326 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 • 89 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 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
    TECC 323: Effective Strategies for Thriving in Hardware and Software Industries

    TECC 323: Effective Strategies for Thriving in Hardware and Software Industries

    In this episode, we talk with Vinod Narayan, senior software engineer and project manager at Viviota, about effective strategies for excelling in both hardware and software fields. Vinod also provides some great advice on leading diverse teams in complex engineering projects.



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

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Effective Strategies for Thriving in Hardware and Software Industries:





    Engineers who are deciding between a technical or management path can see a straightforward difference. Technical roles are all about solving problems, while management is more about building teams and making strategic decisions. Talk to mentors and leaders and try out short-term initiatives to figure out what suits you best. Choose the path that aligns with your interests for a satisfying career journey.

    In handling projects and teams, important skills include good communication, active listening, and problem-solving. Project management needs organizational skills for planning and budgeting, while people management involves creating a positive atmosphere, refining leadership, and supporting recognition and development. Success in both areas relies on a versatile skill set covering communication, problem-solving, organization, and leadership.

    Managing diverse teams in complex projects demands key strategies. Regular check-ins and effective communication are vital for teams with different backgrounds. Encouraging cultural awareness contributes to a positive environment while recognizing diverse skill sets enhances team effectiveness. Viewing diversity as an asset brings valuable perspectives for strategic decision-making. These proven techniques successfully navigate complexities in diverse teams and complex projects.

    In the next five to 10 years, the tech landscape will see a fusion of hardware and software. In hardware, expect advancements in AI, the metaverse, connectivity, energy-efficient tech, and medical devices. These areas offer promising career opportunities. In software, AI, metaverse-driven apps, cloud innovations, and cybersecurity measures will take center stage, shaping the digital future.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Vinod provides actionable suggestions for individuals aspiring to be in leadership roles.

    About the Guest, Vinod Narayan

    Vinod Narayan is a highly skilled technology leader with extensive expertise in digital computing, electrical hardware, and software. His areas of specialization include analog mixed-signal design, RF IC design, and high-speed I/O design. He is proficient in data converters such as ADCs and DACs and has a deep understanding of frequency synthesizers, clock data recovery circuits, and oscillators. Vinod also excels in power management circuits and has a strong background in hardware/PCB design and system design.



    His expertise extends to testing, validation, and automation, with proficiency in LabVIEW, Python, and C, particularly in data structures and algorithms. In the realm of software, Vinod has experience in web development, software architecture, and Rest API frameworks. He is adept at agile development and project management and is well-versed in best practices for hardware and software development.



    Vinod's career includes notable positions such as a Senior Software Engineer and Project Manager at Viviota since November 2021, and as Electrical Engineering Principal Consultant at Meta from November 2021 to November 2023. His educational background includes a master’s in electrical and computer engineering from McMaster University and a bachelor’s degree in Electronics, Controls, and Instrumentation Engineering from the University of Mumbai (2004-2008). His combined experience and education make him an...

    • 32 min
    TECC 322: High-Performance Leadership Strategies for Engineers

    TECC 322: High-Performance Leadership Strategies for Engineers

    In this episode, we talk with Alan Stein, Jr., a former basketball performance coach turned corporate keynote speaker, and author of "Raise Your Game", about the application of high-performance leadership principles across diverse aspects of life. He emphasizes the importance of fundamentals and never getting bored with them. He also shares a story about meeting Kobe Bryant and how Bryant's dedication to mastering the basics influenced his approach to personal and professional growth.



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

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About High-Performance Leadership Strategies for Engineers:





    Universal success principles work in every area of life — be it work, family, or community leadership. No need to mimic specific skills; apply these principles for personal and organizational growth. They must not only be preached but lived in all aspects of life.

    In 2007, Alan and Kobe Bryant crossed paths at the Nike Skills Academy, where Alan grasped the enduring lesson of valuing fundamental skills. This idea extends beyond basketball, resonating in professions like engineering, advocating for mastery of basics as the pathway to excellence.

    Beyond avoiding boredom with basics, two key principles emerge: earn confidence by mastering basics with humility and trust the process by focusing on daily precision rather than obsessing over the end goal. Success lies in laying each brick carefully, not fixating on the entire wall.

    Unlike finite games like basketball, business is an infinite game without a clear endpoint. The key is defining what winning means for each team member and aligning everyone with the goal. Success involves individual responsibility in roles and taking actions that move the team closer to the defined goal. High-performing organizations excel in collaboration and cohesiveness.

    Distractions are inevitable in the digital age, so align your workspace with your focus goals — turn off phones and close unnecessary tabs. Stay aware of when you're unfocused and use "WIN" (What's Important Now) as a tool to recalibrate. Regularly assess if your attention matches the moment's priorities to increase your chances of success.

