NCCC Success Story
Computer Aided Drafting Technology
CAD Intern at US Bureau of Reclamation
Where is your hometown?
Amherst, NY (near Buffalo)
What is your degree program?
Computer Aided Drafting Technology - AAS
What is your graduation date from RIT/NTID?
Where is your place of employment?
US Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado
What is your job title?
What are your work responsibilities?
I worked with AutoDesk Revit and Civil3D on various Civil Engineering projects, such as a Water Treatment Plant, and the All-American Canal passing through Calexico, California. I worked on Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID), 3D modeling for a water treatment tank & pipeline system. I also worked on a risk analysis project for canal waterways, where I used LiDAR data from USGS to find the embankment height, width, depth of canal, etc for each section of the canal. I also did lots of mark-up and revision changes where professional engineers would go through a printed copy of a drawing, and write down things that needs to be corrected, changed or fixed- I would receive that paper, and perform the requested changes on the CAD file.
How does your career relate to your degree from RIT/NTID?
My career is directly related to my degree from RIT, because I am working as a CAD draftsman, where I need to be skilled and proficient with various CAD softwares, which are taught at RIT/NTID. The biggest one was AutoDesk Revit. I entered the CADTEC program without ever touching Revit beforehand- I was taught how to use the program and was able to develop knowledge and skills for it that directly transferred to my job at USBR, and even as a bonus, I was able to teach some of my other co-workers tricks that I've learned at RIT. Also, as an intern, I've learnt various necessities that the software has in the workplace that wasn't taught in classes- I was able to provide feedback to my professor, and was pleasantly surprised that the feedback I provided was actually incorporated in classroom projects. In particular, the feature was multi-user collaboration, where there were procedures that needed to be learnt and followed to allow multiple people to work on a single project- a classroom environment naturally leans toward individual projects for skill development, but the CADTEC professors were able to figure out a great way to teach collaborations for all of the students in my class.
Do you have any advice for any current students attending RIT/NTID?
My advice would be to understand that you may or may not need more time to figure out and understand what you truly want to do for yourself, your career and the future. Some people would know what their ambitions are very early in life, some people - like myself, would take much longer. Straight out of high school, I had NO idea what I wanted for my future, so I just jumped into the RIT engineering programs. Without knowing my desires, my motivations were not there, so it's okay if you decide to drop out, like I did the first time around. I was able to find a few trades jobs, such as Non-Destructive Testing: doing inspections on welds and manufactured parts. In my previous career, I began to notice drawings, blueprints and such, and the computer software used to create them- I felt a very strong interest toward it, and wanted to learn it. When I discovered the CADTEC program at NTID, I decided to return to school at the age of 29, this time with a clear goal in mind and far more motivations and understanding. College are about opportunities for your career, but it's not the ONLY opportunity you HAVE to take, if you need time to explore what you really need, there is always a "way back in".