Orange County Branch Newsletter

October 2016

Younger Member Forum

YMF - Speaker Series 2016

By: Gyan Sinha, Chirath Karunathilake, & Izzad Loh

The ASCE OC YMF 2016 Speaker Series “The Big Picture: Engineering your Career” was a series of presentations by four prominent and well-respected leaders in the civil engineering field. This year’s series provided a different perspective to engineering in comparison to last year’s event “Engineering: Behind the Scenes”. This year’s series was originated with a sole purpose to provide a holistic view to engineering and to discuss pivotal topics that help professionals understand the best way to shape their careers in order to reach their professional goals.

On May 16th, the Speaker Series was kicked off with John Hogan’s presentation on “Owning a Business Vs. Being an Officer at a Larger Firm” John Hogan is the Senior Vice President at David Evans & Associates and former CEO/Principal of Hall & Foreman Inc. With over 30 years of experience in Civil Engineering & Management his presentation was a look into his career throughout the years, and how he dealt with various challenges he came across on his journey to owning a small business and finally being part of a lager firm. John demonstrated the pros & cons of buying in to a small company vs starting one, while successfully evaluating risk vs reward. His career steps that led him to be an officer in a larger firm was both inspiring and valuable for young, eager professionals with a dream of being a successful entrepreneur.

On May 23rd, the second presentation was given by Jeff Crosier on “Technical vs Management”. Jeff Crosier is a Principal at Miyamoto International, a global earthquake and structural engineering firm, with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Jeff began the presentation by addressing the career progression in the technical and the managerial realm. Both career paths are equally important and each require a different set of certain skills. A technical career path requires skills such as good communication and team work in order to be successful. A management career path requires skills such as conceptual, interpersonal, technical and political skills in order to be successful. Jeff emphasized both technical and management path require leaders, whose responsibility is to bring the best in others.

On May 31st, the third presentation was given by Tom Petrosino on “Experiencing the Public and Private Sector”. Currently, Tom Petrosino is a Senior ITS/Transportation Planner at Kimley-Horn and Associates with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Tom shared his professional experience which started in the public sector at Caltrans and then at OCTA. From there he shared his experience in the private sector, from Iteris to URS/AECOM. He provided insight on both sectors from benefits to growth/ learning potential in each sector. He emphasized that it is very important to know your long term goals and to align oneself with an agency or a company that has similar goals. No matter which sector an individual chooses, it is important to remember that engineering is a small industry and we are all here to “finish the job – the right way”.

On June 6th, Pat Fuscoe, better known as ‘Pat’ gave the closing presentation on “Managing Boomers, GEN X’ers, and Millennials”. Pat has over 35 years of experience of leading and working with others in the civil engineering profession. Pat first provided background on Fuscoe Engineering and why it is important to be cognizant of the generational differences at the workforce. With baby boomers currently reigning supreme, attendees were surprised to learn that by 2025 millennials will make up 75% of the world’s work force. This drove the presentation and the importance to figure out how this new generational majority is motivated and works best in their environment with other, older staff. Pat emphasized the following points about millennials: they are driven by purpose- they ask “why” before “what, when, or how;” they prefer entrepreneurial start-up culture and like to run lone star efforts, and finally; professionals of ALL ages/generations (not just millennials) do their best when they are in the pursuit of ideas they believe in and work best for those who they genuinely trust and respect.

The 2016 Speaker Series was an exciting and informative set of presentations. It shed light on the civil engineering industry as a whole and the successful leaders that make our industry. ASCE OC YMF thanks all the speakers and attendees for their support.  And finally a special thanks to Orange County Transportation Authority (& Steven King) for helping us host the series; to CNC Engineering, our annual sponsors; and Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., the series sponsor.