Engineers Aren’t Defined By Their Grades

The highest grades do not necessarily make an engineer great later, in the same way that the lowest grades do not predict the lack of success of an engineer.

Find a job: That’s the first thing we do when we graduate and get out of engineering school, or after we pass our licensure examinations. We do some research, and prepare the best resume we could. Once our resumes have been acknowledged by our target companies, more often than not we’re required to send them our university transcripts. We’re called up for an interview, and sometimes one of the questions would be something like: “I see that you took Thermodynamics twice. What could’ve caused this?” or something similar.

If there’s one thing we engineers find annoying, it’s when people judge our abilities purely by our grades.

Grades are important—Yes, absolutely! But, grades are only a part of an engineer’s true potential. First of all, unlike other fields, engineering is not a perfectly theoretical field. There is no single correct answer to a problem, we can generate hundreds of answers with different solutions and prove that they are all correct! Engineers thrive on trial and error. We think out of the box. We invent. We test. We fail. We try again, until we get the answer we need! As a result, we sometimes get mediocre grades or sometimes we fail, but we never give up.


We are not defined by how high or low our grades are.

We may have failed different classes numerous times, and we’ve learned from our mistakes for sure. We’ve gone through sleepless nights of studying, grueling hours of trying to get that design to work, sleeping in class because we spent all night studying, we turn into creative zombies, we’ve been through a lot—and we’ve graduated! In the complicated, survival of the fittest, world of engineering, isn’t our diploma good enough to prove that we’re more than capable?

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I’m not saying that grades aren’t an important criteria, I’m just saying that it’s unfair to base judgement purely on how high or low our grades are. Failing Mechanics, Calculus or any other subject does not make us under-qualified. What’s important is, we’ve learned from our mistakes, we retook the subjects, passed it and graduated!

Cielo Santos

Engineer. Writer. Artist. Gamer. Musician. She dreams of building a time machine and help kittens take over the world. Is secretly the pink power ranger in real life.

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Engineers Aren’t Defined By Their Grades

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