• 3 April 2017

“My real passion for civil engineering took off after I was able to gain real work experience in the industry”

Samantha Lathrop joined our civils team in Dublin for a six-month Internship.

I am a fourth year student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, USA, pursing a degree in civil and environmental engineering with a minor in Business Administration. At the University, students are encouraged to participate in three 6 months’ co-op programmes (also known as an internship) to gain work experience throughout their course. Whist in my third year, I was able to study abroad at University College Dublin and I knew I wanted to come back. My previous two co-ops had been in Boston, but I wanted to gain some international experience for my third, and was fortunate that Waterman Moylan took me on.

I didn’t always know that I wanted to pursue a career in civil engineering, but when applying to University I decided to take a chance since I enjoyed maths and science. Studying had been interesting, but my real passion for civils took off after I was able to gain real work experience in the industry. After completing my two prior co-ops and enjoying the work I was doing, I knew that I had made the right decision.

The most challenging part of working in a foreign country has been the adjustment after completing my studies in the States where I had been used to their regulations and way of doing things. Although the underlying ideas are similar over here, it has taken some time to wrap my head around the different metrics and the names of different products, etc.

I have only been at Moylan for a short time, but I have learnt a lot in terms of carrying out site assessments and writing reports, further to developing my skills in AutoCAD. I have also had the opportunity to learn new skills in transport design software such as ARCADY and PICADY, as well as drainage design software such as MicroDrainge.

The most interesting part of working in the civils field is all of the different obstacles that engineers are faced with on a project. Each scheme is unique and it is interesting to see the different approaches to solving engineering problems.

As a student, one of the most rewarding moments whilst working as a civil engineer is being able to see what you have helped design be constructed in the field. It is a great feeling to visit the site before construction starts, to then revisit it and see all the hard work you have done be put into the creation of something new.

I have enjoyed my experience working abroad so far and I am considering staying to work here full-time after I graduate in May 2018. Eventually, after gaining more experience in the field, I hope to gain a professional certification whether that be a chartership in Ireland or a Professional Engineering License in the USA.

Samantha Lathrop

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