ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Seven students from the University of New Mexico participated in an interactive briefing and panel discussion with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Albuquerque District leaders at the district’s headquarters office here, Feb. 20.
The event was designed to offer students information about career options with USACE.
“The audience was overwhelmingly graduate students in their last semester of either masters or doctorate programs,” said Reginald Bourgeois, USACE-Albuquerque District STEM outreach coordinator, and member of the UNM STEM Advisory Board.
“We wanted to showcase the opportunities within the Corps before the graduating class of engineers and in celebration of Engineer Week,” Bourgeois said.
USACE-Albuquerque District Commander Lt. Col. Larry Caswell opened the event with an overview of the district’s 80-year history and highlighted several key USACE mission areas.
Caswell emphasized that USACE isn’t just looking for engineers, but that USACE employs a wide variety of disciplines including biologists, business majors, and geologists.
USACE-Albuquerque District leadership and subject matter experts spanning a variety of specialties briefed the students on some of the many offices within the Albuquerque District, including contracting, emergency management, regulatory, engineering and construction, and operations.
Brittany Carabajal, a business major studying at UNM, said she learned how “every major is needed” at the Corps of Engineers. Several of the presenters mentioned that her degree will give her several career options within USACE in areas such as contracting and resource management.
The students received an overview of how to apply for jobs with USACE using the USAJobs.gov website, including how to establish a USAJobs.gov account, narrow job searches, and tailor a resume.
“Our STEM presentation to University of New Mexico students today was a worthy outreach to prospective future USACE professionals,” said Mark Yuska, Operations Division chief, USACE-Albuquerque District.
“I believe we were very effective showcasing our missions and multitudes of career opportunities, while taking away some of the mystery of who we are and what we do,” Yuska said. “I particularly appreciate that we provided coaching on how to find our jobs and effectively apply for them.”
Christy Glandon, Department of the Army civil engineer intern, USACE-Albuquerque District, participated in the panel discussion to add the perspective of a DA intern who recently graduated and now works with for USACE.
“It makes me happy to see the Albuquerque District putting on STEM events and reaching out to UNM students to get them interested in the Army Corps of Engineers because we truly do have a lot to offer these students and recent graduates and they have a lot that they can bring to the Albuquerque District and USACE as a whole,” said Glandon.
USACE’s Albuquerque District held annual STEM outreach events in the past, and has a renewed emphasis on STEM outreach and recruiting, according to district leadership.
“This group was clearly the top-tier of students and we were excited to see not just their participation, but their very positive feedback from the experience,” said Bourgeois. “We want to expand based on the success here.”