Inspiring Future Engineers

Today's high school students are under immense external pressure to know what they want to be when they grow up so that they can take the appropriate classes in high school, get accepted into the right college, land the perfect job, follow their passion and be super successful by the end of their 20s. It is easy for them to identify whether they are a wiz at math or excellent in English and narrow down the fields that match those strengths. But making a good connection between their values, interests, personality, and a career can be tough.

Students enrolled in the Nease High School Stellar Academy of Engineering have given themselves a head start. Most students enrolled in the academy have already figured out that their interest or strength lies somewhere within. Hoping to help them discover exactly where, the academy exposes them to engineering opportunities through academics and field exposure.

In April, 28 Nease Academy students traveled to ETY's headquarters for a lunch-n-learn and were exposed to the many opportunities available in a full-service consulting and design engineering, surveying, planning and landscape architecture firm. ETM's HR Director and Stellar Academy board member, Jeff Krueger, organized the event. His goal was to provide students with a glimpse into the many opportunities available to them in a full-service consulting civil engineering firm, including those that don't require an engineering degree.

"We wanted them to understand what it really means to be a civil engineer for a company like ETM, and what other opportunities exist, by showing and explaining exactly what we do" said Krueger. "Even though the students are enrolled in the Academy, not every student has their heart set on being a civil engineer. Some have interests that best translate into other areas of the civil engineering process."   

During the event, students were presented with a glimpse into the entire civil engineering process starting with planning, surveying, engineering and culminating with inspection. They were given the opportunity to speak with professionals from every department about their title, role and responsibilities. The field study came alive during a creative thinking exercise for the students that required them to participate in creative drawing, collaborative thinking to solve a problem, and showed them how working together and thinking outside the box can get them to root causes, which can lead to innovative new ideas. Students were then exposed to some of the projects the company has completed, and others that the engineers are currently working on. At the end of the presentation, they were given a recap on how everything and how it all intersects in one company.

Overall, the students were very excited they learned more about civil engineering and how many areas of the profession ETM covered. Some even expressed interest in ETM's internship program. But admittedly, the benefit wasn't entirely for the students. ETM had a blast! After all, nothing is more fun than the opportunity to enlighten and inspire.




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