Posted by: thebylog | August 13, 2004

Passion & IE

I talked to my friend Sam this afternoon. He’s working at PCC Structurals, a place that makes components for jet engines among other things. He’s a classmate of mine, and we were talking about school and work and the local chapter of the Institute for Industrial Engineers.

I’m the vice-president of IIE here at OSU, and Sam is the last vice-president. I admire him because he has a drive and vision for this student group as well as another that he’s president of.

I’ve thought quite a bit about me and Industrial Engineering. It sounded … I’m searching for a word here … um … sad, a little bit sad when I sat there and verbalized that IE is not something I have a lot of passion about.

My experience in Engineering and IE in particular hasn’t been a drudgery however. Far from it. I love it, I really like school. There are particular classes I’ve not enjoyed particularly much, and sometime school burdens down a person with the sheer weight of its load, but school is good and I’ve found my academic career so far challenging and rewarding.

See, I have passion about school, but not about the discipline I chose, if that makes any sense.

There are some parts of the IE curriculum and discipline that I love. I love the statistics, first of all, which is why I may be pursuing them much more thoroughly in the future. Stats is something I get excited about. I like the logical programming, I like databases. I’m pretty sure I’m going to like the simulation and optimization classes. I like the research. Get me into the technical end of IE and I’m down with it. I just don’t get that vibe from industry though, that there’s a whole lot of technical acuity required, other than “it’s nice to have as background so you can relate to other engineers.” More often than no, you’re managing. I don’t want to manage. At least not until I’ve had my fill of beautiful technicality.

But I got to thinking about IE and what I would say if I were trying to sell the discipline to someone else.

IE is sort of like an estuary. It can serve as an interface. You can go a whole lot of different directions with it.

If you want to get into computer-related systems, but you want to have a larger view of what the technology means to the company and how it can make it successful, you could choose the Information Systems option in IE.

If you’re interested in the more physical side of engineering, there’s the Manufacturing Engineering degree.

Then if you’re like I was and not completely clear on the direction you wanted to go when you entered school, IE has a flexible enough program to allow you to take math or engineering or stats courses outside of strict IE boundaries. That allows you to go on to graduate school, if you like, in most any technical discipline.

There’s a lot to like about IE and I sorta think God has His hand in my life guiding me this direction.



  1. at least you know what you’re doing, and no one laughs at what you think you want to do. whoever coined the phrase “sweet sixteen” must never have BEEN 16.
    don’t get me wrong. God is good and i love life. but i hate it when people laugh at me when i’m serious. it’s extremely disheartening.

  2. it is good to hear your deep thoughts about school and different things like that. yes i would have to agree with Q that it is very disheartening when people don’t take you seriously when you are serious. it also helps alot if you have someone that you can talk seriously too. if you know what i mean? well i should get going. i just thought it was very interesting all the different things about IE in the areas that you could go into with that. i can really picture you doing something with that though and just enjoying it thoroughly. God Bless. i am praying for you and for the graduate school thing too. Wow!!! Tammy

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