Patrick Dunphy, Catholic University '24, is a senior Civil Engineering student from Oxford, Pennsylvania. He has accepted a job as an Engineer Platoon Leader (Vertical)/Assistant Project Manager in the United States Army Reserve.

Briefly describe your new opportunity.

"As a future vertical construction officer in the United States Army Reserves, I will serve as a platoon leader in the 990th Engineer Company, located at Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. After completing 5 months of Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and the United States Army Sapper School, I will begin work as a project engineer or project manager for a to-be-determined company. In this role, I will be responsible for overseeing construction projects, managing teams, and ensuring successful project completion. Additionally, I will utilize the leadership skills and technical knowledge gained from my military training to excel in civilian engineering roles."

How did your School of Engineering and Catholic University education help you find this career path?

"My education at the School of Engineering and experience at Catholic University were instrumental in shaping my career path as a vertical construction engineer in the Army Reserves. Through technical coursework and practical training, I acquired essential skills in structural analysis, construction management, and problem-solving, crucial for my military role. Additionally, my participation in the Catholic University Track and Field and Cross Country team taught me the importance of discipline, perseverance, and teamwork—qualities essential in Army service. Furthermore, my leadership roles as a commander and first sergeant in the ROTC program, hosted through Georgetown University, provided valuable experience in leading teams effectively and developing strong communication and organizational skills. Catholic University's emphasis on ethics reinforced values aligning with those of the Army Reserves, emphasizing integrity, honor, and selfless service. Moreover, the coursework and guidance from professors at Catholic University will not only aid me in my military endeavors but also provide a solid foundation for the civilian side of my career in engineering. Overall, my education and experiences at Catholic University have equipped me with the tools to excel as a vertical construction engineer in the Army Reserves, facilitating both personal and professional growth."

What activities were you involved in during undergrad?

"During my undergraduate years, I was actively involved in various activities at Catholic University. I participated in track and field as well as cross country, which instilled in me discipline, teamwork, and a strong work ethic. Additionally, I dedicated myself to the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program, where I held leadership positions as a commander and first sergeant. Outside of military training, I served as the secretary of the Hidden Opponent CUA, an organization focused on raising awareness about mental health issues among student-athletes. Furthermore, I took on the role of treasurer for CUA Homefront, a group dedicated to supporting military service members and their families. I was also a student worker at the Makerspace 3D Printing and Creation Lab on campus. In this role, I gained hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology and equipment, honing my skills in design, fabrication, and problem-solving. In addition to these responsibilities, I was an active member of the Catholic University Club Lacrosse team, where I further developed my teamwork and leadership skills. These extracurricular activities not only enriched my college experience but also helped shape me into a well-rounded individual prepared for the challenges of military service and beyond."

What were some highlights of your time at The Catholic University of America?

"Highlights of my time at The Catholic University of America include participating in track and field/cross country, where I learned discipline and teamwork. Serving in leadership roles in the ROTC program honed my leadership skills. Engaging with organizations like the Hidden Opponent CUA and CUA Homefront allowed me to contribute to important causes. Beyond academics and extracurricular's, I loved exploring the D.C. area, trying new foods, going hiking, and visiting museums. These experiences enriched my college years and provided me with a well-rounded education both inside and outside the classroom."

What advice do you have for students during their own job search?

"Start your job search early, utilizing university resources and networking opportunities. Tailor your applications to each position and practice interviewing to showcase your skills effectively. Stay persistent, resilient, and open-minded, especially if considering military roles, which may have unique application processes. Actively network and seek feedback to refine your approach. Lastly, prioritize self-care to maintain balance and resilience throughout the job search journey."