Civil Engineering student reflects on internship with a leading geohazard mitigation firm
- Caroline Reed
- Friday, October 23rd, 2020
Rebecca Hurley, a senior from Park City who studies Civil Engineering, is invested in numerous organizations on the Hill, but one experience stands out to her as something that has truly shaped where she is today, her recent internship with GeoStabilization International (GSI).
This past summer, Hurley spent 12 weeks with GSI traveling across the United States to various work sites where she interned alongside licensed civil engineers and gained exposure to the field she is pursuing.
Hurley found herself in Colorado, West Virginia, Wyoming, Indiana, and Ohio, each experience giving her more insight into a career as a civil engineer.
GSI is the leading geohazard mitigation firm that operates throughout the United States and Canada. They specialize in emergency landslide repairs, rockfall mitigation, and grouting.
Hurley said that at one location she was able to assist in an emergency landslide repair that occurred due to a two-lane road disappearing.
“Everyone that worked for GSI genuinely wanted to help me. What I loved most is they allowed me to fail just a little bit, and that’s truly how I learned best,” said Hurley. “This summer definitely challenged me in ways I can’t even put into words. I grew so much, and I am so grateful for this experience.”
In addition to her summer full of traveling and learning, Hurley enjoyed how each individual on her team started to feel like family to her. She said after work some days, they would all grill out and enjoy getting to know one another. The connections she made through this experience will continue to pave the way for her future career. Hurley even said that this past summer impacted her so much that it made her reevaluate her career choice. She now is thinking about continuing to work with GSI in the future, and she’s already received offers for a couple interviews.
“I didn’t realize I would love it as much as I did. For students interested in taking part in an internship like GSI—yes, it’s work while you’re in school, but I learned a lot during this internship. WKU has an incredible engineering program, but I can’t express how much experience and knowledge I gained this past summer. I didn’t think anything major would come of this opportunity, but it completely changed my career path for the next 50 years,” Hurley said.
In addition to being selected to intern with GSI, Hurley is also the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at WKU where she uses her experiences to lead her classmates in their academics and future careers.
“It’s a pleasure to lead this group. The connections you establish through being a part of this organization are beneficial, and having an engineer group makes school a little bit easier and much more enjoyable,” said Hurley.
She said that after you graduate, companies look to see if you were in organizations like ASCE, and it can help you tremendously to get your foot in the door when seeking a job opportunity.
As Hurley will graduate soon, her experiences have taught her a lot about her future career and what she needs to do to get there.
“It’s important to get the degree, but it’s also important to network and make connections. For me, I have done just that through opportunities like GSI and ASCE,” Hurley said.