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Posted 6/4/2014

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By Sean McBride
Corporate Communications

What do you get when Clemson University, North Carolina State University, local construction/A&E firms and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers get together in one room? At The Citadel, that meant a career fair had come to town.

Maj. John O’Brien, deputy district commander, and Max Carroll, Fort Jackson project manager, represented the Charleston District at the career fair, which was set up primarily for upperclassmen of The Citadel’s night classes.

“Our office is right next door to The Citadel, so we wanted to let them know about employment opportunities with USACE,” said Carroll. “Some Citadel cadets do a great service to our country so we should take the opportunity to show them what we do.”

Approximately 150 students wandered through the fair learning about educational and business opportunities for post-graduation employment. More than a dozen students talked with O’Brien and Carroll about engineering jobs in the federal government. While O’Brien is an active duty officer in the Army Corps, Carroll has experience with the Navy Civil Engineering Corps, as well as the Army Corps, so their broad range of experiences enabled them to talk about opportunities all around the country and the world.

Around the same time, Carroll also attended an event put on by the Society of American Military Engineers where five Citadel students gave presentations on their recent trip to Italy. These students had gone abroad to study engineering in Italy as well as see first-hand some of the most famous examples of architecture and engineering in the world. After the presentations, the students rotated through the room to different stations where Carroll and other leaders from local private firms, as well as government agencies, in Charleston discussed their personal experiences and opportunities at their organizations.

The Citadel’s engineering department is in the process of adding mechanical engineering to their list of engineering bachelor’s degrees, which had previously included civil, electrical and environmental engineering. This provides students with more opportunities and more links to places like the Charleston District.

“It’s exciting to see the growth of the department with the addition of mechanical engineering,” said Carroll. “Also, the trip to Italy is what gets people excited about engineering. I would have loved to have done something like that and am happy that The Citadel is engaged with getting people excited about engineering.”

Participating in events such as these and seeing the opportunities students are getting today is all part of the Charleston District’s goal of helping recruit America’s future engineers through STEM outreach.