Rotational Engineer Program Leads to an Unexpected Passion

In the spring of my senior year of college in 2014, I was applying for a variety of different jobs all over the country with no idea what I truly wanted to do. I was presented with the opportunity to accept a role in the new Rotational Engineer program with KCI. Motivated by the option to move back in with my parents and save some money, I accepted the position, not even realizing what opportunities it would afford me. I started working in Sparks, MD, right after graduation in the Communications Design group. While I met some great people, I knew early on that this was not the position for me. Luckily, that is where the beauty of the Rotational Engineer program showed its face!

After talking to my advisor, Chris Griffith, he suggested he had the perfect spot for me. He was going to send me to Charlotte to work in the Contractor Support Services group. What is Contractor Support Services? I had no idea, but I was interested in checking out a new city I had never been to and seeing what it was all about. I packed up my bags and headed south. I first fell in love with the city, the friendly southerners and the amazing coworkers in the Charlotte office. And after 3 months, I had also found my love for the type of work they do there. CSS is a unique group that provides engineering design work for bridges as well as the temporary designs needed to construct bridges and other structures. I had always had an interest in bridge design but had never thought about all the temporary design work that would be needed to actually construct the bridge. CSS takes the problem-solving element of engineering to a new level, and the fast-paced nature of this type of work kept me interested. After my three-month rotation was finished in Charlotte, I knew that I wanted to stay there permanently. However, after talking to my manager, we agreed there was still more for the Rotational Engineering program to offer me.

I proceeded to rotate to Rock Hill, South Carolina to work a rotation in the Bridge Design group where I learned more about the process of working with the Department of Transportation on new-build bridge projects. I then spent my last rotation working with the inspectors in the Construction Management department. This was the perfect final stop in my program as I got to see the bridge designs being put to action in the field. It gave me an understanding of the challenges that contractors face while building and the ability to visualize the many elements I had spent months detailing on paper. At the completion of the Rotational program, I returned to Charlotte to work as a full-time employee in the Contractor Support Services group.

If it had not been for this program, I would have never known about this type of work or realized how much I enjoy it. I also would not have had the opportunity to work in four different departments, meeting coworkers throughout the whole company and learning invaluable things from each one that I pull from to make myself a better engineer in my current role.