You can pack a lot into three-and-a-half years. And you never know where opportunity will knock.
Those are two of the lessons Jesus Monegro '14 has learned during his Stevens career, which will conclude this spring with a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a trip west to Minneapolis to join the T.E. Ibberson division of Kiewit, one of the world's largest contractors. There he will work as a field engineer for TEI, a specialist in slip-form concrete construction — massive, single-pour projects that produce nuclear reactor silos, bridges, towers, dams and the like.
"I'm ready for this," he points out. "Stevens educated me well."
Monegro's journey began in the Dominican Republic. He immigrated to New Jersey with his mother, who holds a Ph.D. in education, in 2006. After completing high school in West New York, he enrolled at Stevens to satisfy his desire to pursue an engineering career.
Though he lived off-campus during his first three years at Stevens, Monegro became increasingly more active in campus life, eventually taking important roles with the Stevens Philosophy Club, the Stevens Culinary Society, and the Stevens campus chapters of both the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
"Sometimes I'm not sure how I did it all," he says. "There were definitely a lot of sleepless nights."
But those connections later proved vital, leading him to the position offer with Kiewit.
"The connection came about during a SHPE conference in Indianapolis," he remembers. "Kiewit was present at the career fair, and the rest is history."
During his job interview, Kiewit's representatives asked Monegro about his real-world experience. He was ready with a good answer: in 2013, he had spent the summer in Pennsylvania as an intern with Victaulic, the market-leading manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining systems. Monegro was immediately tapped for an important two-pronged project designing a mold-feeding system for large castings while also authoring new management processes and guidelines in two languages for Victaulic's casting plant in Chihuahua, Mexico.
"That internship threw me right into the water, and I learned how to swim," he says. "I would literally get a sketch from my boss and 'go at it' as my only instructions. By the end of the internship, I was able to travel to Mexico with a prototype I had designed and build it myself. I call it my introduction to 'A through Z engineering'. It was a challenge, but very, very rewarding. I grew a lot."
"Kiewit liked the way I had to be resourceful in this internship, and communicate with many parties both inside and outside the company."
Now a brother of Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Monegro is enjoying his final year living on campus. He is also actively involved in an interdisciplinary, four-student Senior Design Project team working to innovate a novel design for the headwall that holds arrays of medical equipment in hospital rooms.
"We're working to prototype a new kind of headwall that offers maximum versatility while also remaining cost-effective for healthcare facilities," he says.
As he looks forward to his new career, Monegro says he is excited about the challenge.
"Kiewit is giving me a chance to be in the field, not just in the office," he says. "I found out during my internship last summer that I don't want to sit in a cubicle every day. I want to be a field engineer, out on sites, working hands-on. That's what I love to do and that's how I will make an impact."