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Career Spotlight: Civil Engineer

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"One of the things I really love about being an engineer is being able to help people," explains Alishia Ballard who graduated in 2015 with a degree in civil engineering from San Diego State University. After graduating, she has been interning with San Francisco Public Works in their structural engineering section. Structural engineering is a subcategory of civil engineering, and it often involves designing, inspecting and analyzing structures like bridges and buildings.

Her job allows her to give back to the community because all the projects that she works on are for the public.

As a high school student, Ballard was a big fan of math, and she decided to go into engineering because she wanted to use mathematics to help solve problems.

“Specifically choosing to be a civil engineer was associated with my desire to look at huge structures and think, ‘Wow, who built that? Who actually made that?’ And now I have actually become someone who is part of that, and that is an amazing thing,” explains Ballard.

For people interested in become an engineer, Ballard recommends finding a mentor. She found mentorship in college through the National Society of Black Engineers.


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