Are your Engineering Professors Human?

Post #14 A New Perspective on your Engineering Professors

Your engineering professors might appear as if they have everything together.  They are prepared for every lesson, every lab and they can answer just about any question.  They have high expectations from their students and their assistants.  Time is extremely valuable, and they never seem to have enough of it.  You feel like you can’t approach them because you might waste their time or show your weaknesses.  It may not feel this way, but your engineering professors actually are human.  Like you, they are learning as they go.

You Can’t See What Got Them Here

Can you imagine that every single one of your engineering professors used to be where you are right now?  As much brainpower as they have, all your engineering professors have struggled.  I know it is hard to imagine but bear with me.  They all had their own challenges as an undergraduate student, just like you.  Graduate school is no cake walk.   And if you know anything about earning a PhD, you will feel the utmost respect for your professors.  Their histories are full of human successes and human failures.  My concluding message here is to try and dig below the surface and learn their stories.   All your engineering professors had to start somewhere and figure things out just like you.

You Can’t See Their Workload

Sure, your engineering professors teach courses.  Did you know they also conduct their own research?  Did you know they hire students to help them conduct their research?  How do you think they go about hiring students?  Where do they get money to pay their students?  How do they acquire laboratories along with the necessary equipment?  How often do your engineering professors travel to professional conferences?  And how often do they write and publish engineering articles for the professional community?  How many of their students want individualized attention?  Professors must manage most, if not all these tasks in addition to teaching.   Let’s not forget about office hours, letters of recommendation and the mandatory department meetings.  In case you have forgotten, they need to eat and sleep, too.  In summary, cut your engineering professors some slack and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Like You, They are Only Human

Your engineering professors understand the virtue of hard work.  They have the duty and privilege of sharing knowledge with their students.  What may not always be evident to you is that they truly want you to succeed.  Like you, they experience a roller coaster of emotions throughout the semesters.  So, before you are tempted to judge, get to know them as the human beings they are.  You will be fascinated by the commonalities!

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