Why I Stayed Involved with ASCE After Graduation
By Farrah Rawashdeh A.M.ASCE, Younger Members Community Services Chair, ASCE Houston Branch
While a student at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, I was first introduced to ASCE through our student chapter. I had been fortunate enough to be an active student member both on campus and at the society level starting in April of 2017. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in the spring of 2019, with dual engineering degrees in Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering, respectively. There were a few benefits that I was able to utilize by staying involved with ASCE after graduation.
First and foremost, I benefited from free ASCE membership and more frequent ASCE communications, such as interesting news and helpful articles, once I transitioned membership types. Secondly, as someone who was fortunate enough to have received a few job offers, I made use of the Entry Level Salaries report and studied what would be fair and adequate compensation relative to the region I would be working in. Based off that information, I was able to make a firm and secure decision regarding my future employment. Having always enjoyed ASCE at the student level, I began to research my possible involvement at the local level relative to where I would be residing and employed. I joined ASCE Texas Section’s Houston Branch in March of 2019.
After graduating and steadily easing into my life as a working professional, I felt content enough to take my involvement with ASCE to the next level. While at TAMUK, I did not feel like I was able to hold an officer position due to the nature of my workload and other responsibilities. In July of 2019, the Houston Branch began seeking Younger Member Chair volunteers, and this sparked my interest. Volunteering and giving back to the community has always been near and dear to my heart, so I expressed my interest in serving as the Community Services Activities Chair. I assumed my new position as a YM chair in September of 2019 and have since been able to broaden my network as well as become acquainted with some incredible people in the industry.
Among the volunteer events organized in collaboration with other organizations, I make my best efforts to attend Branch meetings as well as social events. At this year’s Young Engineer of the Year Banquet, I attended in support of our President-Elect, Sarah Alvarez PE, who was nominated on behalf of ASCE. The Engineer of the Year Gala was an amazing event to attend as well, and I was able to meet many respected individuals, including one of my own idols, Harris County Judge, Lina Hidalgo. I was privileged to attend both events as a new volunteer member of ASCE Houston Branch.
I’d like to thank Julia Clarke PE and Sarah Alvarez PE who serve as the Houston Branch President and President-Elect, respectively. I’d also like to thank the rest of the officers and chairs who serve the Houston Branch. I am very proud of my involvement in one of the world’s oldest professional engineering organizations. I carry my membership card with me every day in my wallet. Something small and compact, and yet it holds a tremendous amount of meaning. It serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come in my journey in becoming a professional engineer in our society. I hope to remain a contributing and active member of ASCE for decades to come.