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ASCE OC President's Column: Season of Change

As I write this, I am reminded that we find ourselves in the midst of a season of change. Although there are many seasons in life that include changes, this season is particularly poignant for those who are ending their academic careers and entering headfirst into their professional careers. I am especially aware of this stage in life as I watched my daughter graduate with her bachelor’s degree just about a month ago, and I look forward to watching my son graduate from high school in just a few days.

While this particular season of change may not directly impact you this year, if you are in the workforce, you will likely have important interactions with those experiencing the transition from the life of a student to one seeking work or new employment. As professionals in the civil engineering world, we can understand this transition and the difficulties, joys, and wonder that go along with it. We can empathize with the uncertainty associated with the application process, the frustrations with multiple interviews, and the elation of finally receiving an offer for full-time, gainful employment. If you are in the position of hiring, you hold a great responsibility to both your company and the engineers of the future. For your company, you want to hire the best and the brightest and someone who will learn from you and grow with you. For those entering the workforce, you are helping shape the future by offering a first chance to impact the world. I urge you to let compassion and a shared camaraderie guide you. Remember that everyone needs a chance, and once upon a time, you were in that position.

And if you happen to exist on the other end of the spectrum and are just dipping your toe into the civil engineering profession, WELCOME! You are not alone, and we are here to support you. As President of the Orange County Branch of ASCE, the Branch and the Younger Member Forum want to partner with you in your journey. We can’t wait to connect with you to offer guidance, networking opportunities, mentoring, and professional training. Please take advantage of all that is offered and let us help you grow in your new career.

 Above all, regardless of your stage in life, I wish you a wonderful season of change and urge you to pay attention to those around you. Whether you are experienced in your career or just starting out, we all can learn from each other through our shared and separate experiences.




About the Author:

Jennifer Marks is a Vice President/Environmental Services Team Leader at Psomas and the 2022-2023 President of ASCE Orange County Branch. Jennifer can be contacted at

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