History books will definitely never let us forget the crazy year of 2020. A year that changed everybody’s ways of working, doing business, celebrating, and enjoying time with loved ones. Regardless of all the bad things that happened, we have to both recognize and be grateful for all the things that went well. In order to recognize the bright spots of 2020, as well as to prepare for a better 2021, today’s episode is a recap of all we’ve accomplished this past year, and a list of goals we’re setting for the upcoming one.
After receiving their October results, tons of CEA students have already sent us a message via our free Facebook group providing feedback on our course and how it helped them achieve their goal of passing the PE or the FE exam. They took the Ultimate Civil PE Review Course or the Ultimate Civil FE Review Course in order to help them prepare for the tests. According to one of our students, “The best early Christmas gift I could ever hope for”.
This is just one of the accomplishments we’ve had so far in 2020. Others include amazing interviews on this very podcast, ranging from the NCEES chief officer of exams to a successful immigrant woman living the American dream, as well as the creation of a ton of in-depth material for all five major depth sections of the PE exam, called the Ultimate Civil PE Depth Review Courses.
Now, what are our plans for 2021? Listen to the show to hear what the CEA team is working on to help you on your journey to passing the PE or FE exam. Hint: more live study sessions and a brand new course specifically tailored for the California Seismic and Survey exams. Listen to find out more about it!
NCEES – https://ncees.org
Civil PE Review Course – https://civilpereviewcourse.com
Civil FE Review Course – https://civilfereviewcourse.com
The Ultimate Civil PE Depth Courses – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/depthcourses
CEA Episode 51 (Tim Miller – NCEES) – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/cea-51-the-ncees-chief-officer-of-exams-tim-miller-pe
CEA Episode 30 (Braden – Engineer4Free) – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/cea-30-engineer4free-with-braden
CEA Episode 53 (Melody Gonzalez) – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/cea-53-single-mom-to-engineer-living-the-american-dream-with-melody-gonzalez
CEA Team Members – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/about/our-team
Coaching Package – Check it out here!
Live Study Session on January 8th – Join Here!
Haven’t joined up in our free community? What’s wrong with you? J/K. Ok, just go there and join a group of like-minded civil engineers! – https://ceacommunity.com
Join over 4000 engineers like you and learn the tips and tricks to passing the FE and PE. We even have a free resource for you! – https://civilengineeringacademy.com/join-our-newsletter
If you need exams, solved problems, or courses, make sure to check out our home base – https://civilengineeringacademy.com
Reach out to Isaac – [email protected]
Transcript of Show
You can download our show notes summary here or get our transcript of the show below!
Isaac Oakeson: All right! So welcome to another Year In Review at Civil Engineering Academy. Can you believe another year has flown by? I cannot believe how fast time is flying. And obviously, what a year has it been! I mean, it's been, it's been crazy. So, in spite of all the crap that's been hurled at us involving COVID civil unrest, elections, school and businesses shutting down, the great toilet paper and sanitizer shortage of 2020, we still have plenty to look back at and show our appreciation for things. Gratitude is always something that I personally like to express, not only because of its benefits that you can read up on psychologically, physically, spiritually, but because I truly am grateful for many things this year, despite all of the craziness. So, this is just a very short list of things that I was personally grateful for.
Isaac Oakeson: But, one of the things I was grateful for, I was able to spend more time with my family than ever before. So, with no programs, dance, swim, tennis, soccer, basket weaving, school, friend parties, cheer camp, doctor visits, zoo visits, aquarium, birthday parties, all of that fun stuff, none of that was going on anymore, right? I was able to take a little breather and just spend time with the wife and kids. Andit's fun. You can reconnectGet to know personalities a little better, especially with your kids, where they're at, how they're growing, how smart they are, things that they're learning. And time flies faster with kids, so it's crazy. So it's good to reconnect with them.
Isaac Oakeson: I'm also grateful thatI was able to discover nature a little bit more. Spending more time outside. I think a lot of people did that. My father-in-law owns a bike store andthey couldn't keep bikes on the shelf. Like, everybody is going outside because of COVID. So it's good. And I've done the same. So that's been fun.
Isaac Oakeson: I'm also grateful for technology that has allowed us to still connect and chat to family, friends, and especially you guys, the CEA audience. So, thanks for being part of the team. I have a fun quote here. It says "Be thankful for everything that happens in life. It's all an experience". That was by Roy T. Bennett. And that is true. It's all an experience. Whether you have some ups or downs, all of these things can give you good experience in life, and that's how I've treated this whole thing.
