Derek Demers knows more about concrete than he ever imagined, thanks to the variety of labs that allow him to dig in and get his hands dirty.
“Like most students here, I learn by doing. Mixing and testing concrete would have to be a good summary of my lab experience here at school,” says Derek. “Never did I think would know so much about concrete as I do now, and I find it really interesting.”
Derek is a dual degree student pursuing an associate’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management.
But it took some time for Derek to find his way after attending college in Boston for electromechanical engineering. He soon decided that Boston—and his studies there—weren’t for him.
“When I started out, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, where I wanted to be, or how I wanted to get there,” he says. “Now I’m a senior, at Vermont Tech, I’m an RA, and I’m aiming for Dean’s List for two years in a row. I would say that I’ve made quite the transformation.”
Derek’s transformation started back in high school when he left his traditional high school to attend a technical high school program. He realized that particular environment suited his learning style.
“Ultimately, that experience made me the technically-minded person that I am,” he says.
As he wraps up his final year at Vermont Tech, Derek is proud of all he has accomplished.
“I learned to treat my college career like a job. I show up on time, and I take my performance seriously. I am ready to start the next chapter of my life, but I have really grown since I started this whole journey,” he says. “I am extremely proud of where I am today. There was a time when I couldn’t picture myself in college—and here I am.”