278 episodes

The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast provides career advice to engineers of all ages and experience levels. Our host for the show, Anthony Fasano, PE and Jeff Perry, MBA interviews engineers ranging from recent engineering graduates to professionals from top engineering organizations on different engineering career goals and challenges.



Each show includes a live coaching session with an engineer on real career challenges, and an engineer career-changing tip. Topics covered include but are not limited to job search, goal setting, finding a mentor, communication skills, public speaking, networking, organizational skills, productivity, leadership and more.

The Engineering Career Coach Podcast Anthony Fasano, PE and Jeff Perry, MBA

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 80 Ratings

The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast provides career advice to engineers of all ages and experience levels. Our host for the show, Anthony Fasano, PE and Jeff Perry, MBA interviews engineers ranging from recent engineering graduates to professionals from top engineering organizations on different engineering career goals and challenges.



Each show includes a live coaching session with an engineer on real career challenges, and an engineer career-changing tip. Topics covered include but are not limited to job search, goal setting, finding a mentor, communication skills, public speaking, networking, organizational skills, productivity, leadership and more.

    TECC 278: The Introverted Engineer: How to Survive in the World of Engineering

    TECC 278: The Introverted Engineer: How to Survive in the World of Engineering

    In this episode, Monica Parkin, AMP, provides some great tips for the introverted engineer to help them excel in their engineering career. One lucky listener will also win a copy of her book. To enter, tell us why you think networking for engineers is important by leaving a comment below.

    Engineering Quotes:





    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About the Introverted Engineer:







    An introverted engineer must realize that they must work on their social anxiety to have a productive career. Focus on being yourself around other people and not go networking with business in mind. Connect with people on a personal level by being yourself around them. When you are trying to be someone you are not, you are essentially telling your brain to lie and remember everything about this new person you have become. It will cause you to feel uncomfortable and your brain will become overwhelmed.

    There are big differences between introverts and extroverts, and each one brings different skills to the table. The introverted engineer tends to be a deep listener and a problem-solver and works surprisingly well in teams because of their qualities. Listening to clients helps to find the problem areas better and makes it easier to find the solutions.

    Engineers do come across as introverted because they are highly organized, already have solutions to problems, and they converse in deep, meaningful conversations. They bring different skill sets that are valuable in different ways that bring a form of excellence to the table.

    It does not matter how good your team is. If you are not giving them the best opportunities, they will not be able to shine. An organization must create an authentic culture where its people are not afraid to be themselves. Ask how your people want to be communicated with. Introverts usually do not like small talk, whereas extroverts need it to warm up to the conversation. Figure out what their skills are so that you can place them in your organization to make the most out of their personalities.

    Networking is important because people buy relationships, not products. People notice people who notice them. Look what you can do to support people because people want to support people who support them. When someone does something for us, we subconsciously look for something we can do for them. Get involved with things that you are passionate about. It is where you will meet people and get to know them on a personal level and have an opportunity to let your skills shine.

    The only way to better your communication skills is to practice them as much as possible. You do not get good at anything by not doing it. Start in a small way and then progress as time goes on and your confidence grows. If small talk is a problem area for you, make a list of questions that you can ask people so that your brain does not go blank when you are approached. Decide to talk to some people every day and then consider the good that came from it daily.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Monica talks about taking your first step to getting over your social anxiety.

    About the Guest, Monica Parkin, AMP

    Monica is an award-winning international speaker who has presented to audiences of over 2,000 participants, both in-person and virtually. She is also the host of the "Juggling without Balls" podcast, the author of "Overcoming Awkward, the Introvert's Guide to Networking, Marketing and Sales," a licensed mortgage broker, and a speaking coach. When she first started in the sales industry, she found herself struggling with how to build authentic connections with a fear of attending large events and no understanding of how to build relationships. She has since evolved into a master relationship builder.

    About the Host, Jeff Perry, MBA

    Jeff Perry is a leadership/career coach for engine...

    • 26 min
    TECC 277: Building a Strong Engineering Culture

    TECC 277: Building a Strong Engineering Culture

    In this episode, we talk with Anand Safi, a senior engineering leader at Mark43 about the importance of building a strong engineering culture and how engineering leaders can help with developing organizational culture at their firms.

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Building a Strong Engineering Culture:







    Engineering culture refers to a group of shared values and beliefs that determine how you will act or respond to situations as an engineering organization.

    Beliefs can be seen as opinions that people form and that can be changed, whereas values are the guiding principle that you will stay true to what is right no matter what the beliefs are or the opinions of others.

    When building an engineering culture, it is important to include the entire team’s values and goals into your engineering culture. Once you have established those values, you should make them visible to everyone in your team and celebrate those values.

    A subtle aspect of mentorship that people often overlook is that it creates a sense of trust with your mentor and provides opportunities for employees to grow in their careers. Mentorship also helps you to refocus on empathy and core values within an organization.

