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  1. Blog
  2. Career Development
  3. June 22, 2021

What Does an Engineer Do?

“Stay true to yourself and follow your passion—engineering is incredibly rewarding if you enjoy solving problems and designing the future!”

Man and woman looking at a robotic arm
Photo courtesy of ThisIsEngineering

This article is part of InHerSight's What Do You Do? series. This series explores the working lives of women by job title. Readers can get a glimpse of what it's like to work as an account executive, software developer, restaurant manager, and more.

What does an engineer do?

The role of “engineer” is impossible to pigeonhole. There are six major branches of engineering—electrical, mechanical, chemical, management, geotechnical, and civil—that can be broken down into hundreds of specialties. It’s not uncommon on the InHerSight platform to come across an everday engineering job title with a jaw-dropping responsibility...like the design engineers at Ursa Major Technologies powering the next space race. This field is diverse and boundless—as in, the-sky-is-not-the-limit boundless.

Engineers themselves do share some commonalities, however; they’re problem-solvers who excel in the science and technology realms. They also keep our world going ‘round, building skyscrapers, designing machinery, finding new ways to protect the environment, and more. Whether working at a molecular level or a macro level, these innovators aim to make our lives safer, easier, and oftentimes more exciting. 

Here, two women engineers—in a male-dominated field, no less—share what they do every day, how they got where they are, and what skills make them the most successful.


Crystal Trivedi

Senior Technical Engineer, Customer Solutions, at Markforged with four years of experience

What does a customer solutions engineer do?

The primary responsibility of a customer solutions engineer is to resolve customer issues in the field. As a senior member of my team, my primary responsibility also includes supporting the rest of my team in this task.

What’s your professional background, and why did you pursue your current career?

I got a degree in biomedical engineering with a focus in biomechanics. While in school, I had an on-campus job as an IT helpdesk associate, working in a customer-focused capacity. After college, I spent two years working in research and development for prosthetics and medical devices. Ultimately, I decided to take a role as a technical engineer on the customer solutions team at Markforged because I felt a disconnect in the products I was working on and its impact on the intended users, and I really missed customer interactions. Additionally, shifting into the fast-paced and ever-growing additive manufacturing industry seemed like a good fit for me.

How do you help the company?

As a senior member of my team, my work is primarily focused on using data from customer interactions to identify pain points in our products and processes, and improving customer experience through reporting new or recurring issues seen in the field for immediate or future action by our engineering teams. Keeping a pulse on issues or questions arising from the field can give us greater insight into customer pain points. Basically, I work to improve how customers use our products, and how my team interacts with these customers. 

What does a typical workday look like?

A typical workday starts by checking my Slack for any new chatter related to new or on-going issues, and updates on escalations from the engineering teams. Then, I check my assigned customer cases. In the afternoon, I typically take a few hours away from cases to work on initiatives such as internal documentation development, case data analysis and report generation, and trend tracking and escalations. Because I’m also a subject-matter expert for one of our product lines, I’m in contact with my team to ask and answer questions about cases, and fielding questions to and from the engineering teams about customer trends throughout the day. 

What are the three most important parts of your job?

  • Internal and external communication
  • Being able to think like and empathize with our users
  • Documentation

What’s the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job would be time management. It’s pretty easy to let supplementary responsibilities go unaddressed if there are pressing customer issues in the field.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the satisfaction gained from resolving our users’ problems. Happy customers make me happy!

What’s one piece of advice you could give to someone interested in being a customer solutions professional?

The role of a customer solutions professional may vary from company to company, but in general, if you’re interested in the products a company produces and you think you’ve found a position that intrigues you, don’t hesitate to apply, or reach out to someone on that team for more insight.


Brittany Jamison

Structural Engineer I at Milhouse Engineering and Construction Inc. with one and a half years of experience

What does somebody in your role do?

Design structures!

What’s your professional background, and why did you pursue your current career?

I knew I liked math and engineering sounded interesting—college courses helped me decide on structural engineering. I graduated in 2019 with a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama—Roll Tide!

How do you help the company?

I love getting involved in committees and decisions whenever possible—whether that’s planning engineer’s week or women empowerment.

What does a typical workday look like?

I typically have one or two meetings to coordinate design decisions every day, and then I model in Revit to create construction drawings or I work on structural calculations, depending on which project I am currently working on.

What are the three most important parts of your job?

  • Critical thinking
  • Initiative
  • Communication

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Finding ways to meet client needs while still obeying the laws of physics.

What’s the best part of your job?

Every day is a new set of problems to solve!

What’s one piece of advice you could give to someone interested in being in a role like yourself?

Stay true to yourself and follow your passion—engineering is incredibly rewarding if you enjoy solving problems and designing the future! 

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Photo of Beth Castle

Beth Castle

Managing Editor, InHerSight

Beth Castle is on staff at InHerSight, where she writes about workplace rights, diversity and inclusion, allyship, and feminism. Her bylines include Fast Company, Charlotte magazine, The Charlotte Observer, SouthPark magazine, Southbound magazine, and Atlanta magazine. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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