I have found myself in a somewhat strange place in my studies. I am a student at the University of Mississippi and am currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering as well as an emphasis in manufacturing. The emphasis is part of a special program that I am doing that also involves accounting and business majors (I take extra classes on processes, business, management, lean, etc...). I find my engineering and manufacturing classes engineering and I do very well in them. The issue is where my passion lies. I love the outdoors. Backpacking and mountain biking are two of my favorite things in the world. I love climbing as well. I really want a career in something that I am passionate about one day and I am having issues imagining how I can connect my studies and my passions right now. Does anyone know of career paths I could pursue via my degree that would involve being active in the outdoors.
There are a variety of ways to pursue an engineering profession and enjoy your outdoor passions as well. One option is to investigate engineering opportunities at companies that are located in regions that will allow you quick and frequent access to pursue your sports as a hobby. A second option is to investigate employment options in companies that design, manufacture and/or distribute the types of equipment that you use in your sports. Regardless of the route that you take, keep it in mind that no initial choice has to be permanent and that sometimes opportunities that you never expected and can take in a totally different direction can arise along the way.