    Each individual leader needs to lead by example and adhere to the values of a company. This will not only set an example but also help to retract and retrain talent in your organization.



    More in This Episode…



    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Anand provides one piece of actionable advice that you can use to build a strong engineering culture at your firm.

    About the Guest, Anand Safi

    Anand is a senior engineering leader, currently working at Mark43, a public safety SaaS company. Over the past decade, Anand progressed from starting as an aspiring engineer to becoming an engineering leader. Anand also is a startup adviser, volunteer board member, and an established tech mentor outside of his role. He loves reading about engineering culture, team dynamics, and new advancements in tech.

    About the Host, Jeff Perry, MBA

    Jeff Perry is a leadership/career coach for engineers, building mindsets, leadership, and career intentions to unlock hidden potential and remove self-imposed roadblocks for career and life. For years, he has had the pleasure of supporting engineers and software pros, from new grads to director level. Having been on the front lines in the technical world, he has been able to map out the necessary skills for becoming a quality leader in the field.



    You can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffcperry/ or visit his website, https://morethan-engineering.com. Jeff also has a new, FREE, on-demand training course for engineers who are job searching or in job transitions. You can see it at https://engineeringcareeraccelerator.com.

    Resources and Links Mentioned in This Session Include:



    Anand Safi’s Website

    Connect with Anand on LinkedIn

    This Episode Is Brought to You By:



    SSAI (Science Systems and Applications)

    Are you an engineer looking for an exciting career in the aerospace industry? Do you want to work on satellites and spacecraft that will monitor the health of the Earth, explore our neighbors in the solar system, and study the composition of the universe? SSAI is a leading provider of scientific, engineering, and IT support for customers seeking new frontiers in science and technology. With a culture built upon a genuine passion for research and innovative solutions, we support pioneers in science and engineering (including NASA and NOAA), helping to explore important questions to improve the quality of life for all of us. Search for engineering opportunities at SSAI's Careers Page and learn more about our mission at www.ssaihq.com.

    • 27 min
    TECC 276: How This Engineer Used Wrestling to Train Students on Public Speaking Skills

    TECC 276: How This Engineer Used Wrestling to Train Students on Public Speaking Skills

    In this episode, we talk to Nathaniel (Nat) Forgotson, Vice President, and Program Manager at Science Systems and Applications, Inc about effective public communication skills for engineers, and how he used wrestling to train students on public speaking skills.

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Public Speaking Skills:





    Getting an MBA will let everyone know that you want to follow a management career path.

    Having a hobby like being a wrestling manager in your free time will help you to build your public speaking skills and to talk in front of many people. Teaching people what you have learned will also be very fulfilling.

    Having a work–life balance is critical and having hobbies to do in your free time will help you to destress and get your mind off your day job. It can also help with networking because you will meet other people.

    People will prejudge you if you come across as nervous and not confident because they will think that there is something wrong with what you are presenting to them. Being confident tells your audience that they can trust you and what you are presenting to them. Believe in yourself and convey it physically and verbally.

    If you have a fear of public speaking, there are some things you can do to look more comfortable to your audience. Standing with one foot in front of the other will stop you from swaying side to side. Practice speaking in front of a mirror to improve your physicality. Having short pauses of silence is a good thing because they help to emphasize the points you are making and gives your audience a chance to digest what you are saying.

    Learning to do public speaking well is a matter of getting comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. If you have something to present, go in front of the mirror and present it to yourself silently. Watch your face and hands as you do the speech in silence and take note of how you are physically presenting your speech. It will help you to utilize not only your words but your physicality as well.

    There is a gap between late and early career engineers and the gap must be filled between the young engineers and the folks who are ready to retire. What was primarily government funded is now finding venture capital investment. It makes it more difficult for companies to hang on to people in support of civil space programs. Large companies must continue with things they are good at that do not have immediate commercial potential.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Nat talks about how you can decide what people remember about you in any situation throughout your career.

    About the Guest, Nat Forgotson

    Nat Forgotson has spent his career working on technology projects that look inward at the Earth and outward at our neighbors in the solar system and the Universe beyond.



    He is currently a Vice President at Science Systems and Applications, Inc (SSAI) where he manages the Electrical Systems Engineering Services III contract that supports the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. His team played a critical role in the design, manufacture, and launch of five spacecraft in the last year including the LUCY mission to explore Jupiter's Trojan asteroids and the James Webb Space Telescope. Throughout his career, he has managed the development of hardware for more than twenty satellites and scientific instruments.



    In parallel to his engineering career, he has moonlighted in the professional wrestling industry for twenty-five years – first as a performer and now as a public speaking coach and backstage producer. He received his BSEE from The Johns Hopkins University, his MSEE from North-eastern University, and his MBA from the University of Maryland and lives in Howard County, MD.

