#FemaleFriday

Caroline Voigstberger, EIT

Caroline earned her BS in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental Engineering from Temple University in 2016. She currently works as a civil designer at Hunt Engineering Company, focusing on site design, permitting and approval, erosion and sediment control, and stormwater management. In her free time, Caroline enjoys traveling, attending concerts, exploring new restaurants in the city, and watching 1-star reviewed movies on Netflix.

How/when did you realize you wanted to be a civil engineer?

Growing up, I loved almost all subjects at school. I was interested in math and science, but I also had a lot of enthusiasm for English and the arts. When I was in 8th grade I joined the Future City competition, which is a middle school competition that tasks students with researching, designing, and building a city of the future that solves real-world issues. Before that I had never considered how much thought and effort goes into the built environment, and I was fascinated by how much planning goes into the infrastructure that we use every day but don’t really think about. I realized that civil engineering combined most of my interests into one career path. I loved that I could utilize math and science while still using my creative side and having a say in building the city that I live in.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I love serving as K-12 outreach coordinator because I think it’s so important for girls to see women who look like them and who they can relate to in roles traditionally held by men. When I was in middle school my mom signed me up for an engineering summer camp, but when I arrived on the first day I was the only girl. I was terrified. I wanted to leave, but she sat me down and basically said, “I already paid for this. You have no choice. You’re staying”. Getting involved with engineering at a young age had such a big influence on me, so it’s great that I now get to encourage young girls as well as boys to get involved in STEM. We recently organized a girls STEM workshop, and it was so rewarding to see so many girls working together and showing such enthusiasm for engineering.

What advice would you give young female engineers entering the civil engineering workforce?

Take credit for your accomplishments. You have worked hard to get where you are and deserve to be here with everybody else. There are countless studies showing that women tend to underestimate our own abilities. We attribute much of our success to luck or to the help of others. Men on the other hand, have no problem accepting that their accomplishments stem from natural ability and hard work. Don’t be afraid to ask for that raise or promotion. Apply for the job that seems slightly out of reach. Request to be placed on that new project that really interests you. The worst anyone can say is no.

What has been your favorite part about being an ASCE YMF board member?

My favorite part about being on the ASCE YMF board has been all of the positive feedback from teachers and students. When you hear a teacher say how much their class loved an activity, or see a student use the skills you have taught them to start to “think like an engineer”, it’s impossible not to take that positivity with you into the rest of your work day!