Personal and Professional Goals
As an international student, my ultimate goal for me is to live in the USA within the next 10 years. In order to achieve this goal, I have already broken it into small personal goals and professional goals.
As for my personal goals within the next 10 years period, I have made the plan for the following
- Completing and obtaining a university degree
- Find the girl I love and get married (in 5-8 years)
- Purchasing my very first car (in 3 years)
- Obtaining American citizenship (in 8 years)
- Buying a house in America and moving my family to America (in 8-10 years)
These are the personal goals that I have currently in my mind, and they are also acted as guidelines in my life that show me what I should be doing at what time period. Completing the software engineering degree would be the first personal goal that I need to complete. I do not really know how long it would take to obtain American citizenship, so I gave myself a very long period of time to achieve that. As for moving my family to America, I think it is very necessary for my family to spend as much time as possible together. Since I have been studying in America for a couple of years now, I don’t really have many chances to go back to China and visit my family. My parents are just working long hours to support my study here, and I really wish that I can make them enjoy life here with me one day. Having family or the one that I love on my side, can really help me push through the hardship in life which also increases my personal resilience. There were a lot of times that I was having hard times with school and job searching, I was very stressed and depressed because of those. My parents were the ones that encouraged and constantly communicated with me which helped me release the stress.
As for my professional goals, I do not really have many in mind right now. The only career goal that I set for myself is to become a senior software developer in 10 years at the company that I am interested in. Since I really love to program software applications, and it is also my major at the university, I can only see myself being a software developer in the next 10 years. I also think that working for the company that I like is the key to being successful, and the reason is that I would have a lot of motivation to contribute and produce more for the company. The career goal I have, also helps me increase my personal resilience. First of all, I would be in the company for a very long time, so I can obtain a lot of industrial required skills which will come in handy when I am facing challenges. Secondly, it helps me build up my own business network, so I would have someone to ask for help when there is an organizational crisis.
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Personally, I believe that personal resilience can be increased by achieving any type of goal because each of the goals was a challenge before getting completed. As long as we constantly set new goals in life, we would be able to be more confident before any challenges.
Deeper Ethical Issues
I believe that there are two major ethical issues that I will be facing in my future life as a professional engineer. The first issue is about not being responsible for the product that we will be creating. The reason, that I think this issue needs to be addressed, is that I have seen a lot of products that caused catastrophic failures. One of the examples that I can think of is the self-driving car. When we are developing a vehicle that can be driven without any human intervention, then we should be very cautious about what kind of situation it is going to run into and whether we have any fail-safe to prevent catastrophic error. Many engineers in the industries do not consider that one line of code could cause a malfunction in the system which might potentially cause harm, instead they rely on the testing team or quality assurance team to measure that for them. This shows how professional engineers are not being responsible for the thing they are creating. At the end of the day, when the issue does come up, a lot of professional engineers will push the blame on each other rather than look for the problem themselves. I think the main reason is that many professional engineers do not get involved with the entire project but rather a small portion of it, the engineers then are not able to realize how big of an impact each individual cause on the final product. The organization should constantly present the product to the teams who are working on it.
Another ethical issue that I might face is revealing the business’s secret to its competitor. I have read the news on how Intel was trying to get project managers and developers from the AMD CPU team to join in by giving them a better offer. The reason behind this was that Intel at that time was also trying to develop a new CPU, and apparently, AMD was also trying to make some progress. This might look like a normal job switching, but it could also involve certain degrees of revealing the business secret to the competitor which is very unethical. The software and skills that were taught and used in the previous company might get revealed to the next company, and they could use the same technique to make improvements in the development which might potentially harm the previous company. Even though a lot of professional engineers have signed the business conduct form at the beginning, it is very hard for an organization to track the information leak at each step of the development. If I have worked in a big company for a very long time and participated in major projects, then I can imagine that there would be a lot of small or middle size companies that want to obtain the knowledge by offering me a better deal. As a professional engineer, I should always act like one and follow the rule at all times.
There are still some other ethical issues that we are facing, but I have addressed two major ones. We should always remember that we have the power to change life as professional engineers, then we should also be responsible and follow the rules!