Zachary Dieujuste ’21 demonstrates the power of networking, alongside hard work. A member of the NSBE and the ASCE, he also completed a field engineering co-op this March with United Civil. Shortly after finishing this experience, Zachary was offered a full-time position as a project engineer with the construction company! Today, he joins us to discuss the network of Merrimack alumni, his prior experience, and the skills necessary to succeed as an engineer.
DAN ROUSSEL: Hi Zachary! Congrats on your co-op turned full-time offer at United Civil! For starters, how did you turn your field engineering co-op into a permanent position? As you look forward, how will your role be changing within United?
ZACHARY DIEUJUSTE: Hi! I initially started the summer after my sophomore year, and I was able to build strong connections with the people that I worked with. When I asked if I could come back, they were more than happy to have me return the next year. After that, I used any opportunity we got away from school to continue to work, and to learn the whole United Civil system.
That’s awesome! Connections are so important, and I’m glad you found such a good fit with your coworkers there. How did you find this co-op initially? Did you have any prior experience?
Initially, United Civil came to a Merrimack College career fair, and I met with one of my current coworkers: a Merrimack alum named Akhil Venigalla. I was interested in the company after a conversation with him, and then I applied. After my interview, I was offered a position. This was my first engineering internship. In terms of other experience, I had worked in construction a little bit for my father. Besides that, I also had other job experience, like being a camp counselor and barista.
I’ve always heard that Merrimack alumni take care of Merrimack students, and this is just another example of that. Pivoting to your current experience—what skills did you come into your position with, back in June 2019? What skills have you developed with United Civil since then?
I think my most important skill was this: that I came in ready to learn, and absorb as much as possible. On the job, I’ve been taught how to do certain tasks, or I’ve worked through everything I need to know to be the best in my profession.
Being open to learning is really crucial, you’re right! What other skills are most important as a civil engineer? Anything that you didn’t expect at first?
I think time management is a very underrated skill, as well as being a good communicator. Those are some of the more important skills I’ve come across while working. A lot of the time, we are taught we need to be able to do this, and that, but what is most important is that you can work with someone to achieve a particular task.
Yes! Time management is so necessary for everyone, in any field; communication is as well. I’m glad you’ve considered those, since they’re both often overlooked. Zachary, thank you so much for joining us today for Working Warriors. We’re so glad to talk with you, and best of luck with United Civil!
Are you ready to secure an internship or employment for the fall and beyond? The O’Brien Center for Career Development is here to help you! Visit Handshake today to search for open opportunities, meet with your career advisor, and more.