Meet Moises, Civil Engineer
Moises Young, the youngest child of a working class couple, was destined to be an engineer. Young’s proficiency in math and science led him to earn a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management, both from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. The Queens borough native is a project manager for the engineering company, AECOM, with 17 years of engineering experience focused on the transportation field of engineering. His father, an immigrant from Panama, worked in the banking industry, and his mother, an immigrant from the Philippines, worked as a nurse. Young is an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife and two children.
What were you like as a child? Were there any indicators that you’d become a civil engineer?
I was a very curious child. I liked to take things apart and see what was inside of them. I also liked to see different types of structures. Anytime my parents would drive under a bridge, I’d be looking up to see the different parts. I was always good at math and science, but I didn’t really think about pursuing a career in those subjects until later on in high school. That was when I actually had to think about what I would do for college. I always liked art, so I took art classes thinking that I would go into architecture, but because math and science came naturally to me, I went the engineering route.
What was your first engineering job like?
My first job was in construction right out of college. I worked with civil engineers. I had graduated with a civil engineering degree, but I was doing construction inspection. I got the job the regular, old way: sending my resume out along with cover letters. I interviewed for at least nine months all during my senior year of college. I took my first offer, but I don’t recommend doing that. When I talk to students nowadays I tell them, ‘If your first offer isn’t what you’re really looking for, don’t settle. Keep looking.’ I did construction inspection for two years. Luckily, the company I was working for eventually had an opportunity for me in the civil engineering and design realm, so I was able to transfer into that department.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies?
In my spare time, I like to hang out with my family, whether it’s a weekend trip or relaxing at home. I used to DJ on the side at nightclubs, bars, quinceaneras, and weddings. When my career progressed, I had to give that up. I couldn’t keep up with the new technology of DJ equipment, so now it’s just something that I do as a hobby. I used to play Spanish music, Hip-Hop and Reggae.
What do you love most about your job?
The engineering field is so influential in the world. It’s amazing to see a building I worked on become a reality, whether I was involved with the management side or the design of the building, highway, structure or airport.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
My biggest accomplishment thus far -- and this just happened two or three years ago -- was helping put together a proposal to win a project for a client, and then being able to manage the project while having four to six engineers work for me. Seeing the client happy and winning more work from them is the best part.