Board Member Spotlight June-July 2019
As part of our new Board Member Appreciation Program, we are showcasing a board member in our bimonthly Board Member Spotlight. Our board member spotlight recognizes board members of outstanding contributions to the profession and our local communities. For any questions regarding the program please contact the Past President PastPresident@ymf-oc.org.
For the June and July 2019 Spotlight, we would like to introduce...
GUILLERMO (MEMO) MEDINA
We asked him to state his name, company, and position(s) in ASCE:
Guillermo (Memo) Medina
K-12 Outreach Co-Chair
We also asked him a few questions about the following:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Compton, CA.
What made you want to become an engineer?
I took a drafting class in 9th grade and that class really sparked my interest in drawing and designing. The teacher for the class was a semi-retired Architect that taught us all the fundamentals to drafting by hand, and also taught us about his profession. I didn't want to pursue a career that seemed to have a smaller market and I knew Civil Engineering was a related field where I could take advantage of the fact that I always enjoyed math and that it had so many more doors to explore. So here I am and haven't looked back since!
Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?
I enjoy basketball! Playing and watching. Although I'm much better at just watching.
Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me...
Up early catching up on all the errands I put off all week.
What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school?
I attended UC Irvine where I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering. During my time at UCI I was fortunate enough to be involved with the ASCE Student Chapter there, where I served as Internal Vice President for the club and Co-Project Manager for Steel Bridge during my senior year.
WORK & PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.
My responsibilities at work as a Designer 2 involve designing and preparing plans for grading/paving, storm drain, utilities, and any other design components that fall under Land Development. Aside from designing, I get to coordinate with all the other disciplines involved in bringing a project to life, Architects, Landscape Architects, MEP Engineers, etc. Some significant projects I've been lucky enough to be a part of: Grossmont Community College SMC&T project in El Cajon, CSU San Bernardino Student Union Expansion, Beta Academy in Houston, MCASD in San Diego, and all the other 30+ projects I've helped with whether I'm on it for a day or for a month, they all teach me new things that make them all significant to me.
What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?
Knowing that I'm contributing to our built environment out in the world and that other people are using spaces that I've helped design is my favorite part of Civil Engineering.
What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career?
I think soft skills go a long way in our careers, even more than the technical capabilities. Continuing to improve on communication with peers and/or clients is fundamental. CAD skills are definitely a necessity too though.
What drew you to your specific career path? If you could start your career differently, what would you do differently?
Just being able to say I've left a positive impact in our society is what drew me to my career path. I don't think I'd do anything differently, I'm happy with the choices I've made to get to where I am.
ASCE & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
How/Why did you get involved? Why did you choose to stay involved?
I attended a general meeting on campus and the club pitched their mentorship program and I joined as a mentee and I had the best mentor I could have asked for. Through my mentor, Rodrigo, I learned that the organization was more than the technical projects and professional development, it was about the people and some of the best people I know I've met through ASCE. I chose to stay involved after college because I felt that ASCE had done so much for me and my development that I wanted to make sure I reciprocated. Now through our K-12 effort, I get to do just that.
How has ASCE impacted your work and/or what is your favorite benefit of your involvement?
ASCE has had a positive impact on my work. My boss was also involved with ASCE since she was a student at UCI too and has continued to stay involved with the OC and LA branch, so she recognizes how ASCE involvement helps the community and our company's image.
Who is someone you admire and why?
I admire my godfather, Rafa, he's been a role model for me since I can remember. He's the most selfless, patient, and kindest person I know. If I become half the man he is I'd consider it a win.
If you have one piece of advice to give to young professionals what would it be?
Make sure the work you end up doing is something that you truly enjoy. We spend so much of our life working that doing something you aren't passionate about is not worth it.
Lastly, what would be your personal motto?
Mo' money mo' problems? Just kidding I just had to throw that in there haha. "Prove yourself to yourself, not others." I think too many people spend too much time and effort trying to impress others and thinking about what others think of them when really we just need to focus on ourselves.
If you missed the last (May-June 2019) Board Member Spotlight, Ashlyn Alexander, you can click here to read her article.
To view the archive of all past Member Spotlights, click here.