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Tom Parsons

STEPS Ambassador Tom Parsons, Mayo Footballer and Jacobs Engineer, says that his engineering career to date has allowed him create new experiences, travel, meet different people and deliver work that has made a difference to society.

Read all about how Tom got into engineering below:

How did you first become interested in engineering?

At a very early age, I can always remember being creative, getting involved in problem-solving projects from helping renovate our home with my family, to part-time work at weekends.

I always enjoyed the challenge of solving a problem. It was probably in my late teens that I realised a career in engineering was for me. 

Being a sport fanatic, the idea of working with diverse teams to deliver interesting projects that could positively impact people’s lives seemed like a perfect fit, and so becoming an engineer was the goal. 

Why did you choose to study engineering?

I always wanted to have a career that could create new experiences, allow me to travel, meet different people and deliver work that made a difference to society. 

I recall being told that whatever type of career I specialise in, my work should involve solving complex problems and collaborating with others, & engineering allowed me to do just that.  

How did you get to where you are now?

The experience I gained as an engineer including project planning, analytical thinking, communication, and teamwork, have all played a huge role in my career to date. 

But I feel one important factor was having a continuous learning mindset. Since graduating in engineering, I have completed two Masters, various certifications in leadership, wellbeing, sustainability. 

I believe the skills of the future will focus on creativity, emotional intelligence, and a growth mindset. 

Remember this famous quote “The future belongs to those who learn more skills & combine them in a creative way”

What do you enjoy about engineering?

The chance to change the world. I love Jacobs tagline “Challenging today, reinventing tomorrow”, there is something inspirational about it. 

Not many professions can make such big claims. However, society is always evolving, how we use cities, infrastructure, products, technological systems, and public services. Everywhere you look you can see examples of engineering making a positive difference to everyday life, and in fact, saving lives. 

What I have enjoyed most about my career in engineering is the diversity of people I have worked with. It has also helped me embed a healthy lifestyle. In my opinion is imperative that our careers allow us to be creative, be balanced, and encourage us to be physically and mentally healthy. 

I’m a huge advocate for positive mental health in society, and engineers have a big role to play in this space. 

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