Alumnus Story: Andrew Gotschall, BSME ’10
Current City: Coconut Grove, FL
What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I started working for my current company, Turner Construction, three weeks after graduation.
What do you do for a living now? What does a typical work week look like for you?
I am a preconstruction engineer with Turner Construction. I work with clients and designers to price major development projects (healthcare, commercial, education, aviation, entertainment, sports, etc.), and we assist in all areas of project delivery prior to project launch in the field (price, schedule, logistical constraints, constructability, etc.). My week consists of a mix of work behind the desk as well as time on the road to various meetings and presentations, which keeps me on my toes.
In what ways did your CoE experience have an impact on your career and who you are today?
I cannot believe my time in the CoE at UM ended over seven years ago now; it completely shaped the person I am today! I entered the CoE as a young, nervous student who was living away from home for the first time; I was mainly involved in sports and worked at restaurants prior to coming to UM. Through my time in the CoE, I had a wide variety of amazing opportunities, from participation and leadership positions in activities like Engineering Ambassadors and ASME to multiple internships that showed me the career I wanted to pursue after school. My time at UM also made me fall in love with South Florida; I am still here today, progressing in my construction management career over the past seven years.
Describe your most memorable moment as a student at the College of Engineering (CoE).
I have too many highlights to cover. However, maybe one that may seem strange for an engineer is that I really enjoy writing, and this has served me well so far in my career. Dr. Tarjan’s “History of Technology” was an advanced writing credit I was lucky enough to take; an amazing man/career and a class I will never forget with interesting writing and presentation assignments.
What motivated you to support the College of Engineering?
My four years at UM were some of my favorites so far, and as one of not so many who have stayed around the South Florida area for this long, I feel the responsibility to give back to the place that gave me so much. Outside CoEAA, I also enjoy continuing to work with the CoE by bringing local high school students to tour the campus, college and labs each year through my company’s involvement in the ACE (Architecture, Construction Management, Engineering) Mentor Program. I am excited to see the new master’s in construction management take off!
What advice would you give to younger alumni or current students who aspire to follow a similar career path?
Go beyond the classroom! Go see your professors during office hours, and ask them how you can get involved in their research, clubs and other activities … ask them about their “other careers.” This also means get involved in activities that interest you. I suggest one to two within the CoE and one to two outside the CoE (sports, politics, volunteer efforts, etc.) to broaden your horizons and take full advantage of what UM offers you.
How would you describe the College of Engineering in seven words or less?
Growing, global, vibrant, open to your ideas!