Isaac Oakeson: So, lastly, I just want to say that I'm grateful for you, guys. Yes, you! If you followed us at all, if you've seen where we've beenhopefully outlined some things where we're going. And if you've been along for the ride, then I want to express my thanks. So, thanks for being part of the journey.
Isaac Oakeson: Okay. Having said all that, let's get to 2020 in review and see where we are headed with things. It's kind of crazy, and it's kind of exciting. So, here we go. First of all, COVID 19 and the NCEES. So, COVID-19 obviously rocked everyone's world, including the NCEES organization. It got so crazy. I was reaching out to the director of the exams from the NCEES and he was able to jump on to our podcast, and he described a lot of the issues that the NCEES was going through because of COVID-19. Plans were accelerated to go CBT early with the PE exam. It was originally slotted for 2023, but because of COVID, they bumped it to 2022. Testing was canceled in April, and then they reopened in October. And then, on top of that, they had to find a spot for areas to take more students. So they opened up these one-time January exams that are going to happen here next month. If you're taking that, good luck. And if you need resources, go to civilengineeringacademy.com. We can help you out. But yeah. I mean, changes affected everybody, right? So, NCEES had the monumental task of handling all of that. So, you know, good luck to you if you're taking it in January. If you took it last October and you've got your results, congratulations on passing. I think that is awesome. And the rest of your career is going to be great. And if you found yourself failing, don't worry about it. Take it as a learning and a stepping stone and let's move on, right? Let's take it again, register right again for it and get studying. And if you need a course, go to the Ultimate Civil PE Review Program we've got. Go to civilpereviewcourse.com and go check it out.
Isaac Oakeson: So, speaking of the course, let's talk about results from the October PE exam which we've already kind of briefly talked about. I've had a ton of replies from people taking the exam last Octobervia email, Facebook. Our Facebook Group is ceacommunity.Com, which is free. You should go join it. Or our private Facebook group, which is part of our PE Review program. Lots of people passing, anddefinitely some few people not passing as well. And so, you know, that just comes with the territory. But if you passed, I couldn't be happier for you. And in fact, some of them, I just want to read to you.
Isaac Oakeson: This one is from Archer. He said he passed. "Thanks Isaac for putting together this awesome course. As an ME, I was in need of some serious help to pass this exam". So, we got a mechanical engineer taking it. "I've Taken another course previously and didn't do it for me. Couldn't have done it without your course and guidance". He just passed. Awesome. Congratulations. Another one, Eric. "I Just received my pass notification. I took the PE structural test in Oklahoma and passed. This course was a huge help. I graduated university with a bachelor's in petroleum engineering, and eventually got an engineering job and needed to get my PE license". So, with the help of this program, experience on the job, and some other practice tests, finally able to learn everything he needed to get this thing done. So, so relieved. And so happy for you. Way to go, Eric! Last one, Haley left us a sweet little review here. She said "the best early Christmas gift I could ever hope for". And I agree. When you get the results before Christmas, it could be a real dumpster dive, or it could be awesome. So for Haley, this is awesome. This is her second time taking the PE. Studied on her own the first time, and the Ultimate Civil PE Review Course really made all the difference for her. So, congratulations to Haley. These are the best -- Shannon left us a review. She just got her results from Illinois. They just came in and she passed, but she says she's so excited she could barf right now. So, a lot of pressure to pass these exams, but we're seeing lots of fun results in the course. So, if you found yourself passing, congratulations.
Isaac Oakeson: The FE exam wasn't affected as bad as the PE exam. And that simply because it's already computer-based. Yeah, I think they shut down for a little bit. Butin general, you could go and take that exam again when they fired things up and got everything COVID safe. So, if you took the FE exam, congratulations to you. That also is a shining spot in 2020 if you were able to pass that as well. So I congratulate you and you get to do the next steps on your journey, which is going to take the PE exam.
