Civil engineer encounters workplace exclusion

In this career interview, a regional manager of civil engineering shares his experiences working for a local firm. He finds the work rewarding and meaningful, but struggles with being excluded from workplace decisions and social activities.

Q: What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in this field? How would you describe yourself using only three adjectives?

A: Hello! My name is Jim and I am a civil engineer working for a local company. The industry that I work in is civil engineering. My official job title is Regional Manager of Southeastern Civil Engineering, and I have a grand total of 11 years in this field.

Q: What’s your ethnicity and gender? How has it hurt or helped you? If you ever experienced discrimination, how have you responded and what worked best?

A: I am a Mexican male. I am sure that this ethnic designation does not help me in my field. It definitely does not help that I am the only person of my ethnic persuasion at my job, and that there seems to be more than just a little segregation going on in the business. Mind you, this is nothing that is overt or overwhelming; I am simply just left out of the social aspects of the business. Even though I am in title a manager who oversees 15 employees and has final decision over many things, I am often left out of decisions and my higher ups do not do much to counter this behavior. I have spoken out about it before, but for the sake of my family and their security I do not do that very often. When I spoke out, it was made very clear to me that doing this would be detrimental to my career. Even though I was the most talented engineer on staff, they simply did not want to hear this type of disturbance from me. So I have found the best way to counteract the discrimination that I face is simply to stay quiet and look for other jobs while I work this one to the best of my ability.

Q: How would you describe what you do? What does your work entail? Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do?

A: What I do as a civil engineer is to find weaknesses in buildings and infrastructure and rebuild them back in a stronger fashion than they were before. I basically work on the contracts that I receive from upper management. As a manager, I am responsible for delegating responsibilities of construction and analysis to my team and overseeing the synthesis of all of their analyses. One misunderstanding about what I do is that it is boring and entails only mathematics. There is a certain art to engineering, especially when you’re dealing with large structures, and there is a certain aspect that you have to have when dealing with buildings. People like the wear and tear of certain buildings because it brings out a certain personality or quality in them and speaks to the history of the locale. I have to find a way to preserve this while also preserving the building itself for future generations. This is a great challenge when dealing with government buildings.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What might need to change about your job to unleash your full enthusiasm?

A: My job satisfaction is at a 10. My satisfaction with the company is a little lower than that because I have not included socially and I am not given the respect that my position entails. However I have no qualms about my career choice. I was born to be an engineer, and I am challenged daily in my work. There is really nothing that I need to unleash my full enthusiasm, but maybe I would be even more excited to go to work if I had people that I felt actually wanted to work with me.

Q: If this job moves your heart – how so? Ever feel like you found your calling or sweet spot in life? If not, what might do it for you?

A: This job does move my heart because I can see that I am making an impact. I feel like I have validated the efforts of my previous generations by doing something that will stand for generations to come. I have definitely found my sweet spot in life because I am able to combine my love of buildings and aesthetics with the mathematics that turn dreams into realities. I was the first person in my family to go to college and I am definitely doing something with that opportunity. I am also providing greater opportunities and I feel like I am a role model for my son, because I can take him inside the work that his father has done. He can see the value of hard work and building.

Q: Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?

A: I feel that being the first person to go to college in my family is special and unique. I did not have anyone to tell me exactly what to do or what field to go into. I had to determine that for myself.

Q: How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?

A: I got started in this line of work in a study abroad program I took in London. I was absolutely in wonder of the architecture over there and I wanted to be able to build things like this. There is really nothing that I would do differently about the way that I got into engineering. I am happy to be able to work with architects to give a little bit of style to the buildings in my area.

Q: What did you learn the hard way in this job and what happened specifically that led up to this lesson?

A: I had to learn the hard way that no matter how skillful you are, sometimes people simply do not like you. I learn this every day, and the most difficult part is that there is not one instance that I can put my finger on and say “this is racism,” or “this is discrimination.” However, you just do the best you can with what you have. I cannot worry about the feelings of others.

Q: What is the single most important thing you have learned outside of school about the working world?

A: Stay focused on your job and everything else will fall into place.

Q: Why do you get up and go to work each day? Can you give an example of something that really made you feel good or proud?

A: I get up and go to work every day to make a difference in the city. I was especially proud when one of the appellate court judges commented to me on my work in the local courthouse. She said that it was the most beautiful engineering that she had ever seen.

