College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Get involved – Engineer at ISU CCEE

Taylor snaps a photo from the top of a tower crane during a summer internship with The Beck Group. Photos courtesy Paige Taylor.

With graduation on the horizon, senior in construction engineering reflects on getting involved at Iowa State 

If Paige Taylor were to give a piece of advice to a new student, it would sound something like this …

“Some great advice that I received my freshman year was to get involved in something that relates to your major and then something that’s completely unrelated,” she says.

Taylor took that advice and ran with it. A senior in construction engineering, Taylor got involved with several student organizations within Iowa State’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (CCEE). ISU Associated General Contractors (AGC) was the group related to her major. Crew club? That was completely unrelated.

“The first week of school, I was up at 6 a.m. on Monday at Lied [Recreation Center] for practice,” she says, recalling her freshman year at ISU. “It put us through some brutal workouts, but I got to know everybody on the team.”

Competitions take up several weekends each fall, but Taylor says it’s absolutely worth it. She’s branched out since then. She is currently actively involved in AGC, as well as ISU’s Mechanical Contractors Association, in which she holds a leadership position. Since first declaring her major as construction engineering, Taylor has found great resources in her classmates and upperclassman.

Taylor (front, left) and the ISU Crew Club at the team's annual Arkansas spring break trip. <i> Photos courtesy Paige Taylor.</i>
Taylor (front, left) and the ISU Crew Club at the team’s annual Arkansas spring break trip. Photos courtesy Paige Taylor.

“My favorite part about Iowa State is the community,” she says. “When you’re touring campus or when you first get here, it seems so huge. But once you start to get into your classes or get involved, the community shrinks and you get to know people a lot better.”

In May 2018, Taylor will graduate. She already has a job lined up at MMC Contractors Des Moines (a connection which she started fostering at an internship). Whether it’s networking, volunteering or taking leadership positions, Taylor knows students can find ways to get involved at Iowa State.

“By the end of your four years at Iowa State, you kind of know who’s who,” she says, smiling. “You know everybody. You can easily pick up a conversation when you see them.”

Note: In March-May 2018, Iowa State University College of Engineering Communications is setting out to find the top reasons why undergraduate and graduate students choose to pursue their education at ISU CCEE. “Engineer at ISU CCEE” is a video/written series featuring students from ISU CCEE’s two majors, civil and construction engineering. Each student shares his or her unique reasons for choosing Iowa State. Discover more about the student experience at ISU CCEE by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (search Iowa State University Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering and ISUConE).