After graduating from Lamar University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, I started my career with AECOM’s transportation business line in Houston, Texas. When I joined the company, I had no “real world” engineering experience; however, my manager mentored me and played an important part in helping me develop the professional skills I needed in a fast-paced work environment.
A few months later, I joined our company’s Graduate Development Program. The program provides additional mentorship, learning opportunities and resources for recent college graduates, helping us transition from students to working professionals. This investment in new employees impressed and encouraged me — it’s great to know you are supported in your career development and in being a success in what you do.
Working for a global company has many benefits, including the great variety of projects you can be exposed to. During my first couple of years with AECOM, I had the opportunity to work on roadway geometrics for both phase one schematic and phase two plans, specifications and estimates (PS&E) projects, sign design and a design-build project.
My first job was a phase one schematic to replace several bridges and realign a two-lane rural roadway. The cool part of this project was that I also worked on the phase two PS&E design about a year later. As a young engineer, it was great to see how projects progress from conceptual design to an actual finalized plan. A few of those phase two projects will be breaking ground this year, so I will get to witness that progress, as well.
Additionally, I am one of the people who helped create the large, overhead guide signs in the Houston area, providing commuters with direction. Seeing something so visible in which I had a hand in making is very fulfilling.
Another benefit of our global reach is that employees can re-locate to just about anywhere in the world. I had experience with this recently when I moved from Houston to Chicago and the transition was seamless. This diversity of project sizes, tasks and locations has provided me with well-rounded knowledge to build my career on.