I started at Degenkolb directly after graduate school and chose it based on high recommendations from friends and professors. I was completely unaware of the exceptional firm I was joining. Degenkolb is an extremely open and accessible company, allowing all employees opportunities to see how the business is run and how it is doing. I think this sets it far above and beyond most firms. Further, it extends a standing invitation to everyone to take part in the decision making process for the future direction of the firm. Due to this, collaboration and teamwork occur naturally with information and knowledge freely flowing between all members of the firm.
Growth of the firm and of the individual are directly linked. Thus, decisions made to improve and increase the value of the firm are based on bettering and cultivating the people within, not laying off or overworking employees. Success is dependent on the entire group working together and growing together. There are no niches that you are required to fill and stay within. It necessary for each person to grow into a well-rounded, knowledgeable engineer; able to take on and run the business in the future. So as I work here I have been moved around to work on a variety of projects for a variety of clients using a variety of materials, which is great for me and the firm. Oh and the pay is good.
I am a reader and constant learner who loves to be around books, schools and education. Degenkolb has supported me in being an active member of the ACE Mentor Program. The goal of ACE is to expose high school students to the world of engineering, architecture and construction through a year-long program. Also, the firm has supported my interest in giving presentations at local universities to architectural undergraduate and graduate students on structural engineering. Lastly, I love running and have run several marathons with my wife.
A few years ago, when I worked in the Los Angeles office, we experienced a small earthquake; approximately magnitude 5.7. When it hit I was at work and it was crazy to see the reaction of a group of earthquake and structural engineers to a small earthquake. More or less we all freaked out and did everything you aren't supposed to do. Many, including myself, sat at their desks and did nothing, struggling to figure out why everything was moving. Others franticly ran about the office directionless, unsure where to go. Still others booked it to the stairwell and were down and out the building in record time. Of the 30 or so people in the office only one or two actually got under their desks. I think we need to go through our earthquake training again.