February 16, 2023

In the 2022 fall semester, Mechanical Engineering professors Joseph Vignola, Diego Turo, and Gerard Carroll began inviting corporations and agencies that hire engineers to campus on Fridays, a sort of intermittent mini-job fair, with the goal of getting every student in the School of Engineering a great summer internship. After the Christmas break, these Career Exploration Fridays hit the ground running for the 2023 spring semester with visits from the US Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD), Consigli Construction Company, and the US Navy Research Laboratory (NRL), one of the first events to take place in the newly renovated Scullen Room.

The representatives from NVESD and NRL included CatholicU Engineering alumni James Perea (Ph.D. 2019) and Nicholas Gangemi (B.M.E. 2018, M.S. 2022) who provided especially relevant insight on transitioning from college to work in a government lab. Gangemi emphasized how applicable the collaborative experience of Senior Design was to the work of designing experiments with NRL, and both alumni discussed the merits of getting hired with a bachelor’s degree and pursuing an advanced degree while working.

Mirroring one of the best features of a Catholic University Engineering education in general, Career Exploration Fridays are intimate events, with speaker presentations usually becoming a dialogue with the student attendees. During the visit from Consigli, students heard not only from a recruiter and two employees on their diverse entry points to a career in construction, but also from a current CatholicU Civil Engineering student who had interned with the company the summer before. During each event, resumes and business cards were exchanged. At least four more Career Exploration Fridays are in the works this semester, as the organizers seek to cast a wide net for possible engineering internships. If your company or agency wants to speak to our students, email Dr. Vignola.