What do I want to be in life?
As we grow up, the majority of us are told that we need to go to college if we wish to be successful in life in any regard. Whether it be to make big bucks someday, or to hopefully make a name for ourselves. It is engraved into our subconscious that college is where we need to be. It is taught to us at an early age that college will provide us the foundation that will enable us the ability to pursue our desired professions. While being told this on a frequent basis, it got me thinking to myself as I grew older, “what do I want to be in life?” With time, I eventually had an idea of what I wanted to pursue as a career. I wanted to become the kind of engineer that can build cars from the ground up. This passion of mine developed during the period of my childhood where I was surrounded by cars all the time. Once I figured out what I wanted to be in life, due to the consistent persistence by my parents of being told that “you have to go to college in order to become somebody” and the idea of hopefully someday being able to build cars, I decided to take it upon myself to seek out a major to allow me to do so. Hi, my name is William Santiago. I am eight teen years old, and attending The New York City College of Technology. I chose to attend this college because it provided me an opportunity to seek out a degree in the field that I wish to work in someday. That major so happens to be Mechanical Engineering. I will like to discuss with you about the major that I have decided to enroll in, why I chose to enroll in this major, some background information based on my major, as well as the job that I hope to one day get after I obtain my degree, as well as what I will need to do in order to get through college successfully and attain a job in my desired profession.
Mechanical Engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with design, construction, and use of machines. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (asme), “Mechanical engineering dates to ancient Greece and China, where mechanisms like screw pumps, steam engines, clocks, seismometers, and even differential gears were invented. Chain drives, escarpments, crankshaft, and camshafts date to the Middle Ages. Mechanical Engineering turned analytical with Newton’s Laws of Motions and the invention of calculus. By 1825, the U.S had three schools of Engineering: the U.S Military Academy, Norwich Univ., and Renssealaer Polytechnic Institute” (asme par #1). As you can see, Mechanical Engineering dates way back. With the many years that have passed since the dawn of Mechanical Engineering, the industry itself has changed vastly. Due to the constant evolution of modern day technology, this has enabled Mechanical Engineers to do their job much more efficiently and effectively. Now, you may be asking yourself, “What does Mechanical Engineering entail?” Well, according to the overview of a Mechanical Engineer on the web page sokanu.com, “A mechanical engineer is someone who designs, develops, builds, and tests mechanical devices, including tools, engines and machines” (sokanu par. 1).
Being a Mechanical Engineer sounds all well and good. However, one may wonder how exactly I would be able to pursue a career building cars with a major such as Mechanical Engineering, rather than doing something much more simplistic and go for a specialized major in Automotive Engineering. My reasoning behind this is pretty straight forward. I want to have multiple opportunities in terms of what profession I will have while being a part of the work force. I see Mechanical Engineering as a very broad kind of major which will enable me to be able to expand my horizons in this way. Although I would really like to build cars one day, I would rather attain a major in which I have more opportunities to find various professions, rather than being confounded within one major that specializes in something too specific. Yet, even with the fact being that I may not be going directly towards a profession in building cars, Mechanical Engineering is such a broad field that with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, I will still have the ability to get and secure a job manufacturing vehicles.
In order to become a Mechanical Engineer, the first thing I would have to get done is attain a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. In order to do this in a timely fashion, I will have to get through 4 to 5 years of college. Of course, in order to attain any degree, there are requirements that one must follow. Since I am a student at The New York City College of Technology, I am currently enrolled in their Associate in Applied Science program (AAS). The reason as to why I am currently in their AAS program and not their BTech Degree program is because I am currently an ASAP student. The ASAP program is an accelerated studies program that is situated in selected CUNY schools throughout New York City. It so happens that my college so happens to be one of them. This program is designed to aid students with attaining their Associates degree in a timely fashion or even sooner, and for those who seek a Bachelor’s degree, they will help in transitioning you over into the Bachelor’s program based on your major. The ASAP program only aids with selected majors, luckily enough for me, Mechanical Engineering is one of those majors.
I chose to enroll myself as an ASAP student primarily due to the benefits the program has to offer you. These benefits include a semester long Metro card, a $500 tuition voucher for the year, a personal college advisor, early registering for classes, as well as the benefit of being a part of the ASAP community. I also saw joining the ASAP program as an opportunity to get the first half of my college journey over with quickly, then move on to the good stuff. The only detriment to the ASAP program is that once I’m finished with the Associates portion of my college career, I will no longer be an ASAP student, and I won’t be provided with the luxuries that an ASAP student has.