Q: What kind of challenges do you handle and what makes you want to just quit?

A: The challenges that I face are mostly personal, not professional. There is a daily challenge to simply do my job and handing down instructions knowing full well that I might be overruled at a lower level just to spite me.

Q: How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance? How?

A: I keep myself from reacting to stress by keeping my family first.

Q: What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough and/or happy living within your means?

A: I am definitely living within my means because I have a family to raise. A rough salary range for people in my position is anywhere from $75,000-$100,000 a year.

Q: How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?

A: I have four weeks paid vacation every year. No it is not enough, but I’ll take what I can get.

Q: What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?

A: You definitely would do well to have a degree from a four-year institution, and your portfolio should be immaculate. These days, you can show your skills in multimedia presentations. I would definitely do that if I were looking for a job today.

Q: What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?

A: I would tell a friend considering my line of work to be ready to use both sides of the brain.

Q: If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?

A: If I could write my own ticket I would definitely have my own engineering firm in five years.

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  • Marcelo Garcia

    Jim,
    You seem to be hung up on, as you say, “this (Mexican) ethnic designation.” Are you sure that you are not oversensitive about yourself being the only person of your ethnic persuasion at your job?
    Marcelo Garcia

  • http://www.main-china.com/ Main China

    Your essay is really moving I hope they choose yours as the winner

  • http://www.facebook.com/DucSaid93 DucSaïd Sanni

    Dear Jim, I see that you are really motivated being a civil engineer that’s a good skill which will help you in acheiving your goals in engineering. In addition, you are really satisfy with your job because you rate (10). I’m happy for you and I hope that you will be an example for your kids one day. Don’t forget this Einstein quote: ” Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Keep that in mind.

  • Michael Garcia II

    It is often upsetting hearing the discrimination of small groups or people, and even large. Though I never really come to first conclusion when I see segregation of people among groups. People flock to those more accepting to them, and eventually grow apart of a group. I’m sure discrimination against you could have been true in the beginning, I just hope it wasn’t your first thought. I can understand people are very cruel these times and in your field of work, it seems what I hear in society, and especially said to me that there is a stereotype. I also often get made fun of and told very sometimes upsetting racial stereotypes. You have my understanding, as well as my eyes, mouth, and ears to spread a bit of your story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.a.rios.9 Josh Alex Rios

    As someone who is looking into becoming an engineer, this is truly inspirational for me, as I feel as though it validates my choice in choosing engineering as my major. It is good to see that he feels as if he is making a positive difference in his profession, as that is one of the more important things I am looking for in a career.

  • Maisha Horton

    I am looking to become an engineer and I am concerned that I will face a different adversity. The fact that I am a single black female will make it hard for others in my field to want to work with me. I am attending school right now and sometimes I have to display my talents before a male can acknowledge that I actually have any. I have dealt with it in personal settings as well. In a situation where I was a a friends house and their power went out on some of the rooms and I was on my way to the basement to fix it and as I am walking to the kitchen I asked if she had breakers or fuses and there was a gentleman there who asked me if I knew what I was talking about. I told him yes, but he insisted on going down to fix it and he got lost in the basement and couldn’t find the breaker box, so I had to go down into the basement to help him find it. Once I located the box we both looked at the breakers and he said to just flip the main switch and I told him that was not how to fix the problem. I noticed the switch that was out because it was slightly off from the rest of the switches and I said to the gentleman, “This is the problem switch”, as I flipped it. My friend yelled from upstairs, “they are back on now!”, and he looked at me with amazement and asked how did I know which switch it was. I told him that I went to school for Electronic Engineering and he began to look at me differently after that.

  • StevenAReyes

    I am going into my second year as an architecture student
    at the University of Kansas, so every time Jim mentioned his love for buildings
    I was able to connect. It has been my goal since middle school to one day be
    able to build something that everyone can appreciate, regardless of ethnic
    backgrounds. I feel that true appreciation for architecture and engineering
    really has nothing to do with the appearance of an individual, rather their
    understanding and mastery of the field itself. Jim is a strong example of this.
    While he seems occasionally oppressed or ignored, he still continues to push
    onward because he truly loves what he does in his profession. You can see this
    when the court justice complimented his work, because all he really wants is
    for people to be able to see the thought and hard work put that he puts into
    his job. And that’s how it should be, that’s what people should base their
    impressions on, rather than backgrounds and ethnicity.

