Zachary Mickel is from Bluefield, WV. He received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Marshall University in 2015 and is pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.
What made you interested in your chosen field?
When I began my undergraduate studies at Marshall University, I wanted to enter a field where graduates were in high demand. I looked at the options and evaluated my skill set and determined civil engineering was the perfect field for me to enter.
Once I completed my geotechnical engineering and foundation design course at Marshall, I knew this was a field I could see myself in. The most intriguing aspect of geotechnical engineering is that each project is different, due to drastic changes in subsurface conditions. After doing some research, it became obvious to me that in today’s job market, those with a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering will have the most success. I made the decision to go to Virginia Tech to continue my education and to learn more of the theory behind geotechnical engineering design and practice.
What interested you in ECS?
After I learned about some of the projects they had completed in the Roanoke, VA area, I was very interested in becoming a member of their team. ECS has earned a great reputation in the geotechnical engineering community.
What was the most fun experience you had?
That’s a hard question to answer. I would have to say the entire summer because I was exposed to many different things in a short amount of time. Learning from a great group of engineers was a fun time in itself!
What have you learned, either about our industry or working in general?
- was able to learn about deep foundations and ground improvement. Deep Foundations and Soil and Site Improvement were two of my favorite classes at Virginia Tech and having the opportunity to learn more about the installation process was great.
Has your experience with ECS had an impact on your career goals?
My job experience this summer has only reinforced my career goals. After working my first job with Triad Engineering for two summers, I knew I wanted to remain in the private sector throughout my career and work my way into an upper management position. After working for a private consulting company again, I have been reassured that this is the path for me to take.
What has surprised you about working at ECS?
The amount of work that was available to me as an intern. Sometimes companies have a hard time finding work to keep an intern busy for an entire summer, but the Charlotte, NC office had plenty of work that I was able to assist on.
What advice or tips do you have for anyone thinking about interning with ECS?
Come into the summer with an open mind and a good attitude. It’s always difficult to start a new job, especially when you’re inexperienced. Always be willing to learn from those around you and don’t be scared to ask questions or for help on a project. An internship is about gaining experience and to see if the company is a right fit for you. Regardless of the task at hand, give every project 100% and try to take something new away every day.
To learn more about internship opportunities with ECS, visit https://www.ecslimited.com/careers/university-programs/