In a Nutshell Blog
Oakhill Interns- Henderson Engineers
On June 23, 2017, three of Oakhill's incoming eighth graders spent the day shadowing Henderson Engineers in Lenexa, Kansas. Below is an article written by Henderson's Communications Manager, Tyler Koonce, on the event. We are proud of our students for representing Oakhill so well in the community!
Oakhill Day School Students Job Shadow Engineers
Three soon-to-be eighth grade students from Oakhill Day School in Gladstone, Missouri, shadowed our engineers and met with members of our management team on June 23 at the Lenexa headquarters. Ryan Dodson, Jessica Eisler, and Owen Riddle, all 13, received a tour of the building from our very own Associate Vice President Kelly Noel and Project Manager/Senior Electrical Designer Devin Caruthers, shadowed Mechanical Engineer Michael Bull, Electrical Engineer Kim Williams, and met with Senior Vice President Jason Wollum. All three students even got the chance to sit in the chair of President and CEO Rich Smith.
“What an awesome program,” said Noel, who is active in many mentoring programs for middle school and high school students throughout the Kansas City area. “Every time Henderson gets to teach young people about what we do, it charges me up for the whole day!”
Bull put his Professional Engineer and A Team expertise on display, going over some of the finer details of daily life as an engineer at Henderson.
“I showed them both AutoCAD and Revit projects,” Bull said. “I discussed how Revit works better for coordination but can take a little longer to design. I also showed them the difference between our drawings, which are in color, and the final product, which is in black and white, and how we work to make it as clear as possible what is actually going on.”
Williams, a K-State alumna, passed along her Professional Engineer advice from Sector 5, giving a glimpse into her work with electrical, lighting, power, fire alarm, and data.
“I showed them a set of plans from a previous project we did,” Williams said. “I also showed the pictures of some of our Walmart stores to point out things I would typically do on a remodel. We talked a little about what I did in college and the program I was in.”
All three students emphasized that they thoroughly enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look they were provided.
“It was nice seeing how the work environment is,” said Eisler, daughter of Vice President Sean Eisler. “I’ve been to a lot of the Henderson family events, and it was cool to see how the people here are getting work done while having fun doing it.”
Dodson, whose mother, Kathryn, directs the job shadowing program during Oakhill’s summer camp, said his favorite part of the day was learning about the upcoming Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park where the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams will play.
“Learning about all the electricity needed and paper used on the designs of the projects was really cool,” Dodson said.
Riddle took particular interest in Walmart’s technological capabilities that we have helped implement.
“I learned that Walmart has satellites that can control any store in the world from their headquarters in Arkansas,” Riddle said.
All of our Henderson colleagues came away impressed with the energy and desire to learn exhibited by these protégés.
“I think with them being interested in a future career at this young of an age shows huge potential for the great things they will do with their lives,” Williams commented. “I never had these opportunities as a kid at their age, so I love when we can help them decide what they want to do with their lives.”
Bull added, “I was very impressed that they were doing this on their own time, during the summer, when they could be doing anything else like playing games or sitting at a pool. I was also impressed with their excitement to be here.”
“I thought it was great that they are taking their future seriously and putting thought into what they want to do,” Wollum commented. “I told them to think about taking AP classes in high school, which will give them a jump on their college career – no matter what their major may be.”
Each of our Henderson colleagues enjoyed the chance to mentor kids.
“What better way to learn about engineering than from those who do it every day?” Noel said. “We are serious about our work and giving back by encouraging the next generation of engineers.”
Bull commented, “It is always refreshing to get a different view than our normal daily grind. I especially think it is important to educate young girls like Jessica – who is already planning on becoming an engineer – that engineering is a possible career path. It is such a male-dominated industry that sometimes young girls don’t even think of it as a possibility, and therefore don’t pursue it. Even if that just gets them to take a drafting class in high school, I think we have helped to make a difference.”
Wollum best sums up our company’s commitment to giving back.
“I feel it is very important to give back to our community, and to do it in a way that affects the future leaders of our industry is just icing on the cake,” he said. “I had a blast spending some of my day with the students. I sincerely hope that the three teens we visited with enjoyed their time and learned more about engineering and Henderson Engineers, but I hope even more that some of them will develop a passion for engineering, the way so many of us have. That is how the world gets changed!”
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