Isaac Oakeson: Okay. So, that's COVID, how it affected exams things of that nature. Let's talk about what Civil Engineering Academy released in 2020. So here at CEA, we released quite a bit of stuff this year, actually. It's been awesome. So looking back, actually, we actually released this very podcast, The Civil Engineering Academy Podcast. I just, you know, had a harebrained idea and said, "Let's do it". So we ran with it. And it's been fun and it's been growing, and thank you for being part of that journey. If you haven't left us a review, please do so. It helps. So, we've been listened to in over 64 countries, and it's been fun to watch. But you know, 23,000 listens so far. I mean, civil engineering is probably not the most popular subject in the world, obviously, but I'm very happy with these numbers. And we're happy to release this, to share tips, tools, resources to help you on your own journey to become a professional engineer. We also love to share career advice and anything really civil-related that's going to help you in your life. So, I've had various guests on, including the NCEES exams director, which was fun. I've had my brother Mark on a few times, and he will continue to come on as we hammer out some topics. It's kind of fun. I've had various students of our courses come on. That's been awesome as well. And then I've also had other YouTubers, like Engineer4Free. The creator of Engineer4Free jumped on. He was out in Africa at the time I interviewed him, which was awesome, just before COVID hit. And he produces tons of free content. You should go check out that episode. And we had the amazing Melody Gonzales on. She wrote an awesome article on LinkedIn. It's kind of gone viral about getting to the USA and living the American dream, which has been an awesome episode as well. I haven't looked at what some of our most famous or popular episodes have been. That would be fun to do. But I'm sure it has to do with those few I just mentioned. Sowe have many more coming. We've hit about 62 episodes as of recording this, and we really haven't slowed it down. So, we're going to keep doing that. It's been fun. If you've enjoyed this, please leave us a review. That does help us out. So, if you haven't subscribed also to the podcast, make sure you do that. It's a little fun. And it's a little educational. How about that?
Isaac Oakeson: Another thing we released is our PE Depth Courses. So, students of the Ultimate Civil PE Review Course suggested that they wanted more specific instruction for their particular depth section. So I actually teamed up with Andy Richardson, who not only runs his own civil engineering company, but was also part of PPI in pioneering online education at the time this thing was even getting online. So he created a ton of depth material for all five major depth sections. We combined them all into one sweet course, and we launched that this year. We called it the Ultimate Civil Depth Review Courses. You can go check it out at civilengineeringacademy.com/depthcourses. And Andy does a great job of instructing there. You get access to exams, our private Facebook community, and you get all the content for all five depth exams. Now people always ask, "Well, I only need the geotech. Why do I need all the others?". And I'm like, "Why not?" Isn't it better to have more than less? And if you have access to other depth subjects and you struggled on those, let's say you took the exam previously, then you can just tap into those, right? If you sucked at water resources, you have an option to go review that. So, it's just additional material for you. And if you change your mind, you have it as well. So, there's a host of reasons why we packaged it all together instead of just splitting it all up and giving you just what you wanted there, because I think it's a better benefit to you. So, go check it out if you haven't: civilengineeringacademy.com/depthcourses. All right. So that was fun. Andy's an awesome instructor. So go check it out.
Isaac Oakeson: Other things we've done. We've reached out and included other CEA team members. And I can't go on without this episode without really thanking the CEA team for all of their efforts in helping us. I have a great team to help me run this ship and I couldn't do it without them. Soone of our lead support is Francisca, and she helps to run a lot of things through our private Facebook community and helps to answer questions. She's faster answering those questions than sometimes I even have time to go look at. And she has been amazing. If you're a member of our course, you know what I'm talking about. I've also had other team members. Jason, who has helped to produce some amazing video content for us, some practice problems, and he continues to do so for me. So, that's been fun to boost our library of problems. And then we've got Maithili Dey, and she's helped to contribute with some of our FE stuff. One of the things we're working on right now is we're actually producing a computer-based testing environment for FE test takers. We'll eventually make one for the PE as well. So that's going to be coming. So, exciting stuff and it's good stuff. So, if you want learn more about our team members, you can go to civilengineeringacademy.com and you can look at the Contact Us page. You'll see Team Members or About Us and you'll find us. So, fun stuff there.
Isaac Oakeson: What's coming in the future? So with 2020 almost in the books, let's look at what we have in store or what's up our sleeve. So with 2021 coming we're going to be doing more live study sessions. Students have really loved this. And in our own courses, they've asked to do more live problem solving sessions. And so we are. Starting in January, we're kicking off three study sessions with Andy Richardson. He's jumping on covering a different major subject for each one. The first one is going to be on January 8th, and we'll have a link in the description and show notes about where to go for that, if you would like to attend. This one on January 8th is going to be about water resources. So, we'll hit a bunch of problems dealing with water resources. Now, Andy helps specifically on our depth exams. So we'll probably be leaning towards stepped problems, but it will help you whether it's your FE, your PE, or otherwise. So come check it out!
Isaac Oakeson: The other thing we're releasing here is a complete site redesign. This is exciting for me. So, I teamed up with a sweet developer and we are taking things up a notch at Civil Engineering Academy with a fresh new design that's going to be coming out in 2021. So look for that. It's kind of a fun design. It's definitely refreshing. And it's something I actually have really enjoyed taking a part of in helping ityou know, withits content and how it looks. So, that's coming in 2021.
