Coming out of the University of Michigan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering I took a job in the aerospace industry. I worked for a number of organizations through the years; the Naval Avionics Center, Raytheon and Rolls-Royce. Throughout this career, I have learned a great deal about how machines are designed and brought to fruition. There is a tremendous amount of work and collaboration that goes into any engineering project.
Along this journey, my interest in stories and storytelling led me to complete a Master’s degree in English at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The study instilled a sense of respect for how well-crafted writing can convey a message and hold the reader’s interest.
This would seem to be an odd combination of skills. However, I contend that they actually fit together quite well. In engineering, science or any technical field, the data has to make sense for what you are doing. The same is true for writing. For whatever genre, fiction or non-fiction, the content has to work in the world you have created. Importantly, whether it is a reader, co-worker or customer they have to be able to follow what you have done and the story you are telling.