Interview Assessments.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekly Blog #3- Trials

This week, we were assigned to introduce ourselves to the principal and assistant principals. To be honest, I was more excited than nervous. I wanted to practice meeting professionals because first impressions are something that I need to work on (and they knew it was for ISM, so it wasn't awkward). The most interesting introduction I had was with the principal, who told me that he also studied electrical engineering and minored in business (which I plan to do)! Unfortunately, he found that engineering did not involve enough social interaction as he would have liked, so he switched to education. Perhaps, if he had the opportunity to explore electrical engineering in ISM, he would have pursued this career field and his original ambition of starting an engineering firm. I think that after many interviews with different professionals, I can get a better understanding of the jobs that EE offers, whether it be engineering management, teaching, or technical work.

Back to our simulations, after a few more rounds of practice interviews using our resumes, we were good to go for scheduling research interviews. If my AP French teacher gives me permission, then I will be off to my first research interview on Tuesday, at UTD! I can't wait to hear from someone who has first-hand experience with my chosen career field.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Weekly Blog #2- Simulations

This week in ISM, we ran our own simulations- of research interviews and phone calls! Though we were dressed in jeans and used our hands as phones, this practice was extremely exposing and ultimately, useful. It was difficult to fully explain who I am, what ISM is, and how I found this professional in a short amount of time. After a couple rounds, though, words started flowing more naturally. One memorable lesson I took from this practice was to persist and never fear rejection. I had previously been nervous about how a future professional might react, but after testimonies and proof of past ISM students who were never discouraged from an "unfortunately" or an "I'm sorry but," I became more eager to create myself opportunities- whether they're through asking for contact information from a more available professional or inquiring again a few weeks later.

One other simulation I witnessed this week was on an oscilloscope! Two years ago, my physics teacher used this instrument to demonstrate deconstructive sound waves. Finally, I got to experiment on my dad's used oscilloscope, which reads waves from an electric source. The voltage (y-axis) and time (x-axis) are adjusted to match the clock of a signal (similar to the clock of a heart). For example, I adjusted the graph's time (in microseconds) until it matched the time of the signal pictured and displayed distinct waves. This instrument can be used to find the frequency of an electric source, in this case, about 50 Hz. I did some research and found that it includes measuring the electrical pulses of the heart, or heartbeat. It's always interesting to see the potential of electrical engineering in different fields.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Weekly Blog #1- Incubation

This week of ISM has been full of incubation, developing a conscience of various nuances of professional dress, resumes, and presentation, discovering inspirational sources, and finding a purpose behind my current efforts and future career. Jim Collins and Marlo Thomas (not Marlon Brando) have inspired me to consider beyond practical success-how can I live a "meaningful life?" Giving back to others is definitely possible through engineering, which is why I decided to specify my field to a medical application. On the note of inspiration, a piece of self-advice that I discovered this week was the benefit of putting down specific questions to answer. I never had a very clear vision of my field until I started my Career and Industry Forecast, where I wrote any questions that I currently or previously had about my topic of study. Some that I assumed I knew the answer to required much more research and consideration. This useful tool of writing my own "free-response questions" turned out to be an interesting discovery that I will use more often to solidify my goals and aspirations.

After this early construction of long-term goals, I hope to begin the actual process of researching specific subject material and getting a better understanding of the field that I may end up dedicating years to. Through this blog, I will be storing a personal record of my challenges, accomplishments, knowledge, and growth.