Farrah Rawashdeh — How Henderson Affirmed My Decision To Become An Engineer

As a young adult, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career that involved buildings. The first thing that always came to my mind was architecture. I’d like to think of myself as an artistic person, and I thought, what better way to produce art than craft beautiful and sustainable structures for various occupants? I was completely won over by the idea. But, to be completely honest, I didn’t know if I wanted to get myself involved in engineering. Why? To put it simply, I wasn’t aware that architectural engineering existed. When I was a freshman in high school living in Jordan, I discovered the architectural engineering program offered at the American University of Cairo in Egypt. From that moment on, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.

Fast forward to 2017, I am a senior at Texas A&M University — Kingsville, majoring in architectural engineering. After attending a career fair during the spring semester, I was very fortunate to have been offered a summer internship at Henderson. Working during the summer while at home in Houston gave me the feeling of finding a job right out of college. Henderson opened my eyes to see the world beyond being a full-time student. It also helps that my colleagues treat me as an equal. I’ll never forget what my mentor, David Sanders, told me during my first week at Henderson. I was understandably nervous coming in every morning not knowing what to expect. One of those mornings I remember David telling me, “There’s no such thing as being an intern here. You’re like an employee to us.” Today, I can attest to that statement.

One thing I’d like to acknowledge about Henderson is the positive attitude that it embodies. The work atmosphere and principles at Henderson have exceeded my expectations. I have been able to observe the interactions and relationships that my fellow colleagues have had over the duration of my time spent here. This gives me an insight to the type of future I envision myself having as an engineer. The work that I have been given here makes me feel content and confident in my career choice even though I am just starting my journey. Kyle Cranston, a professional engineer in the mechanical discipline, was kind enough to make time to sit down and speak with me. One thing I’ve noticed about Kyle is that he has a desire to obtain as much information as he possibly can, whether we’re on a factory visit or sitting in a Lunch N’ Learn. When I asked him for advice on becoming a successful engineer, he said, “Ask a lot of questions all the time, even if you are afraid of looking dumb.” That really struck a chord with me because although he is a professional engineer, there’s no limit on how much you can learn regardless of education and work experience.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. My ultimate goal was and is to study architectural engineering and become an engineer who can give back and contribute to society. I am here at Henderson today because of the drive and ambition I have to achieve this goal. I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn and gain experience that I will be able to apply in the future. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is, nothing can replace this experience.