From engineer to MBA

career advice
By Nelson

I've made it a point to live a life that satisfies my aspirations and dreams. I adopted the idea of chasing my "Personal Legend," which is my actual purpose and passion in life, after being moved by my parents' sacrifices.

Like Santiago, the main character in the book The Alchemist, I was aware that following my heart was essential to realizing my goals. Knowing that engineering was my calling, I set out on this quest. I learned from The Alchemist that enjoying the journey is just as important as getting to your final destination. I discovered that I could enjoy every step of the engineering degree process. From late-night study sessions to hands-on projects, each experience taught me valuable lessons and transformed me into a better version of myself. I realized that the learning process itself was a treasure worth savoring. Similar to Santiago's encounters with fear and doubt, I faced my own share of challenges as an aspiring engineer. But the book's wisdom helped me understand that fear was merely a hurdle to overcome. By trusting my instincts and believing in my abilities, I tackled each obstacle with renewed strength and resilience. The novel instilled in me the belief that when I pursued my dreams with passion and determination, the universe conspired to help me along the way. Signs and synchronicities guided me towards the right opportunities and people, making my journey smoother and more fulfilling. 

Soon, I realized that my journey was meant to lead me towards a new chapter. Inspired by The Alchemist's message of embracing change, I decided to pursue an MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, transitioning from engineering to the world of business. Just as Santiago discovered new aspects of himself during his quest, I embraced this change as an opportunity for personal growth and development. The lessons from The Alchemist will continue to guide me - perhaps it will also inspire you to find your purpose and passion, wherever and whatever it may be.

Nelson is an MBA Candidate at MIT Sloan. He previously earned his MS in Microwave Engineering and BS in Mechanical Engineering at UMass Lowell and the University of Rochester respectively.


academics study skills MCAT medical school admissions SAT expository writing college admissions English MD/PhD admissions writing LSAT strategy GMAT GRE physics chemistry math biology graduate admissions ACT academic advice interview prep law school admissions test anxiety language learning MBA admissions premed career advice personal statements homework help AP exams creative writing MD study schedules Common Application test prep summer activities computer science history philosophy organic chemistry secondary applications economics mathematics supplements PSAT admissions coaching grammar research 1L law statistics & probability legal studies psychology ESL CARS SSAT covid-19 dental admissions logic games reading comprehension engineering USMLE Spanish calculus mentorship parents Latin case coaching verbal reasoning DAT PhD admissions excel political science AMCAS English literature French Linguistics MBA coursework Tutoring Approaches academic integrity chinese medical school Anki DO STEM Social Advocacy admissions advice algebra astrophysics biochemistry business classics diversity statement genetics geometry kinematics letters of recommendation mechanical engineering mental health presentations quantitative reasoning skills study abroad technical interviews time management work and activities 2L IB exams ISEE MD/PhD programs adjusting to college algorithms art history artificial intelligence athletics business skills careers cold emails data science first generation student functions gap year international students internships linear algebra logic poetry resume revising science social sciences software engineering tech industry trigonometry 3L AAMC Academic Interest DMD EMT FlexMed Fourier Series Greek Health Professional Shortage Area Italian Lagrange multipliers London MD vs PhD MMI Montessori National Health Service Corps Pythagorean Theorem Python Sentence Correction Shakespeare Step 2 TMDSAS Taylor Series Truss Analysis Zoom acids and bases amino acids analysis essay architecture argumentative writing art art and design schools art portfolios bibliographies biomedicine brain teaser campus visits cantonese capacitors capital markets cell biology central limit theorem centrifugal force chemical engineering chess chromatography class participation climate change clinical experience community service constitutional law consulting cover letters curriculum dementia demonstrated interest dental school dimensional analysis distance learning econometrics electric engineering electricity and magnetism enrichment escape velocity european history evolution executive function finance freewriting fun facts genomics graphing harmonics health policy history of medicine history of science hybrid vehicles hydrophobic effect ideal gas law induction infinite information sessions institutional actions integrated reasoning intermolecular forces intern investing investment banking lab reports linear maps mandarin chinese matrices mba medical physics meiosis microeconomics mitosis music music theory networking neurology neuroscience object-oriented programming office hours operating systems organization outlining pedagogy