4 Career Insights from Professional Engineers for College Students

The panel of professionals from Toyota, Texas Instruments, CCL Partners Group, and Verizon shared career advice with members of SMU Lyle’s Thrive Scholars peer-mentoring program.

Panel discussion
Kathy Hubbard, assistant dean for student success and inclusive excellence, moderates the panel at the Thrive Scholars featured Spring event.

Early in your engineering career, make sure to take risks, be patient, make connections and fail forward.

These insights are among the many pieces of inspirational advice shared with SMU Lyle engineering students at an industry panel discussion hosted by the Thrive Scholars Program April 3. The panel, moderated by Kathy Hubbard, Assistant Dean for Student Success and Inclusive Excellence at SMU Lyle and champion of the program, covered topics related to impostor syndrome, setting yourself up for success early in your academic career, professional networking, and more.

Here are four key takeaways from the discussion:

Male and female speaker at Thrive eventChris Carter, Chief Engineer, Executive GM, Toyota

“Learn people skills. This is as hard as any of the technical skills you learn. If you can have the people skills and the engineering skills, the sky’s the limit.”


Female and male speaker at Thrive eventFrances Gonzalez, Product Marketing Engineer, Texas Instruments

“As a new graduate going into the corporate world, take advantage of your company’s diversity networks to build connections and find mentors. It’s important for your professional career.”


Panel speakers at Thrive Scholars eventJustin Lopez, Operations Executive, CCL Partners Group

“Go to class, try to sit in the first couple of rows, pay attention, take good notes, do your homework and you’ll realize it’s easy to find success.”


Female and male speaker at Thrive Scholars eventLauren Love-Wright, Vice President of Network Partnerships, Verizon

“Take risks. That’s how you grow. That’s how you have an impact. That’s how you succeed. When you fail, get back in there, brush yourself off and keep going just like when you won.”

About the Bobby Lyle School of Engineering
SMU's Lyle School of Engineering thrives on innovation that transcends traditional boundaries. We strongly believe in the power of externally funded, industry-supported research to drive progress and provide exceptional students with valuable industry insights. Our mission is to lead the way in digital transformation within engineering education, all while ensuring that every student graduates as a confident leader. Founded in 1925, SMU Lyle is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest, offering undergraduate and graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees.

About SMU
SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMU’s alumni, faculty and nearly 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead change in their professions, community and the world.