I’ve been at MiaSolé for four months now, and it feels simultaneously like I’ve been here for years and weeks at the same time. I’m not complaining; I finally know exactly what everyone means when they talk about the differences between working in industry and being in school. I’m learning so, so much on the job, and (this is a weird simile but) I feel like I’m standing out in the rain and the raindrops are the things people are telling me and only the water that stays on my person is the knowledge that I’m retaining. It’s a little (a lot) overwhelming but I’m definitely “getting exposed” – now it’s just a matter of being able to use this knowledge in practice.
Yesterday I overheard my boss-boss asking my cube-neighbor if he had time to do a quick fluids calculation. Paul (cube-neighbor) said he was a little rusty so I perked up and offered to do it. I mean, I did spend 3+ years studying the stuff, so I was pretty confident. I was given the details of the (pipe flow/pressure drop) problem, and was able to bang it from start to finish in less than two hours, most of it spent looking for an equation I didn’t know the name of. I validated my answers and walked through my analysis with a coworker, and happily sent it off to my boss-boss. Before the end of the day it was sent around to the relevant folks and I got a figurative pat on the back. The kicker – it felt amazing to be doing a fluids problem again. I definitely missed that kind of analytical thinking.
But serious question: all I had to do is remember a bit of fluids jargon to do “web research” for the equations and constants I needed. The rest was setting up the problem and spitting out numbers. It didn’t take a fluids Master (pun intended), so did I really have an advantage over anybody else? Would Paul have done it just as quickly?
WELP, doesn’t really matter anyway, since I did indeed get my degree in fluid mechanics, and loved it, and I am happy to see that I am not rusty at all in solving fluids problems
(I just remembered how one of my professors in undergrad always talked about how being an engineer was just being aware of all your resources. He said that essentially we’re learning things to put in our toolbox, and the rest of it was just knowing which tool you need in what situations. True facts, more than ever.)