AND I PASSED!!! The greatest Christmas gift I could have received this year!! Now I am officially an Engineer in Training! Since I plan on getting licensed in California I will have to graduate then work for 2 years under a Professional Engineer(PE) to apply to take the PE Exam. I can’t wait for this challenge! :] I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and if you’re waiting on EIT or PE results still, good luck!



Winter Break!?

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Hello all!

It is now break time from school which means putting in those full time hours at work! :] Seriously tho, time to keep working hard! This quarter went great and I have passed another quarter with great grades! I am down to a final 11 classes left before graduation and it feels surreal. I remember walking into the engineering department for the first time taking Into to Civil Engineering and seeing seniors carrying those heavy AISC steel manuals thinking that would never be me, but here I am passing those classes and gearing up to graduate. It feels great to be so close but I feel there is still more to do. I currently have a great internship at B. Braun Medical in Irvine, CA working under a cal poly engineering graduate. I am learning so much and enjoy going to work all the time. :]]] This is my second environmentally geared internship and I love it! It just reaffirms that environmental engineering is truly what I have a passion for.

Enough of my self reflection, there is one thing bothering me at the moment…When are the FE Exam scores going to arrive?!?! The longer I wait the more I want to find out if I’m an EIT!! This is the first stepping stone on my way to my PE. I know they say the scores take a long time but this is ridiculous. If I do not pass I may not be able to reapply for the April exam because my scores could come up to the day of the registration for the April exam. I’ve been reading on forum boards like http://www.engineerboards.com and a lot of people have created different spread sheets with projected score dates and of course California is the very last state to report! The suspense is killing me! How long did it take for you to receive your scores if you took the FE/EIT Exam? Take my poll! :] All I can do is wait and stay positive and gear up for winter quarter! So this quarter I’m taking Engineering and Business Professionals, Structures Testing Lab, Groundwater Transportation, Hydrology and CIS100!  I am also looking into our study abroad program this summer for the Civil department as well. It would be a month in France and Spain aimed at civil engineering marvels. I want to really diversify myself and gain as much knowledge as I can before starting my senior project next Fall and before graduation.

Time to sleep. I have work in the AM. Until next time,

❤ Diane

Study Break!

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A Fluid – Anything which takes the shape of the container it is in.

Therefore the glass will always be full. If only the rest of the world was engineers…Back to Hydraulics Lab :]

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Engineer

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If I had to go back in time and choose civil engineering all over again, would I? ABSOLUTELY! I love it so much! But when I started the program here at Cal Poly Pomona I wish I had known a few key things to survive…

1] You will NOT have a life. There is a breed of students in engineering that can never attend class and read the book at home, roll up to class and ace a midterm. I am not one of those individuals and most aren’t. You have to be so dedicated and put in tons of hours to get this degree. I honestly think that once I graduate people will never understand what it took to get this degree except for other engineers.

2] Find out what teachers to take regardless of the time schedule. Seriously, taking a class 8-10pm really isn’t that amazing but taking it with a great professor who’s going to give you real world experience and teach well is worth it. Find a website that grades the professors (like this one for my school: gradecalpoly.com ) and try to find challenging ones who will help you to learn to apply the class to real life. Those are the best professors.

3] Make lots of engineering friends! Keep your other friends too, but friends in your classes with textbooks, past notes for a class or even old study guides are priceless. Having the ability to call someone up at 3am knowing they’re awake doing the same homework as you and needed help is always nice. Make sure to form good study groups with these people! Key word there “good”. If you get study groups with slackers who you have to end up teaching them the whole quarter in a night you’ll hate yourself. Find people who are great to bounce ideas off of and keep a good study session going.

4] Keep a very good planner. Keep your schedule on your computer, in your backpack and on your fridge even. Don’t miss a due date!! This is something I am very serious about. In the real world you can’t be late for a bid, why would you turn in homework late? Or show up to class late? I had a professor that would shred the students who showed up late or just fail students for not turning in one assignment. Stay on top of you homework, internships, classes and office hours. Plan ahead for everything!

5] Never give up. I don’t give up anyways, but so many student just give up because statics or physics was hard. Keep pushing. If this degree was easy everyone would have one. This program is meant to chew you up and see what your made of, not baby you and hold your hand. Keep short term goals along the way to graduation so it doesn’t seem so daunting in the middle of the quarter when you’re starting to get burnt out from your course load, midterms and life. Engineering isn’t hard for those who get it, it’s hard until you get it. As one of my favorite quotes of Yoda says “Do or do not. There is not try.” Same is true for life after school. If my building falls, it doesn’t matter that the guys’ next to mine fell first, mine still fell.

Engineering is not a joke it’s tough. Only the tough and pressing students survive. I’m going on a limb and saying this, but this degree is harder for me than fighting cancer. The day I walk across that stage and get my diploma that says Civil Engineering on it is the day I know I can do anything in life. No matter what it is, I know if I work hard enough, I can do it.

Study time!

EIT/FE Exam Excitement

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Hi all!