    The only problem is that we still face discrimination,
    and while extreme situations of racism are scarcer, subtle ones are present every
    day. I work for a reasonably well-known restaurant corporation, and from time
    to time you can see that the minorities of the company are overlooked. And it’s
    not an intentional injustice or anything like that, but no one goes the extra
    mile to think of them. On any given day that you go back into the kitchen
    there, you will see a predominantly Mexican employee workforce. They make maybe
    eight cents above minimum wage, some of them putting in close to ten hours a
    day at that job alone. I say “that job,” because, since they make close to
    minimum wage, many of them also have another job that takes up the remainder of
    their day after they leave the restaurant. I only have one job, the cashier
    position at the restaurant, and I’m merely trying to pay off my own education
    costs so I don’t end up in excessive debt when I graduate. But many of our
    employees at the restaurant have families to provide for, and they don’t make
    nearly enough. I mention all of this because just like Jim at his firm, hard-working
    minorities can be easily overlooked and underappreciated by their higher-up
    management. And unfortunately, the common solution is to keep your head down
    and keep working until you can find something better.

  • ZCancel

    Having had the experience of attending a predominantly Caucasian high school, I can sympathize with your experiences as a minority. I have also experienced situations in which my intelligence or decisions would be questioned simply because of my ethnicity. It is frustrating to be disregarded or overlooked in group work based on your cultural background.

    “It definitely does not help that I am the only
    person of my ethnic persuasion at my job, and that there seems to be
    more than just a little segregation going on in the business… Even though I am in title a manager who oversees 15 employees and has
    final decision over many things, I am often left out of decisions…”

    It was disheartening for me to read those sentences. I would have thought that in a field of work as intelligent and logical as engineering is, something as unintelligent and illogical as discrimination is would not be a problem. I am currently studying to be an engineer and I want my abilities to be judged based upon my performances, not upon my ethnicity.

    I think it is important to continue to strive forward as you have with your job even though you face discrimination, but I do not think you should keep your head down or stay quiet. You should be proud of who you are and the work you have done to get where you are today. I encourage you to stand up for yourself. I think you would say the same thing to your son if he was faced with the situation you are in today.

  • Guest

    I can’t help but become very inspired by Jim’s first-hand
    experience with segregation because of his ethnicity. I can relate on so many levels with segregation
    because of my ethnicity and gender.

    This past May I received my Bachelors of Science in
    Architectural Engineering at the University of Hartford and I must say it was fulfilling.
    My family is of Puerto Rican descent and I am a first-generation Puerto
    Rican-American. I was raised in the inner city of Connecticut therefore; the
    majority of my classmates were of different ethnic backgrounds. However, when I
    attended college it was a completely different story.

    Out of my 9 siblings (including myself) I was the first one
    to attend college in order to receive a Bachelor degree. I had no knowledge of
    the “college life experience” and had no relatives familiar with higher education.
    As frightened as I was, I knew I was not a quitter and was extremely determined
    to conquer my degree head on. I attended every orientation and seminar for
    freshman offered at the university to become more familiar with the campus’s
    layout. I also asked hundreds of questions in order to truly understand my
    responsibilities on my first day of school (which helped out when my younger
    sister enrolled).

    If I could summarize my first day of college in one
    statement it would have to be, culture shock. I went from being the majority
    into the minority in the matter of one day. I noticed I was the only Hispanic female
    in my class throughout the majority of each class. When I attended classes’
    specific to my major I noticed I was 1 of 10 women in my undergraduate class
    and the only one of Puerto Rican descent.

    As we all know segregation is and will forever be around but
    I received it from individuals that I least expected. I remember during an
    evening session class I lingered behind in the computer room in order to
    complete a drawing for my computer rendering class. If anyone has experience with
    this then you truly understand the time it takes for a high-quality picture to
    become complete. I was in the room about 20 minutes after class and the next
    class began to file into the room while I was finishing up. The instructor walks
    in the class and warns me I need to leave. I understood and was fully aware
    that I stood longer than I needed and a student needed the computer I was
    seated. As the class began to settle I noticed that there were about 10 open computers
    with no students occupying them. The teacher then made his way to my desk again
    and clearly stated in front of all his male students, “I don’t understand YOU
    people, I speak English and YOU still don’t understand! YOU need to leave this
    computer now or I’ll call public safety on you for harassment.” While saying
    this he pointed to the darker skinned students of the class which were located
    on the other half of the room. Apparently, I sat on the wrong side. I packed my
    things and my drawing was ruined. I couldn’t help but leave the room humiliated
    and embarrassed with tears rolling down my face.

