A Civil Engineering Career Immersion Day

If you want to know what a career is really like, it’s best to go straight to the source. Students from six metro schools had the chance to do just that during a Civil Engineering Careers Immersion Day for Project Lead The Way Civil Engineering & Architecture students.

The day was organized by KC STEM Alliance with support from the American Society of Civil Engineers Younger Member Section, which provided funding and a panel of young civil engineering professionals representing structural, geotechnical, transportation and bridge engineers.

For Zoe McFarland, a Park High School student, all facets of the day offered value, starting with hearing what the panelists love (and don’t love) about their work and gathering their tips for the transition to the work world.

The young professionals also worked with student groups on an interactive exercise to see how the experiences they’ve had in the classroom can translate into the types of competencies employers look for when hiring, using the Common Sector Competencies as a guideline.

Eleven colleges and universities joined the students at the KU Edwards Campus to share their pathways to careers in civil engineering. Then each school embarked on a field trip to a separate firm for a personal look at the civil engineering work world.

Students from Grandview High School visited CFS Engineers, where they designed a pedestrian walking environment.

“My favorite part was touring an actual company and seeing how engineering is applied in these jobs daily,” McFarland said. “It was such a gratifying experience.”

Thanks to the following companies for hosting students:


Burns & McDonnell

Black & Veatch

CFS Engineers


Brinkmann Constructors