Kyla is a Civil Engineer at Excel Engineering
Places You've Lived:
I am originally from a small town about an hour and a half North of New York City. I spent my entire childhood living in this smaller community while simultaneously being exposed to one of the most unique, crowded, and lively cities in the world. I attribute a lot of who I am, and how I go through life due to this exposure to so many different cultures and experiences. This, I believe, also gave me the courage to move out to California for college, while not knowing a single person on the West coast. In college I took a semester abroad in Prague, and traveled all through Europe, again broadening my horizons. After that, returning to California to finish school I got used to being able to choose how much time I spent in negative degree weather, and there was not too much convincing required to stay out here. The move to San Diego, was decided after I visited for the first time and discovered that this town was not just a giant beach filled with surfers. Here is the perfect combination of city life, gorgeous weather, and a general good vibe of the people who live here.
Outside of work, where can we find you?
Considering I spend a good chunk of my time stuck in a cubical staring at a computer screen, when I not at work you can find me in the exact opposite location. I enjoy going on long runs, always attempting to catch either a sunrise, or a sunset, or just the sun in general. I also have joined a few different adult soccer leagues, which are a quick and painful reminder that you are not the high school athlete you remember being. I also attempt to travel as often as possible, I truly believe that experiencing new places and new communities of people will only benefit you personally as well as professionally
Best advice you’ve been given:
This is a difficult question because I feel that you get advice, whether you want it or not, every day by witnessing your peers and learning from your own decisions. However, the best advice I have been intentionally given was to “just do it.” In my experience over the past few years meeting new people within the industry of civil engineering, they tend to have a familial tie to choosing this career path. Either someone in the field of civil engineering, or they are close to someone in the construction or survey business. That is not the case for myself, I stumbled upon this career and decided to choose it as my major in college and just completely jumped in. This advice also applies to my decision to move across the country to pursue this newly sprouted passion of mine, without truly understanding what leaving behind family and friends meant. This advice carries over into being a woman within the field of a generally stereotypical male industry. Plus many more seemingly insignificant decisions that I have made throughout my life, allowing me to grow into the person I am today.
What is your favorite thing about your career?
Both my favorite thing and what drew me towards pursuing a career in the field of civil engineering in the first place, was the combination of creativity and design that develops a final project. It takes both an understanding of the real world and how things are physically constructed, together with the individual engineer’s ability to imagine the final product. What was infatuating to me towards the end of high school, and confirmed as I further educated myself on the career trajectory of a civil engineer, was that there was no quote on quote finish line. There is always more to be learned, more mistakes to be made, and more solutions to create that no one has experienced before. As an additional part of this career, it is the responsibility to then pass down these lessons, so that the industry as a whole can benefit.
Favorite place(s) to hang out in San Diego?
There are so many places here in San Diego to explore. I would say that one of my favorite things to do in the summer is to take the ferry from downtown over to Coronado Island. There you can rent bicycles or take a free shuttle to all the local shops, Hotel Del Coronado, or the local park. I take almost all of my visitors here, where we either pop into a few of the small businesses, stop by the local brewery, or pack a picnic and bring it to the park where there is live music on weekends.
FALL QUARTER - SALVADOR SANCHEZ, JR.
Salvador is a Water Resources Engineer at Rick Engineering Company
Favorite Place You've Visited:
My favorite place that I have visited would have to be Okinawa, Japan. Earlier this year, I took a 2 week vacation to visit my cousin in the Air Force who is stationed at Kadena Air Base. It was my first time traveling to Japan and I had a wonderful time visiting the local castle ruins and museums on the island, touring military aircraft at the air base, and of course enjoying the local cuisine.
Why YMF Matters to You:
YMF is important to me as a valuable networking tool. The monthly meetings and social events are great opportunities to meet and interact with YMF members and experienced industry professionals. The industry professionals who donate their time to present topics at monthly meetings and share their experiences in the engineering industry are also valuable sources of information. Overall, I feel ASCE YMF is a great organization that encourages young professionals to develop “soft skills” and foster relationships with other engineers, as well as provide a forum to learn and discuss the latest information in the industry.
Before developing my focus on Civil Engineering in college, I had an interest in music. I played drums in high school and college band, and various other groups. I would say one of my proud achievements was performing with my indoor drumline group which placed 4th at the WGI Percussion World Championships Competition. It was an incredibly thrilling experience being part of a group of talented musicians, and performing in front of large audiences.
I was born and raised in San Diego, and lived most of my life in National City. I attended Sweetwater High School from 2006-2009 and graduated San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in May 2015.
What is your favorite thing about your career?
My favorite thing about my career in water resources is the creative thinking process that happens when working with a group of motivated individuals, and the polished ideas that come out of that process. I believe that as Civil Engineers, creative problem solving is one of the most important skills to refine, both in the public and private sectors, and working with others is a great way to share and refine these great ideas and problem solving skills. I also enjoy feeling that the work we do has such an influence on the world around us.