Aubrey PrattComputer Engineering, Class of 2005
L-3 Communications, Communication Systems West
"Don’t Worry, Be Happy"
I’ve always liked fiddling around with computers, but I didn’t start out at BYU planning to get an engineering degree. As a freshman, I took the first programming class offered by the Computer Science (CS) department to see if I might like it... I did.
Pursuing an engineering degree was not easy for me. I had many late nights working on various software and hardware projects. Once I had to dash across campus to the Clyde building’s all-night CAEDM lab when the CS computer labs in the Talmage building closed!
I kept with it because it is immensely satisfying to see a computer program you’ve created run flawlessly. I learned I could figure things out, both in teams and on my own. Completing my engineering degree gave me a confidence about problem-solving I’d never had before.
After graduation, I took a job at L-3 Communications, Communication Systems West in Salt Lake City. At L-3, I enjoy writing software and working with multidisciplinary teams of engineers to fix problems.
After a couple years full-time, I switched to part-time when my first daughter was a baby. My husband, also an engineer, has always rearranged his schedule such that he can be home with our girls (now 5 and 2) one day a week while I work. My girls eagerly look forward to these “Daddy-days!”
As for advice... Sure, engineering is hard, but you can do hard things! Believe in yourself and remember that these core Math, Physics and Engineering courses are tough for everyone, even if your fellow (often overwhelmingly male) students are hesitant to admit it!
As for work/life balance, everybody is unique and each must carefully consider their options and move forward with faith. Don’t worry too much about what others are doing. They are not you and there is certainly no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to work/family arrangements!