“I never considered myself a daddy’s boy, I wanted to be able to have a life of my own, not simply the product of a certain family or a certain class. I thought I would be able to express myself within the sport.
You can buy your way into Formula 1, but once your arse is in the metal monocoque, the only person who can help you is yourself.” -Elio de Angelis
Hey, I’m Mike. I’m a 24-year-old traffic engineer living and working in New Jersey.
Unlike most of my friends I went to undergrad with, I’m the only one in my family who decided to go into engineering as a profession. I always liked the sciences growing up, but I was drawn more towards the application of science rather than trying to discover new principles and natural laws, so engineering appealed to me more than scientific research. I knew I wanted to work on projects that literally changed the word physically, and the bigger the scale, the better.
I went to Rowan University for undergrad and graduated with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2011. I was exposed to a wide variety of content in that curriculum including transportation engineering, structural engineering, environmental engineering, foundation engineering and many more sub-disciplines. While I confess I don’t remember much of what I’d learned (don’t tell my old professors!), I’m glad I was exposed to it all so that I knew what my options would be post-graduation.
Throughout all four years of college I had an intern position at the local County Engineer’s office basically doing what I do know on a much smaller scale. That probably made me unfairly predisposed to leaning towards transportation engineering, but I didn’t mind and the experience looked great on my resume.
I graduated in 2011, when the labor market apparently bottomed out, and at the end of a grueling 7 months of unemployment I finally landed a job at my current firm, Langan Engineering. Now I routinely design new intersections and roadway widening projects all over the state, and have even seen a few through to construction. Driving over a road you personally designed from scratch is a small but satisfying pleasure.