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Civil Engineering Technology
White Plains NY

Change, change, change...

(April 01 2009) Written by: Victor H Sanchez in Advising & Support, Clubs, Majors & Minors

I can’t believe that it is week four of the spring quarter already I feel like just yesterday we were taking finals for our winter classes. This quarter has brought many changes for the RIT campus, and especially for me. The biggest change has been my change of major. Its interesting because just two years ago I started the spring quarter of my freshman year I switched from Undeclared Engineering to Mechanical Engineering, and now I start the spring quarter of my third year in a whole new program and a whole new college as a Civil Engineering Tech major.

I don’t know how many of you read my first blog where I mention my thoughts on changing my major, but to those of you that didn’t here is the course of events.

I kind of declared my major as mechanical engineering as a process of elimination. I figured out the type of engineer that I did not want to be and went from there. I knew that I wanted to do something with my life that will benefit people and help out the greater good. I liked that Mechanical Engineering had an “Energy and Environmental” option, which is something that I really care about, and even though I didn’t declare this option the plan was to do so by my fourth year. After spending two full years in Mechanical Engineering it started to become harder to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my degree or how I would implement it in to something that I had a passion for.

I attended the career fair several times and it appeared that every time I went I was drawn to the construction companies. I have always liked houses and at one point in life wanted to do architecture, but my lack of drawing skills ruled that out. I would talk to these companies about working with house heating systems to make them more energy efficient, but they didn’t seem to be too interested. Some companies would turn me away before I even got a chance to introduce myself because they were solely looking for Civil Engineers. This started to plant the seed in my mind that maybe I should consider looking at a different major.

At the end of fall quarter the organization that I am vice president for, Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) was approached by Habitat for Humanity RIT chapter. They were going to start working on a project to build a more “environmentally” friendly house in Rochester. Habitat wanted ESW to be the main design team for this project. Throughout the project we had many questions on certain changes we were making to the design of a house.

Working on this project really opened my eyes to what I wanted to do with my life. I want to work with the design of making building not only more energy efficient but more “sustainable”, maybe LEED certified. For me to be able to achieve this career goal I had to have a better understanding of what goes in to the construction and design of building, therefore I decided to switch majors.

I just started taking classes in my new major so I am not sure how this switch will turn out, but I am sure that it will all work out. I still plan to take a few classes from the Mechanical Engineering department like heat transfer and advance thermodynamics, things that not only interest me but will help me with my future plans.

Wish me luck Smile

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