OK, guys I know that this is a unusual question, but I'm looking for input from some guys and gals who are already engineers. I am a mechanical engineering student and am currently in a co-op/intern position working in aerospace. I am pretty discouraged as I find the work I am doing incredibly boring and uninteresting. I understand that in a fashion you have to "pay your dues" upon entering the world of engineering before you can really get to the meat, but I am finding it hard to see a light at the end of this tunnel. From what I can see, most engineers end up spending their time filling out mundane (nearly meaningless) reports and making slight modifications to already established designs. The engineers I work for are consumed with piles of paperwork to designs and approve incidental repairs to miss drilled holes and dented panels and never really make any "ground breaking" use of their skills as engineers. It seems that these guys have accumulated years of knowledge and experience in order to push along paperwork to the next corporate level. If this was the world I am working to-wards I really need to find a new profession. I have always been fascinated with engineering and would be content to waist away hours watching extreme engineering on the History channel. I see potential in my field but don't know how I can avoid the ruts that would eventually end up with me hating my job/existence. As far as dreams go, I want to be involved with the cutting edge of the current growth in technology. I know that this isn't an easy task. I am fascinated the current building of a fusion reactor (ITER) in France and would like to be involved with its development one day. I want to help move along space exploration by private companies so that forward movement isn't stalled by penny counting government budgets. I want to help to lead the industry development instead of just pushing it along from a obscure cubicle advancing, mostly unnecessary, paper work with my degree backed signature. I guess I'm asking for advice in developing my career in a way that I can enjoy. Let me know what mistakes you've made (or avoided) that could bog me down somewhere I can't stand for twenty years. I'm not a genius, so I'm not going to be riding some pre-cut path to greatness stemming from a degree earned at MIT at the age of 16, but I am a "self-aware" individual who doesn't want to finally become an engineer and then go on to progress the dreams of a corporation at the expense of what little time I myself have to work with. Before I post I noticed that there was a bit of perceived "contempt" when I used the word corporate/corporation. I actually don't have anything against corporations....just the paperwork that they generate.