Being an international agent can be as rewarding as it is challenging. Financial benefits to satisfying wanderlust, strong assets on a resume to a different work culture, there are many reasons to go international. Yet, many would state that engineering desk jobs don’t require or provide international mobility. Some would add that an international adventure would not be of any tangible value. These are simply wrong assumptions. Most likely from those who neither have international experience or have not spoken with people who have. We will now explore the actual perks, benefits and reasons for taking up international mechanical designing positions.
The ultimate technical manager
Only a mechanical design engineer would understand the core of the work and be able to discuss the intricacies of a project. Instead of PR or sales, a mechanical design engineer is the one handling project technicalities. The internet may make it easier to give a webinar or to manipulate a part on a shared screen. However, managing a project on the technical side and going through iterations of modifications and suggestions cant be done remotely.
The best thing to do is allocate people from both offices to the project to overlook its technical management. This will avoid any miscommunications and time delays fixing issues. It will also improve productivity and efficiency with people actually on site to intervene live on the work. Nowadays, international companies all have a team of international mechanical design engineers – or consultants as they are often referred to. They work with local teams, provide insight and are the focal point of technical communication.
In the same spirit of maximum efficiency in a bilateral process of exchange, mechanical design engineers will often move around countries. They can provide training for a client project or deliver training to another branch thereby expanding the skills pool. Sure you can teach someone through the internet to use Booleans and run a Macro but its not the same. Training and skill transfers which take more than a month will probably end up being international projects.
Big companies are going global
By big we mean the companies that dictate the trends and pioneer new technology in their respective fields. They don’t need to be a national business but they won’t let employees stagnate. Mechanical engineers of all practices are included in this – what do you do when you stop learning? When a mechanical designer has reached maturity in a project it makes sense to use their skills in other branches. There may be an internal HR system that offers positions worldwide to designers already familiar with the company’s culture. Either way they will already have proven skills and solid internal references.
International mobility as a stamp of quality
Nowadays, having experience abroad in your resume proves more than just a capacity to adjust culturally to foreign environments. It shows you can work in any situation and fulfill your mission. In technical fields such as mechanical design, it is a solid stamp for the skills of the engineer. It also highlights their capacity to work with other engineers with differing experience and education. People that can be trusted to work and adapt abroad will always be sought after by international companies.
A mine of opportunities
Finally, international mobility is a rich experience that provides solid networks of versatile nationalities. It also offers the opportunity to quickly learn a new language, be a traveller instead of a tourist and broaden one’s perspective. This is the kind of experience and skills that money just can’t buy – it comes with time and effort.
It is understandable that many people feel overwhelmed when they have to go through the experience by themselves. Sometimes thinking politically about the opportunity rather than socially or technically. Going international should be an option for every field of engineering. The expanded life experiences it brings ensure no one has ever come out of it the same person – they are more rounded and experienced.
It is not difficult to see why many mechanical design engineers might be nervous about moving overseas. Their personality may hold them back at times, they may be technically brilliant but find it difficult to communicate with new colleagues. As we touched on above, those who partake in international projects learn to think on their feet, adapt and come back a rounded individual. There is also the benefit of making yourself even more valuable to your employers. Mechanical design engineers with international experience are much sought after in the corporate world.