Carl Selinger’s “Stuff You Don’t Learn in Engineering School” Seminar

ASME New Haven & Hartford; IEEE Connecticut Sections – 4/24/10


Summary of Session Evaluation


The 4-hour “Stuff” seminar was attended by 28 ASME & IEEE members who represented engineering students, and entry-level, mid-career and senior professionals.  Topics focused on included: writing, speaking and listening skills; decision-making; running meetings; setting priorities and managing time; managing stress & having fun; and action planning.  The comments below are summarized.


1.    How would you rate today’s session?


0 Poor           3 Fair            13 Good            8 Excellent


2.    What was most helpful about the session?

  • I learned some social skills to enhance my performance in future.
  • Writing speaking and listening.  Meetings.  Managing stress and having fun.
  • Defining areas of individual limitations.
  • Specific, practical advice.
  • Emphasis on the importance of developing soft skills, being decisive, and taking action.
  • How to hold meetings.


  • Meeting section, for running them properly.
  • Priorities – “telescoping” idea.
  • Everything. It was an excellent event.
  • Decision-making, communications skills.
  • Do not be afraid of making decisions.


  • Setting priorities.
  • Communication skills.  Meeting organization. Setting priorities.
  • Explaining all the nontechnical aspects of the work world and telling real world actual occurrences.
  • Talking about how to enjoy life and meetings.
  • Communications skills and running meetings.
  • Inspirational experiences/quotes.



3.    What concerns you most about the real world?

  • What are the differences between industry and academia? Examples?
  • How to handle change.
  • Managing my behavior with respect to bad behavior by other employees and managers.
  • Work-life balance.
  • Managers (and colleagues) lack of effort in improving these skills in themselves and in direct reports.
  • Making a poor decision and facing the consequences.
  • Lack of competence in people.
  • Keeping skill most current and marketable.


  • Challenges of dealing with difficult people.
  • Pollution – air and earth.
  • I don’t fit in the real world – now what do I do?
  • Jobs after college and where they are located.
  • How to behave around bosses.
  • Spend too much time on job-related stuff, not enough with family.
  • Standing out and getting promoted.
  • Getting the first real job, and getting a job I can enjoy.
  • Having a good standard of living while enjoying life.
  • Time à not having enough.
  • Job security, technical compliance, continuous education.



4.    What other comments do you have?

  • Nice workshop.
  • Excellent session! Carl’s stories truly resonate with good and bad experiences I have had in industry. This was time well spent.
  • A seminar similar to this geared to those currently in college.
  • Excellent presentation. Interactive exercises very useful/fun.
  • I look forward to applying these skills on Monday.
  • Great presentation!


Contact Carl Selinger at selinger99@aol if there are any questions about this seminar.