On the evening of Thursday August 8th, SEAONC SE3 Mentorship team hosted its first ever Building Industry Speed Mentoring Event in San Francisco. A group of structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, architects and general contractors were invited to participate as mentors to provide a collaborative and holistic perspective on how to work collaboratively to deliver a successful project.
The event consisted of engineering professionals and students as mentees rotating through various sessions of conversation led by industry professionals who graciously donated their time as mentors for the event. After the round table sessions, the group mingled over drinks and appetizers while engaging in a closing session of enriching networking.
This event gave engineering professionals and students an opportunity to learn and grow from industry professionals’ knowledge, accomplishments and experiences. We received positive feedback from all who participated in the mentoring sessions. At the end of the evening, several mentors commented on how much fun they had in their groups, and how much they learned from their discussions with their co-mentors and mentee participants. The mentors and mentees also collectively acknowledged the unique value that this industry-wide event created by harboring knowledge related to the building industry as a whole among various sub-contracting disciplines.
The SE3 mentorship team, led by Brenna Marcoux, Sarah Sullivan, and Steve Earl, would like to thank HOK-SF for graciously hosting the event and all of the mentor and mentee participants for attending the event and providing their feedback to ensure continued conversations about career advancement and improvements to the workplace culture in the profession.
Wayne Low expressed the importance of communication, not only in being proficient in your capacity as a structural engineer in service of clients and other consultants, but also in advancement in one's career. The ability to integrate and collaborate with other people is a critical skill. He commented that Millennials may feel more comfortable with electronic communication, but shared his general rule "if are exchanging two to three emails to explain a concept, it is better to just pick up the phone and have a conversation." He firmly believes that you cannot build a relationship over email.
Leah Turner shared her perspective with some of the mentee groups on what makes an engineer a GOOD engineer. She believes that a GOOD engineer is one who is clear and reliable, and can communicate well with other disciplines.