Isaac Oakeson: We've also got Mark, my brother, who's working on a California seismic and survey course. So, we really haven't slowed down on our course offerings. So Mark is just hot and heavy, laying down some sweet material for the California seismic and survey course. And that's launching in 2021 as well. So, if you do need to get your PE in California, or you are in California, then this is going to be for you. Make sure you sign up to our newsletter. Go to civilengineeringacademy.com/newsletter and be a part of that, because that's the first place we're going to announce it. Andjust a little hint, you might get a discount on that, okay? Sign up. It's good stuff. And we're going to combine the survey and the seismic together. I personally don't understand why those two are typically separated. I mean, I know they're separate exams, but you have take them both, right? So we're going to put both together for you and that's what it's going to be. It's going to be good.
Isaac Oakeson: Another thing we've got going on in 2021 is awesome podcast interviews. So we're going to continue to have awesome interviews and conversations with guests of all flavors. So, when I interview people, I don't really just limit my selection to bigwigs, presidents, things of that nature. I want stories and experiences from all walks of life and backgrounds related to civil engineering. Even people outside of civil engineering, and we can touch on civil engineering and how it affects them in their life. I think that's fun stuff. Or tips, tools, and resources that are going to help you in your career. All of those things are on the board. So,it's going to rock in 2021. If you would like to be a part of this journey and you want to be interviewed, I'd be happy to have you. Just shoot me an email: [email protected] Shoot me an email and I would love to hear your own journey because the tips that you share on the journey you've taken are going to help someone else in the same boat. And plus, it's just enjoyable to hear your own journey. So, like I said earlier, if you haven't left us a review on Apple podcast, please do. It does help us a lot on the rankings of that. And it's always fun to read reviews from the audience.
Isaac Oakeson: Lastly looking at 2021, we've got some career advice, okay? We got some good stuff coming up. Currently we have some coaching. So, if you need help with your LinkedIn profile, your resume, cover letter you can head to our site, Civil Engineering Academy, and I'll also leave a link that goes directly to a coaching package that we do have. But if you want to you know, boost your profiles and get more eyeballs on your LinkedIn profile and your resumeI can definitely help you. I've helped a lot of people with that. I've also interviewed a lot of people and seen a ton of resumes myself. So it's good stuff. So yeah, we currently do have coaching, but we're going to take that up a notch and helping you with some major tips on what you can do to boost your career in the future. We'll lay out a course to help you or any engineer grow your own brand, which is the company of you, Inc. That's really what you're doing with yourself, right? When you're finding jobs and you're building up a resume, you're really building a brand for yourself. So we're going to help you with that. We're excited about it too. It's going to be good stuff.
Isaac Oakeson: So guys that is 2020, looking back in 2020. And it's also looking ahead into 2021. We'll do another one of these, maybe near the end of 2021 as well, and see what actually happened. But those are our goals. Those are things we want to participate in and do. It's been fun. If you want to be a part of this journey, you want to be a team member of Civil Engineering Academy, we can definitely use your help. It'd be fun to get in touch with you and see where we could plug in and have some fun growing this. So, reach out to me by email, we can make that happen.
Isaac Oakeson: So, just to conclude. Looking back at 2020, it was definitely rough. I myself landed with COVID-19 in October and had to quarantine myself from my family for a few days. I felt crummy for probably a few days there. Lot of head pressure, a little bit of chest pain, but my symptoms probably weren't as bad as a lot of other people. You know, for me, it never got me down in bed. I had foggy headedness and stuff like that. It's definitely something you probably don't want, but at the same time I got it. I don't know where I got it. I think it was from my wife. But we don't know.
Isaac Oakeson: Anyway, it's over with. It's done. Stay safe out there. We've got the vaccine coming and all that jazz. For me, I was able to get through it though. And you know, that was an interesting journey. I think I'm going to do a little blog post about that, so stay tuned on that. So, that was 2020 in review. I only had, like I said, mild symptoms of that, but I can definitely see how it can turn worse for people, which is not a good thing. So there were many downturns in 2020, but by looking back and checking out what we are grateful for, you can see things were actually pretty bright. Things were actually pretty good. And I think 2021 is going to be even better. So, I'm excited for it. Anyway, I'm sure if you look back on your own life, you can find a few bright spots as well.
Isaac Oakeson: So, having said all that I hope you guys are doing well. This was fun to do. Just kind of a look back on things and a look ahead of things. See where we're at. Thanks for joining me on this journey. I really do appreciate it and we'll see you in the next one. Bye.
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