329 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
    • 4.7 • 90 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 329: Strategies for Successful Performance Management in Engineering

    TECC 329: Strategies for Successful Performance Management in Engineering

    In this episode, we talk with Robyn Clark, CEO of WinningWise, about succession planning, performance management, and leadership development in engineering. We explore their significance for organizations, focusing on aligning goals and enhancing employee satisfaction. Robyn also highlights the shift toward developmental performance management and its impact on engagement and retention.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Strategies for Successful Performance Management in Engineering:





    Businesses have historically avoided discussing the importance of people in operations, prioritizing technical and financial matters. However, they are now realizing that success relies on effective people strategies for mutual growth and prosperity.

    Successful collaboration between individuals and organizations requires mutual alignment of needs and goals. By understanding and meeting each other's expectations in a supportive environment, both parties can achieve shared success and facilitate continuous growth.

    Organizations are focusing on improving the employee experience with meaningful work, supportive relationships, future opportunities, and work-life balance. Shifting performance management toward development rather than evaluation supports employee growth and satisfaction.

    Companies often conduct talent reviews where decisions about employees' careers are made without their presence. To improve outcomes, individuals should have ongoing conversations with their leaders about their ambitions and development within performance management.

    Career pathing is crucial for organizations to clarify opportunities and align individual interests with technical or leadership paths. However, simply defining these paths isn't enough because development efforts are needed to prepare individuals for progression and maximize their potential contributions.

    Many companies focus on competencies for growth, but achieving goals and skills are outcomes, not development. True development means making personal changes to improve specific competencies like strategic thinking through confidence, planning, or building better relationships.

    Company culture is critical as it shapes the environment where individuals work and interact. To cultivate an intentional culture, organizations should clearly define values, expectations, and desired daily experiences to guide behaviors and outcomes effectively.

    Defining acceptable behaviors and decision-making styles is crucial for shaping organizational culture. Leaders must align values with desired experiences, empower decision-making, and encourage collaboration to create a cohesive and productive environment.

    To drive effective performance management, leaders should have open, honest conversations about goals and feedback with their team. Strong communication skills can transform performance management into a collaborative, empowering process that promotes growth.

    Improving feedback skills varies by person. Some may need confidence to speak boldly, while others benefit from increased self-awareness or building supportive relationships. Developing these skills is key to effective communication and collaboration.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Robyn talks about reflecting on personal needs and goals to identify what is important for individual development.

    About the Guest, Robyn Clark

    Robyn Clark is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in talent management and business leadership. As the founder and CEO of WinningWise since March 2014, she has demonstrated her expertise in steering the company toward success. Prior to founding WinningWise, Robyn served as the Managing Director of Talent Solut...

    • 36 min
    TECC 328: How to Choose the Right College for Aspiring Engineers

    TECC 328: How to Choose the Right College for Aspiring Engineers

    In this episode, I speak with Pamela Ellis, MBA, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Compass Education Strategies, LLC, about how to choose right college for aspiring engineers. We cover admissions and scholarships, and she outlines key considerations including academic offerings, social fit, financial aspects, career objectives, and cultural environment.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How to Choose the Right College for Aspiring Engineers:





    Aspiring engineering students should consider key factors like academic interests, social opportunities, financial affordability, vocational goals, and cultural support when selecting a college. Evaluating these aspects helps ensure they thrive in their chosen engineering program and campus environment.

    For students, especially those interested in engineering, strategic standardized test preparation is key. Taking practice exams for both the ACT and SAT helps identify the best test for focused preparation and maximizing score advantage in college admissions.

    To increase scholarship opportunities, students should target colleges that align with their interests. Colleges are more likely to offer scholarships to students who are a good fit for their programs and demonstrate strong academic performance and extracurricular involvement. Applying for need-based aid like FAFSA is also recommended, as colleges may consider various factors beyond income when awarding scholarships.

    When exploring colleges, students should look beyond brand names and locations. They should visit campuses to gather firsthand information about departments, curriculum, and faculty, and ask questions to ensure a good fit for their academic and career goals.

    When researching colleges, students should visit departments of interest to meet current students and explore community connections. If unable to visit, reaching out to admissions or department staff for student contacts can provide valuable insights into the college experience.

    Before diving into college choices, students and parents should ask themselves why higher education is important to them. This foundational question will guide decisions about coursework and college selection, ensuring a purposeful and intentional approach to the college search process.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Pamela talks about the exploration of different areas within engineering through summer programs.

    About the Guest, Pamela Ellis, MBA, Ph.D.

