Mark-Villanueva
Student, Class of 2024
Hometown
Saipan, CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)

  1. Why did you choose Oregon Tech?

 While searching for collegiate institutions within the United States, a contractor from an engineering firm I’d interned for had recommended Oregon Tech. He mentioned that an OIT alumni had worked as a civil engineer back home and had easily become one of the best civil engineers our island had. Since then, I’ve set my eyes on Oregon Tech, hoping to become an inspiration as he was for me.

  1. What do you like most about your program?

I find that the way civil engineering supports the public is why I chose this program. From pipelines that transport fluids through homes and cities to roads and bridges that citizens use in their everyday lives, the work of civil engineering can be identified throughout any region. While the mathematics behind any structure can be difficult, witnessing the product I’ve designed and seeing it perform correctly gives me a sense of accomplishment.

  1. What are you passionate about changing within this particular field and why?

I am interested in developing more potable water systems across areas that lack the resources necessary to produce clean, filtered, and drinkable water. While clean water is essential, several individuals from across the globe lack such an important resource. By identifying alternatives to our current methods of potable water system installation and making it more available to developing countries, citizens of any background would not have to worry about where they’d have to find their next source of clean water.

  1. What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be to become an owner of a civil engineering firm on Saipan that primarily focuses on water resources. By implementing this focus, I aim to forge a team that could improve the pipeline system and eventually develop potable water systems across the island. This is an amenity that our island can benefit from since tap water is not a viable source of drinking water.

  1. What have been some of your favorite classes and why?

So far, my favorite classes have been ‘Intro to Geotechnical Engineering’ and ‘Strength of Materials’ because of the amount of hands-on experience that both laboratories provide. During each session, we’ve tested different theories using calculations and experimental procedures using equipment that engineers use in practice. This provided me with the opportunity to learn various concepts while having fun.

  1. Is there anything about Oregon Tech that you wish everyone knew about?

I wish that everyone knew the impact of learning in a small campus had made for Oregon Tech students. I find it easier to engage with others and establish one-on-one connections in a small class setting. Because of this, companies have found Oregon Tech graduates to be well-versed in their field of study and surefire candidates to fill positions in need. Additionally, there are more opportunities to be involved in different clubs and activities that Oregon Tech offers.

  1. Are you involved on campus?

I currently work two on-campus jobs at Oregon Tech and have been involved with various organizations including Circle K International and the ASCE-AGC Student Chapter. Prior to my current jobs as a Resident Advisor and Library Assistant, I’ve worked as an Office Assistant for Oregon Tech’s Student Success Center and Student Advisory Board Member, where I assist with managing the school’s app. With the ASCE-AGC Student Chapter, I am this year’s Concrete Canoe Co-Captain, where I’m tasked with leading our team with designing, fabricating, and racing a concrete canoe.

  1. Have you participated in any internships or externships during your time at Oregon Tech? Did you gain valuable experience from them?

 While I have yet to participate in an internship since I’ve been a student at Oregon Tech, I’ve been accepted to the MECOP program that allows me the opportunity to earn two 6-month internships in civil engineering. I hope to learn more about how civil engineers interact with various departments as well as the skills required to become a successful worker.

  1. Do you have employment/graduate school plans for after graduation?

 After graduation, I intend to work for one of the two companies that I’ve had an internship with for MECOP. I prefer to work for a firm that focuses on water resources or transportation, but I am open to other disciplines in civil engineering. Once I’ve gained enough experience, I hope to return to Saipan to provide innovative ideas that I’ve learned while working in the mainland.

  1. Is there anything more that you would like to share with future students about campus, what you wish you knew before attending Oregon Tech or anything else?
Oregon Tech has a variety of resources available for students with faculty willing to guide them to become successful. Talking to your professors and strengthening your relationships between them could lead to several opportunities including recommendation letters and references for internships. Additionally, they’re willing to share their prior experiences working as a civil engineer in the field.