When it comes to what I have to do in the program that I am currently enrolled in, I am required to take certain courses in order to complete the AAS program in Mechanical Engineering. According to the New York City College of Technology College Catalog 2015-2016 in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Section, the overview of the program states that, “The Mechanical Engineering Technology program, accredited by the Engineering and Technology (ETAC/ABET), provides the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for success in a broad range of technical careers” (College Catalog 277). With this being stated alone in just the overview of the AAS program, since I previously stated that I would like to get a degree in a major that would provide me with opportunities in a much broader field of work, finding out this information from the college catalog gives me the hope that I’ll have multiple opportunities to choose from when it comes to entering the work force.
With Mechanical Engineering being my major of choice, I would need to know what kind of work would be expected of me to get done, as well as a rough idea of what I would be making as a salary. Well, according to the Occupational Outlook Hand Book “The median annual wage for Mechanical Engineers was $80,580 in 2012”. Mind you, this was the median annual wage 3 years ago. So by the time I have attained my bachelor’s degree, the median annual pay for Mechanical Engineers may end up being far greater. When it comes to what a Mechanical Engineer does exactly, the list is quite extensive. The Occupational Outlook Hand Book also states that “Mechanical Engineers design and oversee the manufacturing of many products ranging from medical devices to new batteries. Mechanical engineers design power-producing machines such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines as well as power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. Mechanical engineers design other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators. They also design material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations. Like other engineers, mechanical engineers use computers extensively. Computers help mechanical engineers create and analyze designs, run simulations and test how a machine is likely to work, and generate specifications for parts.”(Occupational outlook hand book, What Mechanical Engineers do. Duties). As you can see, Mechanical Engineers are responsible for many things that we need for mass production, as well as convince.
However, the job of a Mechanical Engineer isn’t an easy one. Not only does it require the proper skills and know how in order to get the job done efficiently and effectively, it also requires the proper tools. Stated in Planning And Analysis of Mechanical Assembly Sequence In Design Engineering “Due to the extensive influence of assembly work on the cost and quality of machines and mechanical devices, a constructor should have at his disposal an efficient tool for planning the proper assembly sequence and evaluating a designed construction in terms of assembly requirements. He should be able to choose the most advantageous sequence of assembly operations. Hence, design for assembly should be included concurrently in the design process. Meeting these conditions will prevent constructions not following assembly process requirements.”(Planning and Analysis of Mechanical Assembly Sequence In Design Engineering.5.). So with this being said, if a Mechanical Engineer doesn’t have the proper tools for the job, they will not be able to do the Job.
I recently experienced this first hand during my first Lab in my Mechanical Engineering class. We were required to create a cover plate based off of a template that was given to us. You could say that the template is the “blueprint” for the project. As we were learning how to use all of the complex machinery in the lab for the first time, everything was all and well. We were split into groups of 4 people, and my group was doing really well. We had done everything there was needed to do. All that was left for us to get done was to utilize a Surface Grinder in order to create a smooth finish on the top face of the cover plate. It was here that everything went wrong. The Machine that my group had couldn’t efficiently set a zero value when you would move the plate as close to the grinder as possible in order to start grinding. Since we couldn’t properly set a zero value on the top surface of the cover plate, we could not get the proper measurements for our cover plate. Even though we were a few decimal points off because of this unfortunate turn of events, in the real world of manufacturing, those few decimal points mean your job and livelihood, as well as someone on that elevator you built. It goes to show that if you do not have the right tools for the job, you just can’t get the job done.
As you can see, Mechanical Engineering is a pretty important profession to take up. Although I may not be able to build cars as I would like, the thought of just designing and being a part of big projects that need Mechanical Engineers in order to execute them really catches my interest. It allows me to expand my horizons as I always love to do and see what the profession would really be like first hand. However, before I even think of pursuing a profession in the field of Mechanical Engineering, I will be required to attain a bachelor’s degree in this major first. In order to do that, I’ll have to acquire every bit of knowledge that I can from each class that I take during my college career. I’ll make whatever careless mistake during a Lab in order to learn from it, rather than in the workforce and lose my job. Yet, it won’t be an easy task to accomplish. However, nobody ever said things would be easy. With that being said, I believe it is time for me to set out on pursuing what I want to be in life.
Department of labor. Burial of labor statistics “Computer Hardware Engineering”.
Occupational Outlook Handbook. (OOH) Washington: Burial of labor statistics, 8 Jan 2014. Web . 2 November 2015.
New York City College of Technology College catalog 2015-2016 (City Tech) New York: NewYork City Technology, 2015.PDF
Sasiadek Michal. “Planning And Analysis Of Mechanical Assembly Sequences In Design
Engineering — Part I: The Method. “ Technicki Vjesnik / Technical Gazette 22.2 (2015): 337-342. Academic Search Complete Web. 5 Nov. 2015
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