    Acknowledging feedback as a valuable tool for improvement, embrace the "next play" mindset to swiftly move past setbacks and avoid dwelling on past mistakes. Learn from experiences, like technical glitches, by seamlessly transitioning to the next task to stay focused on the present.

    The "next play" mentality, universally useful, is a quick approach to overcoming setbacks. Clear challenges like a whiteboard to prevent a tough morning from affecting the afternoon. Cultivate this crucial ability, which is applicable across various roles and positions.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Alan talks about the importance of simplifying life and decision-making.

    About the Guest, Alan Stein, Jr.

    At his core, Alan Stein, Jr. is a performance coach with a passion for helping business leaders change behaviors. He spent 15+ years working with the highest-performing basketball players on the planet (including NBA superstars Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Kobe Bryant). He now transfers his unique expertise to maximize both individual and organizational performance. Alan is a dynamic storyteller who delivers practical, actionable lessons that can be implemented immediately. He teaches proven principles on how to simplify success and utilize the same approaches in business that elite athletes use to perform at a world-class level.

    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...

    • 33 min
    TECC 321: How Communication Skills Can Propel Your Engineering Career Forward

    TECC 321: How Communication Skills Can Propel Your Engineering Career Forward

    In this episode, we talk with Farnoosh Brock about the importance of leadership and engineering communication skills. She emphasizes the need for engineers to close the gap between technical and leadership skills to advance in their careers. Farnoosh highlights the significance of confidence and voice in effective communication and leadership. She also discusses the role of mindset in professional development and provides strategies for building confidence and improving communication skills. Farnoosh encourages engineers to have conversations on issues they avoid taking action on and improve their skills.



    The video version of this episode can be viewed here.

    Engineering Quotes:







    Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How Communication Skills Can Propel Your Engineering Career Forward:





    Engineers initially rely on intelligence and hard work, but to excel in advanced roles, connecting beyond the technical is crucial. Mastering communication, leadership, emotional intelligence, and confidence is essential for lasting success and impactful contributions.

    Understanding the importance of good leadership and communication skills is important. If there was a time you felt not appreciated after not getting a promised promotion and found it hard to respond without causing issues, then getting better at these skills is a must. Being able to handle these conversations well is key to staying motivated and making sure your career moves forward successfully.

    Engineers, whether in technical or management roles, need strong leadership skills. Executives often seek confidence in communication from engineers at higher levels. It's crucial to build confidence in both speaking and writing, especially for introverted engineers. In essence, honing confidence and voice mastery is foundational for engineers to boost their leadership skills significantly.

    When tackling mindset challenges, watch out for absolute terms like "I never" or "I always," which indicate a fixed mindset limiting opportunities. Instead, adopt a curiosity mindset using phrases like "I wonder" and "I'm curious about." This shift encourages openness to possibilities, making you more at ease, taking calculated risks, and creating opportunities for success. It's a way to break free from self-imposed limitations and unlock your true potential.

    To communicate better, begin with a clear summary, avoid assuming shared knowledge, and test your approach with non-tech individuals. Boost confidence by practicing presentations regularly in different settings, building assurance with each action.

    To improve your leadership and communication skills quickly, look at your company's internal resources like leadership programs and retreats. Advocating for participation aligns with company support, potentially boosting performance reviews and career advancement. Focus on areas like emotional intelligence within these internal resources for effective skill development. Starting with accessible internal options is a practical and impactful way to enhance your skills.



    More in This Episode…

    In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Farnoosh talks about how to address and navigate challenging conversations that you have been avoiding.

    About the Guest, Farnoosh Brock

    Farnoosh Brock is an electrical engineer (BS and MS) with a 12-year corporate IT career plus 13 years as a coach, trainer, and speaker. She started her company in 2011 to help engineering and IT professionals elevate their success with Mindset, Leadership, and Communication skills. Her latest book, “The Serving Mindset,” and her Google Talk share a refreshing approach to business growth without selling. She regularly does workshops at universities such as Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Duke, Wake Forest, Campbell, and James Madison as well as in corporate and for associations...

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
89 Ratings

89 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

In Good Company with Nicolai Tangen
Norges Bank Investment Management
Money Stuff: The Podcast
Bloomberg
Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin
Money News Network
Thoma Bravo's Behind the Deal
Thoma Bravo | Pod People
REAL AF with Andy Frisella
Andy Frisella #100to0
The Ramsey Show
Ramsey Network

You Might Also Like

Coaching for Leaders
Dave Stachowiak
HBR IdeaCast
Harvard Business Review
Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher
Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam
FranklinCovey On Leadership with Scott Miller
FranklinCovey
Coaching Real Leaders
HBR Presents / Muriel Wilkins