While most CNMI high school students were at the beach enjoying the rights of summer, Amy Arenovski, a senior at Saipan Southern High School, spent her time being mentored by global engineering giant AECOM in Sacramento, California.
“My aunt [has] a Ph.D. in marine biology and works for AECOM. She helped make the arrangements for me to “mentor” in Sacramento (internships are for college students),” said Arenovski. “My designation was with the transportation engineering group, under the guidance of senior project engineer and AECOM vice president Thomas R Barnard, P.E. I worked with a number of different transportation engineers at AECOM in the Sacramento office. Being able to watch them and help them with their daily work gave me the opportunity to see what life would be like if I had a job like this.”
Arenovski got the idea of becoming an engineer in her freshman year when the “back island” road project began. “I was very interested in the road work being completed. 'Why are they doing this,' 'what is that' and finally.'what kind of job does this type of work?'”
Arenovski's summer was filled with being exposed to a number of ongoing projects including the new light rail transportation system for Sacramento and bridge project in Hawaii. “The people at AECOM included me in all the major projects that they worked on and have welcomed me back for an internship when I start college.”
“Working with the transportation engineers at AECOM this summer really helped me understand what a civil engineer truly does. While I was there, I was able to get familiar with the engineering computer programs such as AutoCAD and Micro-Station, which some students don’t understand how to use until they are in college.”
Arenovski's experience reinforced her desire to pursue a career in engineering. “It also was an experience living away from Saipan without my family. It was hard being away but I learned about being on my own, away from things I am comfortable with. I even missed my younger sister,” she said, smiling from ear to ear.
Because of her interest in engineering, Arenovski also spent two weeks traveling and visiting colleges and universities with engineering programs in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada to see which college may be a good fit.
Arenovski was born and raised on Saipan and is the daughter of Jill and Jim Arenovski. (PR)