Often it feels like my days are filled with constant reminders of all the things I’m dreadful at. I feel like this is in part natural during grad school – if you aren’t challenging yourself what’s the point? However, the constant battles and inevitable defeats do leave their mark. For me, the consequences of failure manifest themselves in a nose-diving self esteem.
Unfortunately, being convinced that you are the worst-person-at-everything-ever is not helpful when simultaneously searching for jobs and working out how to represent yourself as super-awesome-I-rock-please-hire-me! Consequently, I’m being forced to remind myself that I AM actually good at some things (just not necessarily the things I’m doing right now).
Let’s see – I can do all the basic stuff in SolidWorks and Matlab. Nothing too fancy, but I have a good enough base to add more advanced skills as I work. Teaching both of these has been a brilliant way of solidifying my existing skills (and learning fun new tricks!)
I can write (and, more importantly, I actually enjoy it!) This has turned out to be a huge advantage during group projects, since it gives me something to contribute even when working with other students who have more technical experience/expertise. Hurrah for not being the weakest link!
I’m (slowly) developing a decent engineering skill set, and I have plenty of biomechanics/anatomy/exercise science background to draw on in that area. Reading biomechanics or more biomedical-based research articles is becoming one of my go-to activities for cheering myself up after a day of feeling like a total derp-head in my more straight-mechanical-engineering style classes (and really, these aren’t THAT bad, just requires me to put in the extra work to make up for my lack of jr/sr level engineering classes in undergrad).
Oh yea, and my *best*, most useful skill? Drawing 5-minute sketches on gridded paper. All those years of doodling on my notes has most certainly paid off ha ha 😉
Anyone else have some awesome talents/skills to share (or strategies for not feeling like a total clod during the learning-curve struggle)?