    The following day I couldn’t even bring it up with anyone
    due to the embarrassment and I left the following class early in order to avoid
    the students and the instructor of the following class however my instructor
    noticed. My instructor is in mid-twenties and comes from Indian origin. He wanted
    to speak with me in the hall about the incident that happened last class
    because the event was still brought up with public safety. My professor made it
    clear that I was not in trouble and that I shouldn’t feel as though I did
    something wrong. I became comfortable and told him what the instructor yelled
    at me in front of his students. My professor then became very infuriated and
    explained to me that I will ALWAYS come across people who think they’re on a
    higher pedestal than you because of their race. He made it clear that “segregation
    exists even in the work field and it does not matter if you’re the best of the
    best at what you do; discrimination will always be a factor of your performance.”

    After having the long
    conversation with my professor I understood that I need to appreciate and be proud of the person I’ve become
    because not only am I of Hispanic descent and one of the few females in my
    major but the first person in my immediate family to get this far in college. So
    whenever I encounter discrimination, racist or anti-feministic commentary from
    anyone I raise my head high and look past its crippling effects. I know I’m
    stronger than someone’s judgmental conception of my appearance or background.
    What matters is that I conduct myself in a professional manner and get my task
    done to the best that I can.

    Now 5 years later I’m
    still enrolled in the same university looking forward in receiving my Master of
    Civil Engineering degree in the next two years. This incident or any discriminatory
    event will never restrain me from accomplishing any of my goals. I am too
    determined to fail at dream that took 5 years to create and has the support of
    my family and friends.

    So thank you Jim for sharing your story! I’m looking forward
    to being employed in an organization that can look past my ethnic background
    and look forward to my involvement as a respected team member.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenmarbae Jennifer Baez

    I can’t help but become very inspired by Jim’s first-hand
    experience with segregation because of his ethnicity.. I can relate on so many levels with segregation
    because of my ethnicity and gender.

    This past May I received my Bachelors of Science in
    Architectural Engineering at the University of Hartford and I must say it was fulfilling.
    My family is of Puerto Rican descent and I am a first-generation Puerto
    Rican-American. I was raised in the inner city of Connecticut therefore; the
    majority of my classmates were of different ethnic backgrounds. However, when I
    attended college it was a completely different story.

    Out of my 9 siblings (including myself) I was the first one
    to attend college in order to receive a Bachelor degree. I had no knowledge of
    the “college life experience” and had no relatives familiar with higher education.
    As frightened as I was, I knew I was not a quitter and was extremely determined
    to conquer my degree head on. I attended every orientation and seminar for
    freshman offered at the university to become more familiar with the campus’s
    layout. I also asked hundreds of questions in order to truly understand my
    responsibilities on my first day of school (which helped out when my younger
    sister enrolled).

    If I could summarize my first day of college in one
    statement it would have to be, culture shock. I went from being the majority
    into the minority in the matter of one day. I noticed I was the only Hispanic female
    in my class throughout the majority of each class. When I attended classes’
    specific to my major I noticed I was 1 of 10 women in my undergraduate class
    and the only one of Puerto Rican descent.

    As we all know segregation is and will forever be around but
    I received it from individuals that I least expected. I remember during an
    evening session class I lingered behind in the computer room in order to
    complete a drawing for my computer rendering class. If anyone has experience with
    this then you truly understand the time it takes for a high-quality picture to
    become complete. I was in the room about 20 minutes after class and the next
    class began to file into the room while I was finishing up. The instructor walks
    in the class and warns me I need to leave. I understood and was fully aware
    that I stood longer than I needed and a student needed the computer I was
    seated. As the class began to settle I noticed that there were about 10 open computers
    with no students occupying them. The teacher then made his way to my desk again
    and clearly stated in front of all his male students, “I don’t understand YOU
    people, I speak English and YOU still don’t understand! YOU need to leave this
    computer now or I’ll call public safety on you for harassment.” While saying
    this he pointed to the darker skinned students of the class which were located
    on the other half of the room. Apparently, I sat on the wrong side. I packed my
    things and my drawing was ruined. I couldn’t help but leave the room humiliated
    and embarrassed with tears rolling down my face.

