Student Insider: Melissa Zecher

  • The way I figured out that I liked civil engineering was actually through a lot of research during my junior year of high school; I first looked into architecture, but realized that I wanted to be apart of the whole process of infrastructure being created rather than just the design. Another thing is just how many focuses are apart of the career; they include geospatial, geotechnical, transportation, environmental, and structures as the main fields with many more focuses within those subgroups.
  • Some of the classes I would recommend for students to take in high school would include Physics, Calculus, and if you have any type of design class that let's you learn about programs such as AutoCAD or Microstation.  A strong background in these classes will help you greatly when it comes to taking college level math and physics courses because they really are on another level.
  • In college, most people say that you should spend about 2-3 hours of studying time per 1 hour of class section, but do not let this scare you.  Sometimes there will be classes that come easy to you and sometimes there will be tougher classes, just make sure to always put the time in and good things will happen.  One time I spent 5 hours working on a single Vector Statics problem with a study partner, and I finally figured out the concept of how to do it at 2:30am; that was probably one of the happiest moments of my life because I finally understood and started to love the subject material.
  • In the summer of 2014 I worked for a Pacific Empire Builders where I was able to help with the construction of an 18-unit residential project in the Los Angeles Area. Presently, I am working at an engineering firm called WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. I got my internship after I responded to a job posting on the Cal Poly Pomona Institute of Transportation Engineers page. A major reason why I received the internship was the clubs I had been involved in, such as the technical club Steel Bridge.