Guest Column - TPD

Be the Mentor & Colleague You Appreciate

Nicole Khan - Senior Engineer

Nicole Khan

Being an engineer is an intrinsic part of my identity. It was not my first occupation, but it is my forever career. I have leveraged my past experiences to push ahead in this industry, to discover my voice, and to become a stronger individual and a better person.

I have also been lucky enough to build a professional circle of trusted advisers, colleagues, and friends. These individuals have helped me grow, challenging my approach and my technical skills to be better, more precise, and more client focused.

With this experience, I realize engineering is much more rewarding with collaboration and when we recognize talent in others. Younger employees benefit from senior staff mentorship – and they are not the only ones. Reach out and pull someone forward and up! Not because it is expected… not because you want something in return… because it is the right thing to do. The true test of a person’s character is how they treat others who they do not rely on to advance their objectives. Let the rubber meet the road and let us improve the industry, together.

My professional advancement has most recently brought me to Traffic Planning and Design, Inc. as a Senior Engineer; it is a great match. My colleagues respect me and solicit my opinions on projects, recruiting, and client development. I am taken seriously. I have a seat at the table. In return, I am loyal to the team. I strongly believe this type of collaboration and respect leads to employee satisfaction and retention.

As a female engineer, I particularly want to help other women in transportation succeed. Diversity of thought is critical in this business. Do not wait for someone else to be the change-agent. Start with you!