Eoin Hayes as SU President
Management Consultant, The Alexander Group, NY, USA
My father, and my 2 siblings are all engineers, so when I was trying to decide between engineering and law, the pressure was on to go with the more mathematical side of my brain. I liked Chemistry, and looking to the points system, UCC seemed like the best place to do Chemical Engineering. So four years of hard work (you'll pull some long hours) and probably too much fun (as I said, you'll pull some long hours!), later I came out with a some great core skills I've found I could apply anywhere.
Engineering gives you a great foundation for analytical thinking and dealing with some really tough problems. When I went on to go to London Business School, the only comparable difficulty was Corporate Finance, but having grappled with the mathematical intricacies of using advanced Calculus to model the flow of heat through a room, there aren't a whole lot of concepts that escape an Engineer. And Engineering, specially Chemical Engineering, gives you a marvellous trial in intellectual acrobatics.
My career path after Engineering was muddled and various- a real tribute to the skills and credibility you earn with this degree- and I've worked as the SU President in UCC, in Google as an intern, and on the Obama 2012 campaign. Of course, I didn't get to those places only because of Engineering, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten to those places without Engineering.
I currently work as a management consultant for a sales management consulting firm in the Greater New York City area. You'd think that has nothing to do with Engineering, but I'm telling you there are skills- like how to interpret some statistical analysis, or do something cool on the back end of Excel, or build out a really long Word doc with relative ease- that I learned in the labs and classrooms of Process Engineering that I use every day- even now. So I'm pretty glad I didn't become a lawyer, even if I didn't really work as an Engineer. But I'll tell you one thing- everytime I go to a new country and have to fill out the customs form and they ask for the occupation, my response since graduation has never changed. Being an engineer doesn't have to be about working on an oil rig or building a bridge; it can be so much more than that and you can make of it whatever you want. This engineer is a testament to that.