Diane Hammonds, the Branch Manager for Sain’s Louisiana [...]
Many kids think they know what an engineer does. But they may not really understand all the options and what being an engineer looks like on a daily basis. Talking to engineers and seeing the work in action is the best way for them to find out.
This is why the Sain Associates Pulaski, Tennessee office was thrilled to host three high school seniors for a day of job shadowing. These young men had expressed an interest in pursuing a college degree in engineering, and we wanted to make sure they knew what they were getting into.
I always find it rewarding to talk to, teach and coach kids who are interested in engineering. It’s a challenging field, but if they put their mind to it, they can accomplish anything. I wasn’t always the sharpest student when it came to the books, but I knew I wanted to be a civil engineer and I kept my focus on that goal.
There are many options when it comes to engineering, and as you would expect, the students were a little overwhelmed with all the new information. But they were very interested in observing and listening.
We started the day by explaining the different engineering fields. The students had the opportunity to spend time with an entry level engineer to learn what the day-to-day operations are like for an engineer just out of college.
They also talked with several others in our office: an assistant project manager to learn about Planning and Safety studies; a project engineer to learn about highway design and construction plans; and the office manager to discuss management related items like contracting, revenue goals, budgets, backlog, etc.
Throughout the day, we definitely threw a lot of information at them, but we also told them not to be discouraged as they make choices leading up to college courses. My biggest recommendation is to take as many upper level math and science classes anytime they’re available prior to college.
We warned that when they reach their core engineering classes in college, the professors will try to weed out the ones who are not serious about becoming engineers. We told them they typically have until sophomore year of college to declare what type of engineer they want to be.
We weren’t shy about the fact that at Sain Associates we are partial to civil engineers! We hope to see these young men succeeding in the field a few years from now.
Sain Associates, Inc., is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Cullman, Alabama, Pulaski, Tennessee and Mandeville, Louisiana. Sain is a site engineering, traffic/transportation engineering and planning and land surveying firm with experience in more than thirty states.