Monday, January 29, 2007

Engineers Learn Workplace Skills

From the University of Toronto website comes this press release about how engineers learn workplace skills that will help them in their careers. The first two paragraphs are,
Gathered in the main dining room of the Faculty Club on the evening of Jan. 17, more than 100 engineering students sat down for an important professional lesson: dining etiquette. Led by Faculty Club manager Leanne Pepper, students were taken through the dos and don’ts of a five-course meal.

Organized by the Leaders of Tomorrow (LoT) program in chemical engineering and applied chemistry, the dining etiquette session was one of a series of talks and workshops that aim to develop the broader skills needed for engineers in the workplace.
Leanne is a friend of mine so I'll resist commenting.


  1. I had no idea engineering was so demanding. I'm glad I'm a scientist so that my lack of table manners is not an impediment to my career. (belch)

  2. Alas, gone are the days (at least in the corporate world) when engineers could just do engineering (ie sit in our cubes and solve technical problems). Outsourcing and offshoring and increased business volatility have caused the role of an engineer to require more clerical and managerial tasks, spending more time dealing with Other People.

    I didn't have the advantage of formal social training when I graduated from as an engineer last century. Perhaps some who know me would say that this is obvious, but over the years, I think I have learned to fake social skills well enough to "pass" most of the time, as long as I am around other engineers/techies. I hope to retire before I need to learn golf.

  3. Seems formal frat dinners are wasted opportunities on some. Too much drinks, perhaps.

  4. I know at first blush this seems ridiculous, but having managed engineering teams for a long time I think it's useful. In fact, most of the "soft" training imposed on engineers like diversity training, teamwork skills, etc. is essential to a significant number of engineers as well as people in any profession.