    Pamela Ellis, MBA, Ph.D. — The Education Doctor® — partners with busy parents to help their teen find a college that feels like home without over-paying. She founded Compass College Advisory in 2010 and has served over 1,000 families. Ninety-five percent of their students have been admitted to their top-choice colleges, and the average scholarship is $75,000. Dr. Pamela is a highly sought-after speaker and author of the best-selling book, “What to Know Before They Go: College Edition.” Dr. Pamela graduated from Stanford University and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and she earned a doctorate from the Stanford University School of Education.

    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,

    • 27 min
    TECC 327: Engineering Leadership: Empowering Strategies for Success and Growth

    TECC 327: Engineering Leadership: Empowering Strategies for Success and Growth

    In this episode, we talk to Margie Oleson, Ed.D., change consultant at Oleson Consulting LLC and OCM Lead at Lockheed Martin, about unique challenges faced by CEOs and C-suite executives. She also shares some great advice for navigating turbulent times in companies, building effective engineering leadership teams, fostering cohesion, and ensuring long-term improvements.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Engineering Leadership and Empowering Strategies for Success and Growth:





    Leaders in large organizations grapple with team dynamics and habits. Managing teams isn't like handling machines — it's about understanding human behavior and cultivating effective habits. Quick fixes won't work; leaders must commit to long-term changes based on neuroscience and human behavior to build resilient, high-performing teams that can adapt to future challenges.

    Effective leaders understand they can't directly control their team's mindset but can establish the right structure and openness to encourage positive attitudes. Self-awareness, clarity, and open communication build trust and naturally develop over time, enabling leaders to address underlying issues and transform struggling employees into high performers.

    Creating an open and transparent work environment isn't just a luxury — it's strategic. It sets you apart from competitors, improves client service, and attracts and retains top talent. When leaders encourage openness and provide ongoing clarity on expectations and performance, employees feel empowered to excel, making for the best performance management system possible.

    Success in any team starts with clear goals and alignment. Leaders ensure everyone understands their role in achieving these goals. Open communication minimizes gossip and promotes cohesion. Effective meetings and metrics track progress, reducing crisis management and enabling innovation. This creates a happier, more productive work environment prepared for future challenges.

    Imagine a leader evolving with structured systems over time, sharpening skills for adaptability, especially in scenarios like mergers. By over-communicating goals and maintaining clarity, leaders prevent silos and promote inclusive cultures. Effective leadership engineers high performance through deliberate habits, driving meaningful change.

    To enhance team performance, prioritize a few key metrics that drive outcomes and behaviors. Avoid overwhelming dashboards with too many metrics. Choose around five to 10 critical metrics reflecting important outcomes and team processes. Use metrics to evaluate specific behaviors like meeting effectiveness, supporting skill development, and teamwork. Regularly refine metrics to ensure alignment and embed high performance into daily operations, achieving goals systematically over time.

    Leadership is learned, not innate. Focus on clear communication and over-communicate when needed. Increase self-awareness by understanding company goals and team roles. Engage in activities like therapy or meditation to develop emotional intelligence for effective leadership.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Margie talks about what you can do to practice effective meeting management.

    About the Guest, Margie Oleson, Ed.D.

    Margie Oleson is an executive coach and leadership/team development expert with a doctorate in Organization Development. She delivers her coaching with practical strategies and actions for leaders and their leadership teams to build the right foundation for teamwork and productivity. Clients have included companies in most industries, such as aeronautics, agriculture, financial services, fintech, healthcare, higher education, insurance, manufacturing, medical devices,

    • 39 min
    TECC 326: Balancing Technical Skills and Interpersonal Growth for Engineering Success

    TECC 326: Balancing Technical Skills and Interpersonal Growth for Engineering Success

    In this episode, we talk to Josh Valman, CEO of RPDK, Innovation Board Advisor to the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Investment Committee Board Member at the British Design Fund, about the gap between education and real-world engineering. He emphasizes the importance of practical experience, interpersonal growth, and the need for continuous learning and adaptation in the rapidly changing engineering industry.



    ***The video version of  this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Balancing Technical Skills and Interpersonal Growth for Engineering Success:





    The hands-on, problem-solving approach to learning robotics and engineering differs significantly from what schools typically teach students. While traditional education often focuses on theoretical knowledge and memorization, practical learning involves actively solving real-world problems, emphasizing the importance of hands-on experience and problem-solving skills over rote learning.

    To support engineers in developing technical expertise along with interpersonal growth and the ability to navigate people-related issues, providing real-world work experience, incorporating simulated client interactions, and inviting industry professionals to teach are essential steps. These approaches expose engineers to practical challenges and workplace dynamics, helping them build necessary soft skills alongside technical knowledge.

