As a first-generation immigrant to the United States of America, Leo noted that he was nervous about going back to college, as in 2013 he received his Bachelors in Business, but stated, “It was the best decision I have made in my life.” After working for seven years, Leo explained, “I wanted to be more marketable and that’s when I applied for the CET program at Vermont Tech…I did not look at any other colleges because I have family and friends who went to Vermont Tech and always speak highly of the Return on Investment (ROI) after finishing College.” (Read more about Vermont Tech ranking #1 in ROI!) He went on further, stating, “I initially wanted to go into Renewable Energy, but the Civil Engineering program looked more attractive and, seeing that there was a great demand for workers in that field, I took that path and I have no regrets.” In 2022, Leo graduated with his Associates in Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology.
Leo noted many professors and faculty at Vermont Tech that helped him with his path to employment after graduation stating, “Faculty members like Professor Diebold, Professor Bryan, Professor Pickett, and Professor Sabol played a great role in preparing me for my career. My first internship was with an engineering firm with the help of Professor O’Leary. (Meet our Faculty at Vermont Tech). That was a great experience that I use to this day with my new employer.” Now, working in his field of study, Leo noted, “As a Field Engineer, Vermont Tech has equipped me with the knowledge of understanding the work that goes on in the field. Classes like Civil and Environmental Design, Engineering Materials, Structural Design, Surveying and a few others comes in real handy when working in the fields and doing my quality control.”
Graduating in May of 2022, Leo had an internship that started a week after, and right after completing the internship, he landed a job at the same company. He noted, “I think being a Vermont Tech graduate played a great role in getting hired so fast, as most of my managers went to Vermont Tech as well, so they know the quality of education and skills we graduate with. Also, going into the working world for the second time, I felt a lot more confident and knowledgeable because the classes that I took at Vermont Tech were directly in line with my new career path.” (Read more about Vermont Tech’s hands-on learning). Now, Leo is a Field Engineer at The Whiting-Tuner Contracting Company where he has multiple responsibilities such as; coordinating and directing the work of all trades assigned to a construction work site, supporting creation of project budgets and schedules, identifying, tracking and resolving field issues and change orders, and setting expectations for managing a safe work site and ensuring that work is performed safely.
Leo wants to encourage others who are thinking about going to college, or going back to college, that they can! He notes, “I did it while commuting 10 hours a week to classes, working on weekends, providing for my family, having a newborn, getting a dog, and all of this was during the COVID-19 pandemic. The life you dream of is only a college degree away. Go and get it!”