Midsummer, late-night in Fort Lauderdale, FL, it’s not difficult to find a party. Or a beach. Or both.
But the 35 ASCE Student Members participating in the 2017 Construction Institute’s Student Days weekend in Fort Lauderdale last month were all about business.
“Not much sleep at all,” said attendee Anthony Feeney, S.M.ASCE, a Rowan University senior. “We were going pretty much ‘til 3 a.m. and waking up at 7.”
For the record, he’s talking about work. Feeney’s team kept exhaustive hours throughout the weekend, working on the CI Heavy Civil Engineering Team Challenge, a key component of Student Days. The teams had to develop a written proposal and presentation – complete with cost estimation and a schedule – for the design and construction of the foundation of a building in Florida.
“It could take about three months; we had three days,” Feeney laughed.
Student Days brings civil engineering students from around the country together with potential employers seeking new talent. In addition to the team challenge, the students participated in several educational sessions, including a speed-networking event with recruiters from different companies, and toured the Solitaire Brickell building project, courtesy of Balfour Beatty US, in Miami.
The event also is a unique opportunity for ASCE professional members to get to know an exclusive group of hand-picked students and introduce them to real-world engineering applications and experiences they will not have in school. Almost 20 volunteers, composed of CI Board members, young professionals, and local ASCE members met and mentored these future leaders giving them experience, knowledge, and contacts they will carry throughout their careers. “I met a lot of great people – people from all different backgrounds in civil engineering,” Feeney said. “I got to talk with the professionals about what they work on in the field and also got to work on a real-world project, something you wouldn’t normally get to do in a classroom.”
I have learnt so much this weekend and I am truly grateful for the experience #CIStudentDays
— ItsyourgirTobi (@Yoyin_xo) August 1, 2017
And all of Feeney’s hard work paid off. The team he captained won the team challenge.
“It was a great experience,” Feeney said. “It was crazy, but I am so happy I did it. I learned so much more about civil engineers, what they actually do in the real world.”