I know now why the words "brutal" and "reality" often go together.
A "career outlook" seminar sponsored by the Engineering Society of Detroit lured me to a non-descript meeting room in Southfield, MI.
A few dozen automotive engineers had gathered there hoping -- desperately in some cases -- for a tip that would lead to a new opportunity.
Instead, they appeared to reach the painful conclusion that opportunity had passed them by.
Tom Thivierge, executive director-GM engineering and human resource management, addressed the group.
“How many people here are mechanical engineers?” he asks.
Most raise their hands, proud ambassadors of a noble profession.
“How many wish they were electrical engineers?” Thivierge adds.
The room falls silent, save for a few nervous chuckles.
But the message was clear.
This is a watershed moment in the storied history of the auto industry. The age of electrification is upon us.