Episode: Taking Chances

In this inspiring episode, Joshua John, a member of the Navajo Nation, senior systems engineer at Raytheon, and board member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, imparts his career journey from Shiprock, New Mexico to a leading aerospace engineering company. Joshua introduces himself through his four traditional clans: the Folded Arms Clan, the Apache Clan, the Mexican Clan, and the Bear Enemies Clan, setting the stage for a conversation that intertwines cultural identity with engineering aspiration. Joshua shares his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, sparked by a fascination with the stars and aerospace, nurtured under the vast skies of the Navajo reservation. He discusses the influential role of his parents, his journey through education, and the crucial decision points that shaped his career. Joshua reflects on the importance of taking chances and embracing opportunities. Joshua relates a challenging professional situation that tested his leadership skills and ethics. His story is a powerful reminder of the importance of integrity, courage, and the sometimes uncomfortable obligation to lead by example and address inadequacies within a team dynamic, even when confronting superiors. Closing with advice for those just starting their careers, Joshua emphasizes the significance of being open to possibilities, the willingness to take risks, and the importance of being a good listener and a proactive team member. His journey is not just a tale of personal achievement but a beacon of inspiration for aspiring scientists and engineers from all backgrounds.

Episode: The Puzzle of Traffic Managment

In this episode Tyler Krage, a seasoned traffic signals engineer, shares a wealth of experience in managing traffic systems across various cities. Tyler discusses his journey from working in Chicago to his current role in Dakota County, Minneapolis-St. Paul. He delves into the intricacies of signal timing and optimization, highlighting the challenges and rewards of his profession. In reflecting upon his undergraduate experience, he also stresses the importance of networking and being involved in campus clubs. Through internships and campus clubs, Tyler and Matt discuss value of gaining professional skills. Tyler also discusses the evolving landscape of transportation engineering, emphasizing the importance of incorporating big data and prioritizing inclusivity in infrastructure design.From managing diverse teams to navigating communication barriers, Tyler offers valuable insights and advice for both aspiring and seasoned professionals in the field.

Episode: Embracing a Growth Mindset

In this episode Colten Johnson shares his journey from laboring on construction sites as a teenager to leading his own engineering firm. Colten reflects on pivotal moments, including overcoming sports injuries that redirected his career path and the realization that technical expertise is just one aspect of success in the field. Colten emphasizes the importance of adaptability and communication in navigating complex projects. From assuming leadership on a major school construction project to mastering the balance between technical precision and practical application, Colten’s experiences offer valuable lessons for aspiring engineers. The conversation also explores the significance of networking and personal branding in today’s professional landscape. Colten emphasizes the power of platforms like LinkedIn for establishing credibility, fostering connections, and even attracting career opportunities. Through anecdotes and practical advice, Colten and Matt underscore the value of embracing discomfort, maintaining a growth mindset, and actively shaping one’s professional narrative.