A new program at the University of Colorado Boulder connects engineering students with internships, scholarships and mentoring opportunities at Kiewit, a national construction, engineering and mining company.
The Kiewit Design-Build program will help up to 40 students a year for five years further their engineering careers through academic and professional development such as service learning, visiting construction sites and research projects.
Sixteen students have been selected for the inaugural cohort, according to CU Boulder, and 24 more students will be selected in the spring.
Joining the program was a relief for junior civil engineering major Jessica Ramos, who was trying to figure out how to pay for tuition next semester when she found out about the $5,000 scholarship.
“It took a huge weight from my shoulders, and Kiewit is a company I’ve been interested in for a while, so it’s pretty cool to get to the next level with them before I graduate,” she said.
Ramos has always wanted a career that involves helping people, and she had to pivot from pursuing a medical career when she discovered she couldn’t handle being around blood. Now Ramos is interested in water pipelines and ensuring that communities have access to water after earthquakes and natural disasters.
“I’ve found a way to fulfill wanting to help people and my passion for STEM and engineering within CU and this particular industry,” she said.
Junior Michael Seamon, an architectural engineering major, was recently laid off from his job because of the coronavirus pandemic. The scholarship means he can keep paying for his education, as well as make industry connections in a difficult job market.
“Right now internships are particularly hard to come across,” he said. “Kiewit has said they plan on connecting us with practicing licensed engineers in the industry, related to our fields, to help get advice from recent graduates …(and) to aid the difficult process of looking for internships and my first position, as well as gain some insight into what our first few years as practicing engineers might look like,” he said.
The program is providing short- and long-term stability for students, said Matt Morris, senior instructor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering.
“Beyond the short-term benefits, this program is robust and will provide a clear path for students to develop their skills and join the infrastructure engineering and construction industry,” Morris said in a statement. “We can’t thank Kiewit enough for their support and collaboration in building this program.”