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Civil Engineer

Michelle Lun

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I work for a California engineering firm that consults on large construction projects all over the world. What skills are needed? You have to be able to draft and survey , as well as use drawing and drafting software . Also you have to interpret data from the field and have good writing skills to put that data into reports for clients. You need to be a people person and be able to work in a group setting and also be independent enough to work on your own. What was your major? Master's in Civil Engineering How did you get started in your career? I worked at an engineering firm while I was getting my master's degree and was hired on full time after I got out of school. What experience do you need in this job? Math and mechanical skills are important, so are computer skills, and familiarity with different engineering software. You also must have excellent communication, both written and oral, skills as well. Describe your "typical" workday: There is no typical workday. I could be out at a sight surveying, talking with the construction manager and architect, or I could be in the office drawing and drafting sights from data collected in the field. I also do a lot of paperwork and phone work with different people who are involved with projects. What is the hardest aspect of your job? Sometimes the paperwork can get a little overwhelming. Also dealing with regulatory agencies can be difficult. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Seeing a project completed and knowing that I helped to create and construct a major project. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? You have to work hard in school and have great math skills. You also have to be creative and knowledgeable in computers and of the many different regulations and codes for building large construction projects.