My name is Areeba Iqbal. Growing up I was always drawn to the field of engineering. I used to watch my father work on structural designs and plans with such passion and dedication. My father has always been my role model. His dedication and honesty towards his work inspired me and created my interest in Civil Engineering. The combination of my personal interest and parental influence led me towards my dream of becoming an engineer. When I was twelve, I moved from Pakistan to New York City and found the city to be awe inspiring. Living in this vivid city propelled me to see the endless possibilities of a career in Civil Engineering.
As a teenage immigrant, I explored the city starting at Penn Station and was astonished to see this ‘underground railway’ linking parts of city together through a junction of subway lines. Each time I wondered up from the tracks, I found myself in the midst of hundreds of high rise buildings.
Fast forward 10 years later, today I am a current senior at Manhattan College pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering. This summer I interned for Metro North Railroads Capital Engineering department for East Side Access and current renovation projects in Grand Central. I am fortunate enough to firsthand experience one of the country’s largest ongoing construction project.
My sophomore year of college I started my internship with New York State Department of Transportation as a Construction Inspector. After spending time at a construction site I saw construction as a form of art. It was art to me how a project goes from design phase into construction phase and soon a strong foundation is laid out. On that strong foundations we construct high rise buildings, highways, bridges and dig the same soil deep enough to construct railroad tracks. From that experience, I knew I always want to work in the construction field.
This summer I was fortunate enough to be a part of East Side Access project where I saw a different shade of art known as underground construction. I saw the complexities of underground constructions on top of existing structures and not on any structure but underneath the pride of New York City, The Grand Central Terminal.
Throughout my 3 years of construction experience as an intern I always observed the lack of women involved in the construction industry. During my first few weeks as an intern it was overwhelming for me to be the only woman at a construction site. This summer I picked a construction internship again because I want to be more involved in the field of construction and inspire many other girls to be a part of this wonderful industry. I also picked this internship because I enjoy the complexities and various challenges that come up every day at a construction site.
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