Civil engineers who shared their experience and advice in "Explore Engineering Careers in Consulting" responded to 5 questions we did not get to during the live roundtable discussion. Here are their answers to the last question in this series of posts. Remember to join us for upcoming sessions by registering on the Career Discovery web page collaborate.asce.org/careerdiscovery
Today's question: What type of previous experience do you look for in hiring engineering consultants?
Benjamin Cornelius, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE,Partner, LERA Consulting Structural EngineersIn interviewing new graduates for positions in engineering, we look for excellent performance in relevant coursework, past internships in design or construction, and involvement in activities that require collaboration and leadership, among other things. One of the most important things we look for is enthusiasm for the kinds of projects we work on.Jon Zufelt, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE,Senior Hydraulic Engineer, HDRFor new graduates, we look for enthusiasm for learning, student activities (clubs), internships or "senior projects", and required coursework (including how they chose electives). For EITs or engineers with past employment, we look for experience in construction, federal or state agency experience or just a background in the position that we're trying to fill.
Marsia Geldert-Murphey, P.E.,Regional Director - Missouri & Illinois Operations, Lochmueller GroupWe look for someone who has a high level of engagement whether it be at their university, community, student groups, or internships. They have great communication skills and can articulate their thoughts well in either written word or speaking. They show open-mindedness to career development opportunities and are willing to do what they can and exhibit the patience to nurture and grow their technical and leadership skills. We want members of the team who can demonstrate they work well in a diverse team and with a variety of clients.
Brad Aldrich, P.E., F.ASCE, F.NSPE, Retired President, Aldrich + Elliott, P.C.Internships are valuable to us. In fact, we frequently hire interns as new hires if they are interested. Internships allow you to determine if the work we do interests you and whether you like our company culture. As a smaller firm, getting the personality fit is almost as important as the competency of the candidate. Come to the interview enthusiastic, do a bit of research on the firm ahead of time (website, etc.). Prepare a question or two for the interviewer to demonstrate that you did this.
If you missed our live session watch the recording posted on the Career Discovery web page https://collaborate.asce.org/covid-19/career-discovery. Also register there for future roundtable sessions exploring civil engineering careers in education, industry and construction – and bring your questions for our panelists!