    • 31 min
    TECC 275: Visual Thinking for Engineers: Become a Better Version of Yourself

    TECC 275: Visual Thinking for Engineers: Become a Better Version of Yourself

    In this episode, we talk to Wendi Pillars, author, educator, leader, visual strategist, and graphic facilitator, about visual thinking and how it can help engineers to strengthen their thinking skills and become better communicators.

    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Visual Thinking for Engineers: 





    If someone does not understand what you are saying, drawing a visual will help them understand better. Your audience will feel more relaxed and engaged because you will make it easier for them to understand.

    Wendi’s book, “Visual Impact,” is based on all the questions she was frequently asked while presenting workshops. It is compiled in sections from A to Z, with a topic for every alphabetical letter. All the left-hand pages in the book have the text, and all the right-hand pages have a visual explaining the text.

    The book explains what kind of visuals to use to explain things better. For example, a thicker arrow means quicker speed, and a dashed arrow means it is a possibility. It can be used to determine a group code for your organization on which type of visual means what. The book explains the inroads of how to create certain visuals, and why it is important to do it that way.

    Visual impact is about the process of creating things. If you are uncomfortable about drawing things, try to work in a team environment where everyone has a turn to make a basic visual. You will see how a story can come out of shapes and lines that will still clarify your ideas.

    Visual impact helps people to decelerate the pace of all the inputs they are getting at conferences and meetings and can generate their understanding of what they are.

    Engineers already have pictures in their heads and movies in their minds when they are designing projects. When it comes to reporting on the designs, there are areas where they can incorporate more visuals. The visuals you use will be based on the kind of audience you are reporting to. Base your visuals on the ideas you want to impart to someone else by taking the abstract you have in your mind and making it understandable to someone else in a simple way.

    Visual thinking can help you to communicate your ultimate objective in a way so that other people will have the same understanding of it as you do. Your expectations will be clarified and voiced so that everyone will be on the same page. It demonstrates that you have compassion and that you care that they understand. Someone might not know enough to ask questions, but slowing it down and breaking everything into parts helps them to understand better and ask questions.

    A simple concept in a group of people carries a vast amount of experience, knowledge, and understanding. Imagine how much is missed when sharing complex ideas. By not giving everyone at the table a chance to share their ideas, you will be doing your organization a great disservice. The process of visual thinking is important. It allows you to use parts of your brain that it is not accustomed to using.

    Digital dementia is the process of not giving your brain time to work through things. It is caused by things like automatically going to Google if you have a question, or you use a GPS to go somewhere that you have already been to multiple times before. Your brain begins to rely on digital inputs instead of working things out on its own. It causes your brain to not get time to digest the information that it is receiving. Visual thinking promotes the deceleration and the analog piece of visualizing.

    Doing things analog without any digital inputs forces you to think differently than what you are now used to. It forces you to look and observe around you differently. You will start to remember that there is something outside of a screen.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Wendi talks about what you can do to integrate visual t...

    • 30 min
    TECC 274: Engineering and STEM Education: Why It Is Important

    TECC 274: Engineering and STEM Education: Why It Is Important

    In this episode, we talk to Dr. Nehemiah Mabry, P.E., an engineer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Raleigh, North Carolina, about his career, his involvement in STEM education, and the inspirational STEM content for students and educators that he puts out there.

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Engineering and STEM Education:





    STEMedia is a media production company and community for the young professional niche and underrepresented communities in STEM. It focuses on connecting with and empowering people in their career development.

    STEMedia has produced a video series for STEM education institutes and universities that speak to certain aspects of career development, such as soft skill development and job-related topics. They now have a platform for hosting their content that is offered to student populations at universities for those who want to supplement their career services, training, sponsorships, and job opportunities.

    Winning an award at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) contest means a lot for your company, but it can take some time for you to see the results. Having something that is validated by the National Academy of Engineering gives credibility to what you do. Doing something different will attract more attention than doing what everyone has seen before.

    Companies must be more intentional about making a more diverse and dynamic workforce. Start by intentionally going to places where you can diversify your network. It takes intentionality and putting yourself in areas of discomfort for you to have the opportunity to know good diverse engineers that you can recommend.

    Research done by the Brookings Institute shows that companies that have more diverse people in influential positions have higher revenues due to the innovation that comes from being diverse. How will your company function in a future workforce of diversity if you are not taking the opportunity now to be more culturally diverse and more relatable to diverse communities?

    If you cannot find a job description where you are happy with everything in it, entrepreneurship is the way to go. Entrepreneurship is seeing an idea you had on a piece of paper come to fruition. It is the ability to communicate the value that you are offering. Entrepreneurship is being in control of every aspect of a project. When you finish the project and solved all the problems that came your way, you start experiencing the solution, the victory, the accomplishment, and the satisfaction.