    The following day I couldn’t even bring it up with anyone
    due to the embarrassment and I left the following class early in order to avoid
    the students and the instructor of the following class however my instructor
    noticed. My instructor is in mid-twenties and comes from Indian origin. He wanted
    to speak with me in the hall about the incident that happened last class
    because the event was still brought up with public safety. My professor made it
    clear that I was not in trouble and that I shouldn’t feel as though I did
    something wrong. I became comfortable and told him what the instructor yelled
    at me in front of his students. My professor then became very infuriated and
    explained to me that I will ALWAYS come across people who think they’re on a
    higher pedestal than you because of their race. He made it clear that “segregation
    exists even in the work field and it does not matter if you’re the best of the
    best at what you do; discrimination will always be a factor of your performance.”

    After having the long
    conversation with my professor I understood that I need to appreciate and be proud of the person I’ve become
    because not only am I of Hispanic descent and one of the few females in my
    major but the first person in my immediate family to get this far in college. So
    whenever I encounter discrimination, racist or anti-feministic commentary from
    anyone I raise my head high and look past its crippling effects. I know I’m
    stronger than someone’s judgmental conception of my appearance or background.
    What matters is that I conduct myself in a professional manner and get my task
    done to the best that I can.

    Now 5 years later I’m
    still enrolled in the same university looking forward in receiving my Master of
    Civil Engineering degree in the next two years. This incident or any discriminatory
    event will never restrain me from accomplishing any of my goals. I am too
    determined to fail at dream that took 5 years to create and has the support of
    my family and friends.

    So thank you Jim for sharing your story! I’m looking forward
    to being employed in an organization that can look past my ethnic background
    and look forward to my involvement as a respected team member.

  • Theresa Moyo

    Your story touched
    home and can totally relate to what you are saying as a minority female engineer.
    Your story has inspired me to just go out there and prove myself. It has also
    inspired me to stay the course in spite of the hurdles I am currently facing. I
    graduate in spring 2013 in Electrical Engineering but life has been so
    difficult for me.

    I like your quote
    that” I had to learn the hard way that no matter how skillful you are,
    sometimes people simply do not like you. I learn this every day”. I went
    through that when the professors would ask us to get into groups, most people
    did not want me in their group especially the circuits classes. I had to work
    twice as hard and prove myself. Some student initially did not take me serious
    until they realized that I was just as smart as they are. Sometimes they hid
    study groups from me t and just like you I had to avoid reacting to stress by
    thinking of my family.

    I do hope to make a
    difference in my field. I am going in the field knowing that I have to work
    hard. I cannot control people’s feelings towards me but I will continue to
    treat everyone with respect.

    Keep up the good work and continue to inspire others.

  • Wendy Jean

    This story was perfect for me because it completely
    was an ideal testament of what my
    graduation and the years following. I enjoy the statement that you said “I had to learn the
    hard way that no matter how skillful you are, sometimes people simply do not
    like you. I learn this every day, and the most difficult part is that there is
    not one instance that I can put my finger on and say “this is racism,” or “this
    is discrimination.” I feel like I am constantly scrutinized by things
    such as being black and also being born in one of the poorest country in the
    nation. These things are what get me the most dislike from peers or employers.
    These things don’t stop me but instead they inspire me and if he overcame these
    problems so can I.

  • daniloam10

    I can connect to this civil engineer’s exclusion situation at his work place because I have also been excluded from many schools. As an undocumented student in Arizona I am charged out of state tuition at any public university or college in the state. Even though I graduated in the top of my class with a class rank of 8 out of 622 and with a 3.98 GPA I am excluded from higher education. I am excluded because I am a mexican who wasn’t born here but just as the civil engineer I have excelled academically.

  • kmarie26

    I admire the way that Jim refuses to allow his work atmosphere to be affected by the acts of his coworkers. I encounter circumstances similar to his on the regular. Being one of the few Puerto Ricans on my campus, along with being a female, certainly makes a person stand out. I automatically noticed on my first day on campus. The groups of girls all looked almost identical, by the way they wore their hair to the same matching outfits. I chose not to try and rush to join a sorority because I convinced myself that none would want me to be a part of their sisterhood because I look so drastically different than them.