    Josh faced a significant challenge when evaluating a new turbine fan design for electricity generation. It wasn't just about technical issues but also about market acceptance. This experience emphasized the importance of considering market dynamics alongside technical aspects in engineering projects.

    To stay current in the industry from school to real-world work amidst changing technology and supply chains, engineers and students should prioritize continuous learning and practical engagement. They can do this by asking questions, collaborating with mentors and peers, and working on personal projects related to their field. Leveraging online resources, attending workshops, and staying connected with professional networks also help in keeping up with emerging trends and dynamics in the industry.

    In an engineer's career journey, mentors are essential for providing valuable guidance and real-world insights. They offer practical advice, share experiences, and help navigate industry challenges not covered in academic settings. By leveraging mentorship, engineers can accelerate their professional growth, make informed decisions, and excel in their careers through continuous learning and interpersonal growth.

    In navigating specific areas of growth, different types of mentors prove highly useful. Technical experts offer guidance in problem-solving and technical skills, while managerial leaders excel in navigating business dynamics and career advancement strategies. Seeking mentorship from individuals in these categories provides a well-rounded perspective and helps develop a comprehensive skill set for success.

    As engineers advance in their careers, it's important to keep an eye on new developments and changes in the field. Technology and consumer preferences are evolving rapidly, leading to trends like shorter product lifecycles and a focus on sustainability. Engineers should stay informed about these shifts to remain competitive and adapt to the changing landscape of engineering.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Josh talks about the importance of having projects and hobbies related to engineering for continuous learning and skill development.

    About the Guest, Josh Valman

    Josh Valman is a pioneering figure in the field of engineering and innovation, currently serving as the CEO of RPDK.

    • 26 min
    TECC 325: How to Guarantee a Great Internship Experience

    TECC 325: How to Guarantee a Great Internship Experience

    In this episode, we talk to Robert J. Khoury about the key principles and strategies for creating an exceptional internship experience. He emphasizes the importance of empathy and intentionality in designing internships that meet the needs of both the employer and the intern. Robert also highlights the significance of dignity in internships and the impact it has on the overall experience, and provides practical advice on preparing for internships, conducting effective interviews, and setting up programs for high value.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How to Guarantee a Great Internship Experience:





    Key factors and principles that elevate an internship experience from average or poor to exceptional include empathy and intentionality. Empathy involves understanding the student's perspective, while intentionality ensures clarity and purpose in every interaction. These two principles form the foundation of a successful internship experience.

    As a manager getting ready for an internship, ensuring a great experience and effective contribution involves a few key steps. Firstly, get buy-in from the team to support the intern. Secondly, have regular calls with the intern before they start in order to build rapport and understand their interests. Lastly, create a guidance document outlining the organization's mission and culture to set clear expectations. By doing these things, managers can ensure interns feel valued and ready to contribute to the team.

    To make sure the interview process is positive and finds outstanding interns, companies should start by sharing about themselves to ease candidates. They should use the same questions for everyone to compare fairly, set clear feedback deadlines to respect candidates' time, and offer warm, empathetic feedback to leave a good impression and select the best interns.

    Prioritizing dignity in internships is crucial as it recognizes each individual's value. It goes beyond respect and empathy, forming a lasting foundation in professional relationships. Treating interns with dignity creates a positive environment, enhancing self-esteem and leaving a lasting impression, making the experience more enriching for all.

    Employers can ensure interns have a positive experience by giving regular feedback, assigning suitable projects to challenge them without overwhelming them, and granting autonomy for decision-making. This approach helps interns feel fulfilled, gain valuable skills, and enjoy their internships.

    To maximize the value of interns, employers should assign multiple projects at once. This taps into interns' multitasking skills, keeping them engaged and productive. By trusting interns to manage their time and providing support, employers can optimize their internship programs and get the most from their students.

    To ensure a positive and fulfilling conclusion to an internship, managers should start wrapping up about three weeks before the end. Discuss remaining tasks with the intern, aiming to complete them a week before the end to avoid last-minute stress. Provide surveys for interns to reflect on their experience and gather feedback. Offer a separate survey for their parents to gain additional insights. These steps ensure a smooth and rewarding conclusion for everyone involved.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Robert talks about resources where you can read about internships, internship design, and how to get the most out of an internship.

