STEM Talk Day with TRC

September 25, 2020
STEM talk with TRC

On Friday, September 25, 2020, the SDSU Women in Engineering (WE) Program and the College of Engineering Femineer® Program hosted their first STEM Talk of the Fall semester and third of the series to 21 attendees, featuring TRC Companies to a combination of high school and undergraduate students.

The hour and a half hour webinar featured a detailed informational discussion about TRC Companies as a company, its current Diversity, Equity, and Inclusions efforts, their projects, and their partnerships with various other companies, segueing into how TRC supports their employees, and more specifically, their female population. Maria Moon, HR Program Manager, discussed TRC Companies’ core values, such as safety, creativity, quality, accountability, teamwork, integrity, and passion. She emphasized TRC’s efforts in investing in its 5K+ employees and how their product is their people. Their Diversity & Inclusion network consists of a “steering team” whose motto is “We’re Your Team. We’re Diverse. We Represent You!”

Also, Maria shared about the TRC summer internship for students, expressing the vast areas of work that can be done by the interns. She mentioned that they are looking to hire 200+ interns for summer 2021. Furthermore, she expressed several perks the interns get such as a Mentor Program, the encouragement to participate in enrichment groups, networking groups, team projects, and the potential to transition into a full-time position following graduation.

Following the TRC introduction by Maria, five TRC female engineers spoke to attendees about their experiences through their academic and career paths. Panelists include Agnes Weber, Senior Vice President of Infrastructure and proud SDSU Civil Engineering alumna, Victoria Sorrentino, a Power Transmissions Engineer II, Anna Grimes, a Power Outreach Associate, Sara Child, an Environmental Project Engineer and proud SDSU Electrical Engineering alumna, Susan Bragagnolo, Vice President of Power.

The TRC engineers shared their individual insights into their own academic and career path as well as advice to young students hoping to become engineers. Unsurprisingly, most of the panelists expressed how their career trajectory was not linear. In some cases there were bumps in the road and different life experiences that altered their path, but nonetheless they each expressed their gratitude for the lessons learned along the way.

Following the panelists sharing their academic and career pathways, attendees asked a variety of questions to the panelists from things regarding a day in the life of an engineer to the various challenges they have faced in the engineering field. The engineers each spoke to attendees honestly and gave such positive affirmations. Notably, when asked how Agnes Webber has climbed up the professional ladder to the high position she holds she quite simply responded, “Give it your all no matter what you are doing… and never turn down an opportunity.” In her effort to encourage students from her alma mater, she suggested that students “1) Take on new challenges. 2) Stay active. 3) Have fun.” She also encouraged students to not be discouraged if they aren’t the best at math. She emphasized that it’s important for students to be part of the problem solving process and work as a team. The STEM Talk was an overall success and we hope to continue partnering with TRC Companies.