With so much focus in school on the technical aspects of our profession young engineers on the verge of entering the workplace generally know very little of what is ahead. Even if you’ve had an internship you likely haven’t gotten a full picture of the industry as a whole, or perhaps you may believe that companies are homogenous and that your experience is reflective of that industry-wide. Have you ever thought about how important a company’s culture is when choosing a firm? How much do the benefits and pay really matter? How is the company structured organizationally? How are projects distributed within and how are engineers assigned? How do you move up the ladder? Should you work for a larger company or a smaller one? Which is better for your career?
The reality is that every company, applicant, and career path is as unique as a fingerprint but there are some general trends. We’ll discuss the most relevant aspects of recruiting & interviewing processes as well as what to expect in your first job. Before we meet, take 5 minutes out of your day and try to visualize life in 10 years. Do you have a particular vision or goal you’re aiming to accomplish; not just professionally but personally? Do you know the path? Or are you going to play it by ear; first gaining experience before laying out a plan? If there’s any lack of clarity in this vision, come prepared with questions and hopefully we can fill in some gaps.
Mr. Behnam is a Principal at John Labib & Associates in the Los Angeles area. He has over 22 years of design, project management, and construction experience with emphasis/expertise in base isolation / passive energy dissipation, seismic retrofit, performance based design, and exterior wall design. During this time he’s been involved with many technical, professional and outreach organizations and has been heavily involved in recruiting efforts throughout his career where he has interviewed more than a thousand applicants for positions at firms for which he worked. Peter is passionate about structural engineering and science as a whole and while focused on the managerial, administrative, and technical aspects of the dozens of projects he oversees at any one point in time, his greatest satisfaction is derived from training and mentoring young engineers.