Hard work and determination. Those are attributes I learned early on while growing up with two brothers, who taught me how to be competitive, how to be a strong female surrounded by men and how to not back down from a challenge. These lessons helped shape me to be the engineer that I am today!
Since I’ve always loved problem-solving and am good at math, I knew I wanted to go into engineering. I graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in biological and agricultural engineering and a minor in business administration. After graduation, I leaned more toward the business side before I landed a position in civil engineering at a company later acquired by BGE, Inc.
What Does it Take to get a PE License?
Because I always want to challenge myself to be a better engineer and learn all that I possibly can, obtaining my PE license was a major goal I wanted to accomplish early on in my career. It is the most respected license in our profession and can help you grow in your career.
I actually took the exam during my first year of full-time employment. So, after I passed the test, the next three years felt like an eternity before I could apply for my license. Before taking the test, though, there was much preparation involved, at least 10 hours a week for the three months prior to the test. I noticed quickly that fellow engineers are very supportive of other engineers obtaining their PE license. Even if you only mention in passing that you are studying for the exam, they are always quick to offer you tips, study material and give you advice.
My manager and BGE both were very supportive during this time. For me, it was imperative to be at a company that supports career growth. BGE offers test preparation reimbursement, the actual test fee reimbursement and the day off work to take the test.
What it Meant to Get my PE License
Receiving my PE License was one of the proudest moments in my career (so far!). It’s not just the respect and validation that you’re now a professional, it’s that you’re finally at the same level as everyone in your career whom you’ve admired. And that’s a great feeling.
My advice to current and future engineers considering getting their PE license is to do it sooner rather than later. Take your time with studying, have a study partner to bounce questions off of and utilize your fellow engineers for support! Having the PE after your name is something that will help open doors for the rest of your career. Wear that title proudly!