Event Date: September 28, 2021
This is Keziah’s Story
Keziah grew up in a small town, Preston, Idaho and is a mom to a two year old son, Hamish. She was working on her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at Idaho State University when her husband’s graduate education brought her to Purdue. Reminiscing about her move to Indiana, she says “moving was incredibly difficult because I agreed to intern for J. F. Shea in their Dig Indy Tunnel Project over the summer.” Keziah refers to a multitude of changes in life as a source of inspiration stating “These changes have all been for my good. The program here at Purdue is a much better fit for me and I value the care and experience I get.” She recently was awarded with prestigious Barr Caton Scholarship which has provided financial support to her as an out of state student. The value of the scholarship mentioned in her words “This scholarship means more than just money to continue school. But it was a lighthouse guiding my family's withered ship along.”
What courses have helped you the most in furthering your education?
“The most important courses you take are the ones that you remember. For instance, ENGR 131 was mainly a class about discovering which engineering discipline is right for you. In that course we were given a template for writing professional group engineering papers. This information has already proved valuable as many different professors have complimented me for being able to present such papers when other students thought it was unnecessary.”
Tell me about the technology you used or were trained on during your internships.
“The career path that I saw while working does use technology. And each job will use different tools. Some companies use excel, others don’t. Some use AutoCAD, others don’t. Regardless of what technology the company uses they will have to teach you how they use it. I do believe that Purdue tries to accommodate this by teaching us many different useful methods.”
How did you meet or not meet your expectations of what you would be doing and the tools you would be using in the construction industry?
“I haven’t gotten a chance to use as many tools as I would have wanted in the industry. But I’ve been able to walk away understanding why this and how that.”
Tell me about the projects you worked on.
“With J. F. Shea I shadowed field engineers working on calculating material and supply quantity and cost. As well as making sure that the shifters had what they needed and understood how to best complete the project.”
What have been your most memorable experiences in CEM?
“Having only been here for one Covid school year. I haven't had many experiences but I have enjoyed being a part of the Women in Construction organization at school. I have also enjoyed the times being able to work on the SBRITE project and over the summer I was able to have many Purdue faculty come for a tour at the Dig Tunnel Indy project. These experiences stood out because I was able to make connections, learn something, and share what I learned.”
Tell me a little about your experience as a CEM student.
“As a student I have felt like the math and physics classes at Purdue have been unreasonably difficult. I truly feel like the CEM facility has wanted to get to know me as a person rather than just another student. I think it's amazing that we get to do internships. Brandon's help was necessary in getting an internship. I have tried to get jobs on my own and it's hard while you're still in school. So my experience here has been one of care and attention. And a whole lot of studying.”
How is the CEM program living up to your expectations of it?
“I just thought it would be nearly impossible. But having completed one year I feel like I am actually going to use the information that is taught. It may be hard but at least it's useful.”
How do you manage/balance coursework, internship and normal life?
“What is the most important thing to do, then just get it done and move on to the next important thing. My kid is very important but to take care of him I need to have a good job so school is important. Set aside time for everything. Just make a schedule and keep the schedule. Schedule everything. Work, reading, classes, friends, naps you name it. But remember that you can't do everything. So figure out what's important and schedule it.”