Merging Business and Engineering

Hi Dalia! I'm a freshman in high school, and soon to be sophomore. I'm thinking about a career in engineering, but I also think I want to go into some type of business. When I saw your profile, I was really fascinated because it seems that you get to do both! I was just wondering how you got started in the business world with an engineering degree. I was also wondering what type of engineering you suggest majoring in to become involved in both engineering and business. You've really inspired me to go after my dreams! Thank you!
posted by Olivia D, Chicago, IL on June 7, 2014

Answer by Dalia Asterbadi

Hi Olivia,

Thank you for your note! I am thrilled to hear the conviction and the will to pursue your passion and your dreams.  Nobody has the power over your learning and pursuit. 

Funny you ask about my transition, it was really driven out of a need to change a function and I slowly made influence and stride.  I also became more aware of the metrics and the motivations in sales and marketing and began to focus on making small yet noticeable changes. As an engineer who was focused on analytics and feedback, I saw a huge gap in sales and marketing tactics and took on small projects until it was recognized - this created a demand for my skills and the rest is history!  

I studied systems engineering - I knew I wanted to be in the tech industry, and remain to be.  Think of where you want to be and use that to help connect your interests with your future goals. As an example, Chemical Engineering transitioning into Pharmaceutical sales or Environmental Engineering transitioning to a founder of new sustainable 'green' products.  Although I will say, it is not always coupled, and you may have the benefit of cross integrating your engineering background into a new industry and influence the future!  

Here are two thoughts I will leave with you;
1. Discipline - Engineering is an academic path that requires hard work dedication and vigor to persevere.  When you apply this at a young age, you don't realize this in school, but your ability to manage complex situations as you transition in your career becomes better and easier.

2. Passion - There is no substitute for passion and that is the ingredient for a relentless pursuit.  Believe in yourself and make sure your passion helps you along the way.

Kudos to you for starting the process as a freshman, I am certain you will have an incredible journey!  Feel free to get in touch and get ready, it will be a fast, bumpy and a super awesome ride! :)

I look forward to hearing about your progress in the near future.
Dalia