Future Grads – Learn What’s it like to Pursue a Mechanical Engineering Career with Syska Hennessy.

Matthew Cassidy joined Syska Chicago at the beginning of 2016, after graduating as a mechanical engineer from the University of Missouri.

We asked Matt to share his first year experiences and advice for future grads pursuing MEP careers.

Q. When did you join Syska and what is your role?

MC. I joined as a summer intern in June ‘15, and came on board full-time in January ’16. I started on smaller tenant improvement projects for clients in the Willis Tower and Humana. Today, I’m typically doing most of these TI projects—for clients like Motorola and Bank of America —myself, while assisting the senior engineers on the more sophisticated jobs.

Q. What are some of highlights to date?

MC. Completing my first big project for Motorola was a highlight. More broadly, being given greater free reign. I love when you’re given a little more freedom to show what you can do, whether that’s just being on the phone with a client or going out to a survey by myself.

Q. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered to date?

MC. Unlike college, when there is a right and wrong way, there’s not always a definitive answer. In the real workplace, you have trust your ability to come up with the best solution. Another engineer can come up with a different solution to same challenge but both of your solutions could be considered correct. You have to learn to trust yourself, that you are a competent engineer.

Q. Best advice to newbies joining Syska?

MC. Be outgoing. Your supervisors are busy with their own projects, you can’t sit there and wait to be told what to do. Get involved by asking colleagues what you can do. Take work off their plate. This builds the relationships with the people you work with, and ensures you have a steady stream of work coming in.