    About the Guest, Robert J. Khoury

    Robert J. Khoury is the co-founder and CEO of Agile Rainmakers, a high-impact advisory firm based in Chicago's Gold Coast. His 20-plus year career in the financial industry has seen him in many roles: an equity derivatives trade...

    • 29 min
    TECC 324: The Traits That Define a Successful Tech Entrepreneur

    TECC 324: The Traits That Define a Successful Tech Entrepreneur

    In this episode, we talk with Peter Schroeder about his journey as a tech entrepreneur. He discusses the challenges and lessons learned in starting and growing a business, the importance of leadership and management, and the traits that set a successful tech entrepreneur apart. Peter also provides advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and emphasizes the need for a sales-focused team member.



    ***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About the Traits That Define a Successful Tech Entrepreneur:





    Guided by an entrepreneurial flair and contending with attention deficit disorder, Peter transitioned into business following burnout from an intense DJing career. Frustrated by the absence of a fitting phone line system, he embarked on building it himself, morphing a personal endeavor into a thriving business. With support from his partner, Peter invested, bidding farewell to a flourishing music career a decade ago and embracing entrepreneurship wholeheartedly.

    Don't force a business just for the sake of it; rather, explore what genuinely interests you. If there's a hobby you love, consider turning it into a business. Making money from something you're passionate about can turn it into a fulfilling and sustainable way of life.

    Embarking on the venture with limited funds, Peter sought significant investments but encountered challenges in the competitive telecom landscape. With modest support, he started small, tailoring services to startups and adapting them based on customer needs. This approach proved fruitful, drawing in major clients like Facebook and Netflix. The lesson from Peter's journey: initiate with modesty, focus on a niche, and reinvest strategically for consistent and sustainable growth.

    At 22, Peter, unaware of his ADD diagnosis, struggled with overcommitting and wanting to help everyone. Juggling a band, a record label, and numerous projects strained his capacity, leading to burned bridges. An agent's intervention prompted a reset, teaching the importance of knowing limits, saying no when needed, and maintaining focus to preserve relationships.

    Recognize the power of mentorship. Someone in your corner, offering real-world insights, can be a game-changer. Even with a strong work ethic, having a mentor who genuinely wishes you success accelerates your journey. Professional support is valuable, but finding someone who roots for your success is key. Learn from others who've benefited and consider the impact a mentor can have on your goals.

    Jesper Green, Peter's former manager and an accomplished DJ, played a crucial role in his early career. From learning technical skills during club gigs to gaining insights into artist promotion, Jesper unknowingly became a mentor. Despite the distance, their friendship endures, highlighting the profound impact a supportive mentor can have on one's journey.

    When it comes to moving forward, Peter's eye is on honing leadership skills, streamlining the team through automation and building a culture where everyone's passion fuels projects. The goal is to hit meaningful milestones, driving growth personally and in the business.

    Successful entrepreneurs stand out due to their unwavering stubbornness, turning setbacks into motivation, and their positive, slightly naive mindset that believes in success even in challenging ventures. This unique blend of determination and optimism is a key factor that distinguishes them, enabling them to navigate the hurdles of entrepreneurship and achieve success where others may falter.

    In his 10-year journey in the industry, Peter stays excited about his evolving product, especially with the integration of AI. While he's committed for now, Peter looks forward to exploring different business ideas and rejects the idea of retirement.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
90 Ratings

90 Ratings

JakeJik ,

Andrew Temte Episode

What a great episode for a senior engineer on the path to building a leadership, learning, and development influence within a great company.

I got some homework to do from that episode that will definitely help me on my quest.

Keep the good content coming.

Sabribritas ,

Inspiring!

As a engineering college student, I found these tips on communication skills to be helpful and inspiring. They reminded me to maintain direct eye contact when engaging with others and be “more interested than interesting”. This podcast definitely boosted my confidence in pursuing a successful engineering career.

Neil I Thompson ,

Kudos to the host!

Jeff is an excellent host, as it shows that he takes time to ask thoughtful questions of his guests. Because of this, it’s difficult for the guests to offer cookie-cutter answers. The answers necessarily must have depth.

Top Podcasts In Business

The Ramsey Show
Ramsey Network
Planet Money
NPR
The Prof G Pod with Scott Galloway
Vox Media Podcast Network
PBD Podcast
PBD Podcast
The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett
DOAC
REAL AF with Andy Frisella
Andy Frisella #100to0

You Might Also Like

The Future of Everything
Stanford Engineering
How I Built This with Guy Raz
Guy Raz | Wondery
The Journal.
The Wall Street Journal & Gimlet
The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk
Ryan Hawk
Up First
NPR
The Daily
The New York Times