Tell us about your schooling.
I attend Penn State University, Main Campus. I just finished my junior year, and my major is Civil Engineering. Currently, I don’t have a minor but I am exploring Engineering Leadership. It’s focused on leadership and business classes, so I would get to see another side of engineering, rather than just the numbers. I always wanted to go to Penn State, but I looked at other engineering schools in Pennsylvania as well, like Pitt, Lehigh and Widener. I choose Penn State because I’ve grown up as a Penn State fan; my family has always gone to the football games, and both my grandpa and uncle are alumni. It’s in my blood.
How has COVID affected your junior year?
When COVID hit, a lot changed at Penn State. At first, I almost felt like I wasn’t at college because I was stuck inside staring at a computer screen all day, which took some time to get used to. It was difficult to adjust to that kind of learning, since I personally prefer a more hands-on and in person learning style. I wasn’t able to talk to my professors or other students face-to-face all the time, so I had to do a lot of learning on my own. The one positive was that I had more free time on my hands, which gave me a lot more time to study. The Penn State campus is so large, I have to walk 20 to 25 minutes to one class, then 20 to 25 minutes in the opposite direction to another class. With COVID, I used the extra time to review material since it was definitely more challenging to learn online.
Will Penn State go back to normal classes like pre-COVID?
Right before the semester ended, Penn State announced they were going to try to make everything in person again next year–their goal is for 95% of classes to be in person. It’s going to be weird at first, but I’m excited. It’s been so long since I walked to class and saw other students on campus, I’m going to feel like a freshman again.
Why did you want to pursue a degree in engineering?
I decided I wanted to be an engineer when I was little and stuck with it; I never really saw myself doing anything else. I’ve wanted to be an engineer since I was five years old. I was always interested in building things and making stuff with my hands. I remember thinking how cool it would be to drive down the street, see a large building, and be like, I built that.
Is this your first internship?
Yes, this is my first internship. I began working on May 10th, and I’m excited for the rest of the Summer.
Why did you want to intern at McCarthy Engineering?
I wanted to work at McCarthy for several reasons. It’s close to home, so I didn’t have to find Summer housing which saves money. As I mentioned, I knew that I wanted to do civil engineering ever since I was little, and after my first year of college I started leaning towards structural engineering. When I learned of all the engineering facets McCarthy Engineering performs like Stormwater Management it was an even better fit for my internship. I am excited to get exposure to all different facets as it will help me figure out, no I don’t want to do that, or the exact opposite, this is something I love to do, and I never even thought of it. I’ll be able to gain a whole new perspective of civil engineering! Lastly, I also heard countless good things about the company and Jim McCarthy, the owner. So all those things combined made it a good fit!
Did your college classes prepare you for this internship?
My classes both did and didn’t prepare me for my internship. As an engineering major, I took a wide variety of classes, so I have a basic understanding in several different areas. However, doing equations every day doesn’t give you actual work experience. I came here not entirely sure what to expect since I’ve never had an internship before, but I think my classes have prepared me as much as possible.
What are your expectations of the internship?
I want to experience the different types of civil engineering and exactly what they do. It’s hard to understand exactly what the job consists of until you’re physically there. I’m hoping to learn as much as I can about the career, in addition to making connections with the employees and clients that could help me down the road
Fun Kyle fact…
I want to design my own roller coaster one day. As I said, I’ve wanted to be an engineer since I was five years old, and I’ve always had a weird interest in amusement parks and rides. My favorite roller coaster has been Kingda Ka at 6 Flags Great Adventure, but there are still a lot of parks I want to visit. It’s the tallest and fastest coaster in North America, so seeing that for the first time when I was younger was pretty cool. I’m hoping down the road I have the opportunity to work for a company and build a superior roller coaster!
About McCarthy Engineering Associates, Inc.
For 20 years, McCarthy Engineering Associates, Inc. has provided the public and private sectors of Berks and the surrounding counties with full service engineering and consulting services such as: site, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, operational, feasibility, environmental, and fire protection. McCarthy Engineering has offices located in Wyomissing, PA and Boyertown, PA. For more information, visit https://www.mccarthy-engineering.com.