Like many of you, I receive e-mails as an alumnus from my previous schools. Some come from a very general level, like from the university as a whole while others are more specific, like directly from my former department.

I received one such e-mail today from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia. I’ve been invited to an informal student and alumni networking event a local pub. The goal is for alumni to pass along advice to students about school, careers, and life after university. I think this is a great idea. I’d like to attend, the only thing that gives me pause is that I never really used my mechanical engineering degree to do anything practical at all.

I worked for about ten months at a real mechanical engineering job after I graduated. I got fed up with my boss and the job and never looked at mechanical engineering again. As almost all of you know, I’ve been involved with the video game industry since. Am I the type of mechanical engineering alumnus they want to have around students? “You know that degree that you’re working so hard to get? Yeah, you may never use it again a year after graduation.”

I feel like I have lots of advice to give but I’m not sure it’s the advice the department or the students are looking for. Still, it’s free food and drinks though, so maybe it’s worth going anyways.

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