LOS ANGELES – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District employees and interns shared their work experience with students and recent graduates during the 2016 Annual Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation Conference Oct. 5-9. The conference promoted careers in engineer, science and technology and honored Hispanic achievement in engineering. USACE LA District took an active role in several conference events including the “Speed Networking Breakfast," career fair, workshops, seminars and “College Bowl.”
During the “Speed Networking Breakfast,” Corps employees discussed career opportunities with engineering students and recent college graduates. Brandon Whitley, USACE LA District civil engineer intern, provided an overview of the Department of the Army internship program to Alejandro Gonzales, a civil engineer student at New Mexico State University, and Edward Baca, a mechanical engineer student at the University of Texas - Austin.
“I grew up in the LA area so I enjoyed sharing my experience working on the LA River and the Prado Dam,” said Whitley. “The Corps is a great organization to work for, especially if you enjoy working on big projects and helping the community.”
In another event, LA District staff led a team of 11 students during the “College Bowl” workshop. Resume building, team skits and practical building applications were a few of the STEM-based workshops 300 students participated in during the bowl series. Scholarships, ranging from $200-$500, were awarded to the best overall teams.
“We’re representing the Corps to let the students know we are a resource of opportunity for jobs, careers, travel, and even educational support,” said District Mechanical Engineer Victoria Guilloty. “We want to diversify our office and let them know we are a really good potential employer.”
For one College Bowl participant, being a part of the Corps’ team felt like family.
“Both my parents work for the Corps of Engineers in the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi,” said engineering student Jose Sanchez. “I participated in an internship program through my university with the Research and Development Center and I’m still working with them throughout the year. I just love math and science.”
Project Management Specialist for the LA District, Michael Curtis, was the Corps’ College Bowl team lead and hopes to take on the role again.
“I get excited when the students get excited,” exclaimed Curtis. “We are essentially showcasing our intern program that potentially these students could join.”
“We're very excited to share the work that we do in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Brigadier General Mark Toy representing the Chief of Engineers while at HENAAC. “USACE representation at HENAAC provides a perfect opportunity to recruit the best and brightest STEM professionals and introduce them to the vast professional opportunities in the Corps. The Corps provides meaningful work, good people to work with, and balance in your life...and you don’t have to wear the uniform to be part of the Army Corps team. We are proud to be a Department of Defense teammate with Great Minds in STEM and look forward to many more years of collaboration and partnership!"