I haven’t written in a while and since my last post I have taken summer school this past summer with 19 units (passed them all!) and started fall quarter of my senior year! Yesterday I took the test that most engineers around the country take and is known as the FE/ EIT Exam. I have to admit that this test was very difficult! If you have not studied or brushed up on material you learned 3 years ago coming into the engineering program, prepare to be rocked. I was able to finish both sections, General in the AM and Civil in the PM, and I feel confident! I can’t wait to get my scores in 15 WEEKS!?!? Yes folks, 15 weeks. You would think a test for engineers would provide some quicker responses since engineers write the scoring programs/ curving procedures?! The GRE comes back in 10 days!

Overall here are some tips for the exam that I wish someone had told me:

Show up early! There was a hugeeee line of cars to get into the Fairplex and a few thousand people there to take the exam. It was a mad house! You have to get there early or they shut the doors and you don’t get to take the test.

Bring a lunch! Also bring it in a clear bag! You wont have time to get food or do anything just enough time to eat something, chat with colleagues comparing performance before you get herded back into the exam room for round two.

Study study STUDY! Do not show up without having looked at your statics and electromagnetism physics in 3 years! You will end up guessing on about 20 questions! Everyone I talked too yesterday said on the last 2 portions of the General-AM portion they guessed on the last two whole sections of electromagnetism and thermodynamics.

Don’t believe everything you hear. Everyone told me you can find everything in the handbook manual and not to worry. Well yes, a lot of things are in that 200 page manual but not always exactly what you need! And a lot of it is written in such a way that you don’t even understand the formula. I got lots of problems asking me to solve for something crazy that I had never heard of  in 5 quarters of calculus and in the manual was a brief description, written probably by lawyers, of what it is. Not how to use it or to solve problems.Review the manual before the test. You can buy it!! DO IT!

Don’t leave early. I don’t understand why people leave this test early? For the general section I didn’t see a single person get up early, because it was hard and long, but in the afternoon section people were leaving early. Either they gave up or really thought they didn’t want to check their work. We’re training to be engineers people! This is a standardized test that probably has 2 good answers and if you solved it the wrong way the answer is probably there. So why wouldn’t someone what to go back and double check?? After all you spent $100 to take the test, wasted a whole Saturday and if you fail you have to wait 6 months to do it all over again!

So overall I had a good experience with the FE Exam and hopefully my tips can help some other engineers out. My dad is an engineer and so is my grandfather, they booth took the FE and passed the first time, let’s hope I can keep the tradition going. I’m going to go study for my 3 midterms this week, Steel Design, Concrete Design and Hydraulics. Over and out. :]

Speech. Do you have a rising TERMINAL?

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Today I gave my presentation in my Technical Communications class and found out that when I get excited about my speech I have a rising terminal. A rising terminal is when a sentence starts out in a softer tone then ends up more intense. Most like a radio or ballgame announcer, and during my speech “Let’s Get Readyyyy to Rumbleeee” did not start to play when I was through talking. Something work on.

So after listening to about 60 speeches today, and building gripes, I have comprised a short and concise list of what is important to me and hopefully to you about public speaking.

1) Don’t get caught up in the details in a speech. Be direct and to the point. People stop listening if you ramble on forrrrreeeeverrrr (catch the Sandlot reference?)

2)Fake it til you make it. One of the key rules I live by. Most of the time I don’t need to fake confidence but when giving speeches being confident is the #1 key! If you are scared, you probably look scared.

3) Third and final rule. Talk to the audience not at the audience. Address the individuals in the room on a personal level and have them actually learn something instead of feeding them useless higher level junk that you don’t even know yourself. What I hate more than seeing a fellow colleague not knowing what they’re talking about it them PRETENDING they know something about what they’re talking about.

Another day, another class, another speech. Back to the grind. Ciao!


Mother’s Day=Engineers Day


Or pretty much any holiday for that matter! When most of my friends will be seeing their families and drinking lots of beers I will go visit my grandparents then spend a good 8-10 hours doing homework! HA! Engineering students rarely celebrate holidays. I have gone to school the day after Thanksgiving at midnight for fun to see who was there, AND SOMEONE WAS THERE!! Just doing homework in a classroom all alone. This puts a close to “why engineers are odd” jokes.

Most holidays of the year are all in the middle of a quarter. In the middle of a quarter constitutes that we have class and most likely a hefty load of units and a matching amount of homework. So while my friends are hitting the beach for Memorial weekend I’ll be at home doing fluid mechanics problems and going criminally insane. So most holidays for engineers are engineering holidays, we just find the same use for them, homework. The only celebrated holiday I’ve found that engineering students celebrate is engineering week. This is where the students compete in odd, random events to fight for the golden calculator. Trust me, it’s a sight to see!

Engineering Tricycle Race During Engineers Week and CPP

On a side note I hope everyone has a blessed mother’s day and I will enjoy visiting my grandparents and then driving my self crazy with copious amounts of homework afterwards. Ciao!

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