Not Sold On Your "Traditional" Engineering Career Path? Consider Technical Sales
Today’s blog was written by Megan Conway, Campus Talent Acquisition Specialist at Eaton.
I remember being in my sophomore year of college for my engineering degree and asking all my friends in engineering what they wanted to do. That was such a hard question for me to answer at the time. My sophomore year was the first year that I was seriously thinking about an internship and attending the career fair at my school but was completely lost on what my interests were and what companies I wanted to talk to. Some of my friends were interested in design, some research, some in helping the environment, and they all seemed to know what companies they wanted to talk to at the career fair. For me, I knew that I didn’t like sitting at a desk all day, that I loved working in a team environment to solve problems, and that I wanted to use my technical knowledge.
While trying to understand what career path these interests of mine would equate to, I attended a couple company information sessions and started asking the company representatives questions about their careers. One in particular told me about their role as a “Sales Engineer” and I remember thinking to myself, sales doesn’t sound like the right path for me since I am working so hard toward my engineering degree. But the more this person explained, the more I liked this role. They said—and now I can say as well since I started my career as a sales engineer—that in this role, every day is different and you make your own schedule. That you will use your technical knowledge from your engineering degree and work with a team to solve customer problems. And while doing all of that, you will build relationships and add value for your customers, while enjoying your job. Not only was this a role that encompassed all my interests, but it was a great starting point for my career with the product knowledge and skills that I was able to gain.
- If you aren’t sure what you “want to be when you grow up,” that’s okay. Think about your interests and then utilize your resources (like Engineering Career Services) on campus to figure out the rest.
- Don’t rule out careers like Technical Sales and keep an open mind until you find something you love.
“The best journeys in life are those that answer questions you never thought to ask.” – Rich Ridgeway