Making a difference and using problem-solving methods – Suruj Ramsingh

What are your values? What are your interest, hobbies, and skills? Who are you as a person? Who is your role model and what career do they have? What do you hope to accomplish in the future? What difference do you want to make? These are all questions to ask yourself when you are on the path to choosing a career or major. When I was choosing my major and career, the first thing I did was research. While researching I found the website This website provided me with a quiz that tested my values, work style, skills, and interests. It also provided, at the end, some jobs that are most suitable for me based on my answers to questions in the quiz.

Some of the jobs listed in my results were: sociologist, art therapist, counseling psychologist, etc. I did further research on exactly what the careers listed entailed, but none of them sparked an interest in me. I decided to use the quiz questions to my advantage. I down the questions and also added in some of my own questions like the ones mentioned above. Questioning yourself is basically digging a little deeper and finding out what you truly want for yourself. It can reveal some parts of you that you never thought existed.

I kept asking myself these questions for a week and at the end of 7 days I gathered all my answers and formed one big information sheet on myself. It turns out I love and want to do everything which is really hard to believe. I discovered that I would be comfortable and happy in both business and science areas and that I am passionate towards all arts. For me to be really clear on a specific field/area I had to narrow down my answers.

How do I do this? I asked myself. The answer was clear, but I didn’t realize it because I let myself become flustered and overwhelmed by the thought of not being able to choose a career “in time.” I learned that this was a big don’t when it comes to making such decision, it slows down the decision process and makes you think negatively and then all the ‘what if’ scenarios start playing in your head. This kept me back 5 days.

When I pulled myself out of this flustering mess I decided to look through some old notes from school that I knew would help me in narrowing down my answers. It was from a technology education class. The first thing it read was “Technology education is a problem-solving approach towards real-life situations. This was helpful because I had a problem at hand, which was not being able to choose a career and being unclear about what major I should choose to facilitate that career option. I continued reading and then I saw a diagram I drew and below it had some information that described the diagram. The diagram showed clear steps on how to solve a problem.

This problem-solving method is a loop. This means once you resolve one problem and get the answer to one question, other questions or problems may come about and the method goes around and around that keeps solving problems as they come. The method is called the IDEATE model. This means: I- identify the problem, D- develop a design brief, E- evaluate possible solutions, A- assess the possible solutions, T- test and try out possible solutions, E- evaluate the best solution. At the end of reading, I started using the method immediately.

I realized in order for me to narrow down my answers I had to answer my questions with one word that means the most to me. To answer these questions with one word, I had to change the question. This was another problem that derived from the previous problem I solved before. I went through the steps again with the new problem at hand and solved it. The questions changed from what are your values? To what is your most important value? I changed all the questions from plural form to singular so that there can only be one answer to the question. I took my time while doing this and I dug really deep into myself to find out my core likings and preferences. At the end of this, my answers and career options were crystal clear. I choose sciences. Physics, chemistry, biology, geology and math and my future career, an aerospace engineer.

But then there is the bigger question which compiles all the other questions into one. Why choose science and this specific career? In my opinion, science explains the world in which we live. Science is the base of engineering and creations of the future. I want to be a person who can develop the world and be able to put my thoughts into a futuristic design of a spacecraft in specific since space hasn’t really been fully discovered. Additionally, this career allows me to help make a difference because I want to be able to create a model of a spacecraft that can clean the space environment.

In 2013 I found out about all the garbage us humans left in space for example metals, satellite parts that fell off and spacecraft parts that were ejected in space. This junk being in space can be fractured into zillions of pieces when it collides with other junk. These fragments will now be moving at high speed, orbiting the earth and can destroy our current working satellites.

Getting into aerospace engineering combines my love for spacecraft, aircrafts, satellites, and missiles with my strong desires to help our planet and the space around us. I believe I can make a difference and my career was chosen off of that as I see it as a major factor to consider amongst others when choosing a career.

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