#FemaleFriday

Danielle Schroeder, EIT

Dani Schroeder, EIT is a Graduate Bridge Engineer in the Philadelphia Transportation Division. She has worked at Pennoni since September 2014, first as Drexel co-op, then part-time, before starting full time in July 2017. Dani earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Drexel University. She is an advocate for STEM outreach, especially to inspire more women to pursue engineering degrees. She currently serves as a mentor for the WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU (TrYOU) which plans bimonthly events for girls ages 13-18 interested in STEM. This past year, Dani has volunteered as part of the Communications Committee for the ASCE YMF to help bring these #FemaleFridays to fruition!

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

I was inspired to pursue engineering by my dad, although I didn’t really know it as engineering at the time. A carpenter by trade, my dad built the house I grew up in, and over the years I have helped him with various small projects around the house. Through helping him with these projects and listening to him explain what needed to be done, I learn that I greatly enjoy the construction process and the math behind it.

Throughout grade school, I greatly enjoyed my math and science classes but the word “engineering” wasn’t brought up until my Junior year of high school. That year, I attended a local University’s Engineering Girls Camp. Here, I not only met young ladies from the local college, but also had the opportunity to meet professionals in a variety of engineering disciplines which where I learned that Civil Engineering was the perfect career for me as it combines construction of buildings and bridges with my love of the technical side of math and science.

What do you enjoy most about your current position? Your career?

What I enjoy the most about my current position is the people I work with. My co-workers are a great group of individuals who constantly push me to be my very best and help me reach my goals both in and outside the workplace. As a graduate engineer, I still have a lot to learn and glad that I have coworkers that are always more than happy to help.

What advice would you give to a student currently studying engineering?

The best pieces of advice I can give any college student is to learn to be your own advocate and don't be afraid to ask. If you want to cold email someone about an opportunity, or ask to attend an event your college is hosting, do it! The worst they can tell you is no, but you will never know unless you reach out and ask.

What is the best part of being a member of the YMF?

Being a part of the YMF is truly fantastic because you can still get involved if you are not a board member. This year I volunteered as part of the Communications Committee and through this, I was able to bring my own idea to life - #FemaleFriday. It started as a way to highlight recent news stories about women in STEM, but this past month it has become something even greater. Since April, I have had the honor of being able to highlight many of the amazing and diverse women who lead and volunteer for Philadelphia ASCE and the YMF section. Through this, I have coordinated interviews with some of my personal role models and as well as learned more about other amazing ladies we have right here in our local chapters. Special thanks to Charlie Mumford, Social Media Chair, and Dennis Wilson, IT Chair, for helping me bring this idea to fruition.