Engineering Major: Electrical Engineering

Degree Granting Institution(s): Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Tech

Job Title: Development Engineer at IBM

Job Responsibilities: I am a development engineer in the Personal Computing Division at IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. My job responsibilities include solving problems and integrating emerging wireless technology such as Bluetooth into IBM's brand of ThinkPad systems. Designing radio technology into computing systems requires the use of mathematical equations and scientific methods to solve real-world problems that affect our customers such as radio frequency interference or battery life due to transmission of energy.

A typical day at work involves meeting with engineers in my department and areas outside of my expertise to discuss, analyze, and provide solutions to computer or network issues discovered during the system design and qualification process. Another portion of the day is spent in the laboratory troubleshooting problems and providing guidance to technicians who perform the test qualification procedures. I also brief managers or project managers about problems with the system. The ability to articulate is as important as possessing the skills to analyze difficult computer designs.

I enjoy being exposed to the multitude of ideas within the innovative field of development engineering. The future job outlook for development engineers in the United States is shrinking due to automation and economic challenges, however, there are countless avenues available such as consulting, project management, and software design.

Best Advice: Take time to determine what activities make you the happiest. If you enjoy solving problems and designing new "things," development engineering could be a good match for you. Alternatively, if you like taking things apart and fixing them or designing electrical gadgets, electrical engineering would be a good career option to explore. Whatever you decide to do, work hard and never give up.