    Be intentional about building a robust, qualified workforce. Find other perspectives and talent in communities other than your own. Ensure your work environment is supportive and welcoming of different talents and cultures. It will help you to produce more and make the world more than it is. Don't underestimate the contribution you can make. Everyone has a unique set of experiences, talents, and skills that allow you to provide something that nobody else can. The world is waiting for what you have to offer.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Dr. Nehemiah talks about what you can do to move forward in making a diverse workforce.

    About the Guest, Dr. Nehemiah Mabry, P.E.

    Dr. Nehemiah Mabry, P.E., is an engineer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Raleigh, North Carolina. His technical experience includes 15-plus years as a NASA researcher, bridge design engineer, and adjunct professor. Dr. Mabry is the founder and CEO of STEMedia Incorporated, which he started as a Ph.D. student in 2012. STEMedia is a digital media company that provides STEM education and entertainment content for the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) community. Since its inception, they have won international awards, engaged thousands through lectures and presentations,

    • 29 min
    TECC 273: How Engineering Firms Can Secure Their Businesses Against Ransomware Attacks

    TECC 273: How Engineering Firms Can Secure Their Businesses Against Ransomware Attacks

    In this episode, we talk to Tom Kirkham, founder and CEO of IronTech Security, about cybersecurity defense systems for engineers and how engineering firms can secure their businesses against ransomware attacks by establishing a security-first environment.

    Engineering Quotes:





    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How Engineering Firms Can Secure Their Businesses Against Ransomware Attacks:





    Antivirus software is not as effective anymore. High-end government software is available for download on the dark web and is being modified to be used against us daily. The greatest cyber defense that is available today is also available to all hackers. So, you can no longer rely on an antivirus signature file to detect a virus code. There is no virus to detect in a modern-day ransomware attack. It consists of a macro that calls the Windows disk encryption, which encrypts all the files. It means they bypass antivirus software undetected.

    Most ransomware attacks are for smaller amounts of money and are sent out in large numbers by automatic hacking attacks. It is done by large-scale automated bots and not hackers sitting behind their computers. Any security that you buy off the shelf is simply not good enough. You must have endpoint detection and response (EDR) that is backed up by infosec professionals constantly monitoring, responding, mediating, and mitigating threats.

    Cybersecurity does not form part of the IT department because they should be concentrating their efforts on increasing the firm's productivity and efficiency, keeping them online, minimizing frustration, and help desk calls. A managed security services provider looks at what the risk is to the client and what technologies will be used against them. If you have a managed security provider that has a response time of four hours, then you are wasting your money. Four hours is an eternity when it comes to cybersecurity. Attacks must be dealt with immediately.

    Cybersecurity insurance underwriters require certain defense technologies to be in place or they will not underwrite your policy, or your premiums will be outrageously expensive.

    The Cyber Pandemic Survival Guide looks at the COVID pandemic and compares it to a pandemic cyberattack. COVID took months to spread across the world, where the cyberattack would spread through the entire world at almost the speed of light. The book is aimed at creating awareness that a pandemic cyberattack is real. It shows people how the smallest of incidents can escalate and spread over the world. If a pandemic cyberattack had to happen, it will make COVID look like a minor inconvenience.



    5 Things You Must Do to Stop Ransomware Attacks



    Have a skilled security team monitoring, checking, and responding to threats.

    Multifactor authentication must be activated everywhere possible.

    Deploy an endpoint detection and response category of product that uses AI, or a neural network, to learn the behavior of existing and new technical threats, and responds within seconds to protect other computers around the world.

    Turn on disk encryption on all your devices.

    Have a way to stay up to date on new and evolving threats.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Tom talks about how you can be safer and more protected.

    About the Guest, Tom Kirkham

    Tom Kirkham, founder and CEO of IronTech Security, provides cybersecurity defense systems and focuses on educating and encouraging organizations to establish a security-first environment with cybersecurity training programs for all workers to prevent successful attacks. Kirkham brings more than three decades of software design, network administration, computer security, and cybersecurity knowledge to organizations around the country.



    About the Host, Jeff Perry, MBA

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
80 Ratings

80 Ratings

Ricardo Jardinez ,

Best Engineering Podcast

A fantastic podcast that assists future engineers in achieving their objectives by providing real-world advice and lessons from someone who is an engineer that wants to help and inspire others.

Ritchieortiz90 ,

Funny coincidence

I am doing my work training. Ran into a familiar voice on the RedVector training.
Been listening to your podcast before hand. But what are the odds of that?!?
Keep up the good work man. Thank you!

Priyanka Komala ,

Best podcast for soft skills for engineers

Enjoyed hearing Laura Berman’s episode. Jeff Perry is passionate about helping engineers through career pivots and brings the best out of the guests through the podcast with actionable insights.

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