Discussion Thread

Development opportunities for undergraduate engineering students

  • 1.  Development opportunities for undergraduate engineering students

    Posted 06-08-2021 10:15 AM
    Civil engineers who shared their experience and advice in "Explore Engineering Careers in Construction" responded to a couple questions we did not get to during the live roundtable discussion.

    Today's question: During the session, Maryam mentioned looking for opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom. What types of opportunities would you recommend that undergraduate students look for specifically?

    (Answers are based on individual experiences).

    Daniel R. Cook, P.E., S.E., P.Eng., M.ASCE, CI President, Senior Project Manager, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger:
    We would be remiss if we didn't say to first become active in your college or university's ASCE Student Chapter. Look for student competitions in which to participate with your chapter, or even apply to attend and participate as an individual in CI Student Days, a unique event that brings together top engineering students from across the country for a multi-day, real-world, construction-focused competition. From there, you can start to build your network and even reach outside your local group to become actively involved with other student chapters on a national and international level. Beyond that, try to secure yourself a co-op or internship, which will allow you to begin developing new skills, meeting others, exploring your interest in the type of work that firm performs, and building your resume.

    Erin N. Slayton, P.E., DBIA, ENV SP, Vice President & Program Management Director for the Transportation Business Group, HDR Inc.:
    Even more important than which opportunities you pursue is what you choose to do with the opportunities. Choose things that really interest you, whether or not it is specifically related to civil engineering. Habitat for Humanity and Engineers Without Borders provide great chances to get real-world experience. Whatever you do, seek opportunities for leadership experiences. If you have professional sections or branches nearby, go to those to build your network. Most meetings have student discounts.

    Watch on-demand recordings of the entire Career Discovery series on the Career Discovery web page collaborate.asce.org/careerdiscovery.

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    Susan Davis CAE, Aff.M.ASCE
    Senior Manager, Professional and Technical Advancement
    American Society of Civil Engineers
    Reston, VA
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  • 2.  RE: Development opportunities for undergraduate engineering students

    Posted 06-10-2021 10:53 AM
    Another thing I would like to add (similar to what Erin suggested) might be to keep an eye out for events that might not be part of the College of Engineering within your university.

    For example, while reading my school's daily mail, I once found a small note letting students know that the business school was putting on a competition related to designing a product and bringing it to market. I had previously already written a white paper about a proposed design for a paintball product for an engineering class, and since the competition was open to all students, I adapted the paper for the competition. I ended up winning, and getting to meet a prominent alumni who has been involved in various start-ups. It was a very rewarding experience that I would have never known about if I had not taken the time to read my school's daily mail about an opportunity occurring outside of my major.

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    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
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  • 3.  RE: Development opportunities for undergraduate engineering students

    Posted 06-13-2021 10:51 AM
    If your school offers career workshops, please do attend. I learned so much from building resume, setting up LinkedIn profile to networking, job interviews and salary negotiation.

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    Tung Nguyen, PhD
    Water Resources Engineer
    Sacramento, CA
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  • 4.  RE: Development opportunities for undergraduate engineering students

    Posted 06-11-2021 04:50 PM
    Hi Christopher,

    That's great advice, thanks for sharing!

    Susan

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    Susan Davis CAE, Aff.M.ASCE
    Manager, Professional Activities
    ASCE
    Reston VA
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