Cody King, a Gates native, is no stranger to heavy machinery. Growing up in his family’s excavation business, King has seen many engineering designs put into practice. Now, as an engineering major at the University of Tennessee at Martin, he is getting a look at the behind-the-scenes details that go into planning those projects.
“My family owns a construction business, an excavation business, where they do utility work. … Civil engineers are the ones who draw all the plans for that,” he said. King is a senior at UT Martin concentrating in civil engineering. “It was something I had a background in, and things made sense because I had used them all my life. I could picture things. Seeing the design process that goes into (these projects) is really awesome.”
The UT Martin Department of Engineering requires all engineering students to complete an internship or co-op program before earning their degrees. King took advantage of family connections to land an internship position with Forcum Lannom Contractors in Dyersburg this past summer.
He didn’t spend his time grabbing coffee and running errands, however. The crew at Forcum Lannom put him to work, and King was able to see the fruits of his labors in a very real way.
“Forcum is a design-build (firm). So any jobs they design, they build or plan to build. … So there were a few plans that I drew over the summer that I actually went and saw where they had started doing work on them,” he said. “I drew plans. I did a lot of that. I helped design some concrete footings for steel buildings. I went and did some surveying out in the field. The biggest benefit was getting to see how I was actually going to use my degree, seeing what was going to come after I graduate.”
King, who plans to graduate in May 2017, is sure he will finish strong with the extra experience gained from Forcum Lannom and encourages other students to take advantage of similar learning
“You’re going to school for four years of your life … and you have no idea what you’re going to be doing in the field if you haven’t worked out there before,” he said. “I would highly recommend, no matter what (career) you’re going into, if you have the opportunity to do an internship, take it. … It gives you that extra look into the future to see what you’re actually going to be doing once you graduate from college.”
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