    However, I got over that feeling quickly. Soon, I began to meet other people that were like me–different. People of different cultures, ethnicities, countries, and that spoke different languages. It was a mixture of every part of the world. Meeting people that are different than you is a wonderful thing; they can open your mind to things you would of never considered otherwise. Jim’s coworkers are missing out on a great experience to learn about his culture and how he is different by excluding him and secluding themselves.

    I am currently an undergraduate Engineering student leaning towards civil engineering. Jim’s story spoke out to me because like many Hispanics, I have also felt excluded and different. However, I have always felt the need to speak out, but that is not the case with Jim. He has a family to support and cannot put his job in jeopardy. I am glad I came across his experience because it has given me a new perspective on the work world, and how sometimes you have to make sacrifices. In his case his family comes before anything, in which for many people including myself is the same. I aspire to be the first female in my family to graduate college with a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering. My mother attended college for a brief period but did not complete. Being a female engineer along with a Hispanic one will be a great challenge, but I am willing to take the risk.

    When I meet new people, they can tell or assume that I am from Hispanic origin. I love my heritage and I would not change it for anything. Being in the college atmosphere made me doubt that confidence, but that did not last long. I know who I am and I am proud of being a minority. Like Jim, I realized that I do not need to feel the need to fit in because holding your own is a better feeling. I would rather walk down the street embracing the person that God made me to be; different hair, different skin, different speech, etc., than change that to be like everybody else. We were born to stand out; it is up to us to keep it that way.

  • Jovani Rubio

    On campus there is not many latinos and getting use to the culture change can sometimes take time. I’m glad to see that there are successful latinos and in the future wish to reach out to other latinos so they can be influenced. For me to hear of latinos stories gives me faith to want succeed in my major. I believe as latinos we have some of the greatest stories of hardships and tribulations, and it is now more than ever our time to share these stories to the world.

  • Joshua Del Rio

    I find somewhat inspiring that being the first of your family to graduate from college and getting such a well payed job even with all of the harfships that you have had to endure throughout your life. I can relate to your story because i wil be graduating from high school this year and i will go on to college to gain my degree and like you i will become the first of my family to graduate from college.

  • bmebri

    Jim’s status as a minority engineer and the unfortunate office politics he’s endured isn’t that uncommon. This phenomenon occurs in technical careers where minorities aren’t normally found. I can empathize with him because I myself am a minority engineering student at a major university. Though my educational institution is located several hours from the Mexican border, you’d be hard pressed to find many minority engineering students in my department.

    The sting of not being asked to join study groups and social functions has existed throughout my academic career, but I’ve gotten past this by embracing the Latin academic groups (such as SHPE and SACNAS). In a sense I’ve embraced my extended Latin familia and through them I’ve found the strength to endure my demanding academic program.

  • anburnett

    I am the first of my siblings attending college and I am studying environmental engineering, similarly to Jim. Although I do not encounter discrimination myself because the color of my skin is white, I have heard the stories of it told by my grandparents. I admire my grandparents because they taught me that you should use the skills that you have to make a living, which is exactly what they did because neither of them had a college education. My grandma was skilled at sewing, so she was a seamstress for quite a while. My grandpa could fix things, so he was a janitor and a construction worker.

    As for me, I have the opportunity to have a college education and become a professional with my skills. In my opinion, math is one of my strengths. I have never struggled much with math; it always seemed to come natural to me. This is why I chose to be an engineer; a lot of math is involved. I chose to study environmental engineering because I wanted to help the environment, which would in turn help other people. I believe being an environmental engineer is one of those jobs that I will get satisfaction out of, and I am glad to know that Jim does get satisfaction out of what he does.

  • Jean Carlos

    I see Jim as a hard working and motivated man. Being Dominican and coming to this country as an immigrant I know that there are people out there who might not like you for the way you look, the language you speak or where you come from. They will make it their job to make your life miserable. You just have to keep your head up and keep moving forward. Do not let them control your future; you decide who you want to be and where you want to go in life. I know that sometimes there are supervisors that might not treat you with the respect you deserve but the work you do will speak for you and the people around you will see it. I do not believe that it is healthy for someone to work at a job where they work under the conditions of threats to keep their job. Anyone facing this should make it their priority to find a better job where he or she is appreciated.

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