August 16, 2017 12:00AM
And after a unique summer internship experience, the graduate student from Pakistan is even more prepared to continue his pursuit of an engineering career.
Ahmed, who is working toward a master’s degree in engineering technology, spent this past summer at Topcon Positioning Systems in Livermore, Calif. Topcon manufactures various types of state-of-the-art equipment that is used in the construction industry.
Ahmed said he scored the internship, that is offered to only a handful of college students nationwide, after meeting with Topcon reps at the College of Technology Company Days event last year.
“This internship helped me greatly to widen my horizon, taking my educational experience into account and expending my knowledge further on top of it,” Ahmed said. “Every beginning needs a strong and rigid foundation. The master’s degree that I am pursuing from Pitt State is like a foundation block, and this internship is acting like a pillar which will support all my future career goals.”
And on top of all that, this internship was Ahmed's first ever employment opportunity since coming to the United States.
“The working environment in the U.S is different to some extent as compared to what I have experienced in Pakistan,” he said. “Working for Topcon has helped me familiarize myself with the norms and practices of business professional environment in the U.S. My long-term plan after graduating from Pitt State is to find a full-time job here in the U.S. and permanently settle in the U.S.
“This internship is paving the way to achieve these goals,” he said. “This is why internships play an important role in achieving career goals.”
Ahmed said he considered many options before choosing to attend Pittsburg State, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology. He said the quality of educational experience within the College of Technology helped him make his decision.
“The main reason I chose to attend Pitt State is the reputation of its School of Construction,” he said. “The faculty is outstanding and very helping. During the fall semester in 2016, over 80 construction companies visited the campus. I also had a friend from my country who was attending Pitt State who enrolled in the same major. He helped me in making the final decision.
“The best thing about the School of Construction at Pitt State is that they put emphasis more on learning new things by practice rather than memorizing paragraphs to score a good grade at the end,” he said.
Ahmed said that while he’s studying thousands of miles from home, his family remains his biggest motivation to succeed.
“I am lucky to have a family who actively supports me in achieving my goals,” he said. “My parents have put a great deal of effort in bringing me up. It is time to make them proud. I am also very lucky to have friends who are always there for me and provide their unconditional moral support.”