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Engineer to Entrepreneur

Success Strategies to Manage Your Career and Start Your Own Firm


Rick De La Guardia

ASCE Press

2016 / 170 pp.
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$48.00  List /  $36.00  ASCE Member

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Stock No. 41441 / ISBN: 9780784414415 buy

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Starting, managing, and owning an engineering firm can be a daunting experience. Engineer to Entrepreneur: Success Strategies to Manage Your Career and Start Your Own Firm provides practical steps at key career points to reach professional goals in any engineering discipline.

Rick De La Guardia leads aspiring entrepreneurs through the process from undergraduate class choices, through first jobs, to opening an office and running a consulting firm. Divided into three main sections for the student, beginning engineer, and company owner, De La Guardia provides background information, suggested activities, and detailed steps to make the most of each stage of one's career. Personal examples from his own career are used to illustrate real-life issues and decisions facing entrepreneurs as they find their niche, expand their contacts, and launch their firms.

Engineer to Entrepreneur will help engineers in any discipline rethink their careers and take charge of their futures.

About the author

Rick De La Guardia is President and Founder of DLG Engineering, Inc., an engineering consulting firm specializing in hurricane mitigation design of glazing and building envelope systems. He earned his BS in Architectural Engineering from the University of Miami and has almost 20 years of experience in the field. He is active in university and community professional organizations throughout South Florida. His firm was recognized by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce as one of the top minority-owned businesses in South Florida in 2012 and 2013.

Reviewed by Ray Bert, a contributing editor to Civil Engineering

Starting a business of one’s own is not for everyone. Certainly there are those who are perfectly comfortable being paid for doing their jobs without having to sweat the additional details of launching and running a company. Others have probably considered such a step but have their doubts, and a certain type of independent go-getter has his or her eye on nothing else. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, you are likely to benefit from the advice in Engineer to Entrepreneur.
Author Rick De La Guardia has arranged his book to accommodate people at three different career stages: students, those early in their career, and those with significant experience. While he has much to say about what to do during the student years and how to manage your career early on to prepare yourself to be an entrepreneur, the meat comes in a separate section. There he outlines the many and varied considerations involved in starting a firm and getting it off the ground. In its coverage of such topics as obtaining initial funding, settling on a name and business structure, setting up an office, doing marketing, and overseeing operations, Engineer to Entrepreneur provides insights in a concise, easy-to-read manner blissfully devoid of corporate-speak.

De La Guardia knows whereof he speaks, having founded his own consulting firm—DLG Engineering, a specialty engineering firm focused on building envelope systems—6 years ago after more than 16 years working for others. His introduction is a frank, plain-spoken account of his career and his motivations for making the choices he did. The reader will no doubt find it refreshing that he also recounts the fears and doubts he wrestled with and, to his great satisfaction, eventually overcame. Given that his goal is to encourage engineers to at least consider taking similar risks and striking out on their own, the humbly presented success story in the introduction is an eminently suitable way to kick off this practical guidebook.