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Breaking into the Industry

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

VSE had the opportunity to sit down with a few of our employees to discuss how they paved the way into the civil engineering industry. Our guest speakers are Muhammad Isiaka, E.I.T., and Fatimah Al Bazzaz, Engineering Intern. Mr. Isiaka has been with Vogler & Spencer Engineering for 2 years now and began his VSE journey by interning! Mrs. Al Bazzaz joined our internship program this past year and graduated Fall 2021!

What university did you attend or currently attending?

Muhammad: I graduated from [The] University of Houston. My college life was pretty fun. I was a part of many organizations on campus such as ASCE, American Society of Civil Engineers, NSBE, National Society of Black Engineers, and involved in MSA, Muslim Student Association.

Fatimah: I am attending the University of Houston; I am currently a senior! My experience has been great. I have been getting to know people and interacting with professors, colleagues, and former students

Would you say that your organization(s) helped you find your 1st job?

Fatimah: I am involved with an organization on campus called ASCE, American Society of Civil Engineers, I am their Vice President. Throughout my experience with the organization, it has helped me network with other members, as well as other professionals and former officers. It helped me land my 1st and 2nd internship because of networking and building connections with former officers.

Muhammad: Yes, it definitely did! NSBE organized conferences twice a year and I would attend along with resume workshops. ASCE would also have a resume critic workshop for career fairs. It would allow you to network with future employers and strengthen my resume.

What was the title of your first job?

Muhammad: My first job was construction management intern and I felt really excited about it. It was in San Francisco with SF Public Works, and although it was kind of scary moving from Texas to California, overall, I enjoyed my experience.

Fatimah: My first position was [as] an engineering intern with a transportation company. I was very excited and to learn the different aspects of engineering and the transportation world.

Advice for college students/ graduates who are currently seeking a job?

Fatimah: Some advice I can give students who are seeking internships is to network and become involved with student organizations such as ASCE UH and ASCE Houston. This gives you the opportunity to network with engineers and former officers who are now engineers as well. This helps to land an internship and entry-level position to help gain exposure into the field.

Muhammad: Networking is key! To put yourself out there to be able to get the opportunity, you must seek it. Whether that is talking to your classmates in school who work at a company or reaching out to [a] career center and going to conferences. You must build connections because they are vital.

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