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SWEet Wisdom: How Did You Spend Your Summers While In High School?

We hope everyone had a strong end to the school year! While this summer may not be “normal,” we hope everyone can take the next few months to relax and learn something new!
Sweet Wisdom: How Did You Spend Your Summers While In High School?

We asked a few of our professional SWE members to share how they spent their summers while in high school:


Rochelle Larson 

M.S. in Civil Engineering, The University of New Mexico Senior Engineer, Carollo Engineers

SWEet Wisdom

In high school, I lived in a rural community where there were not many job opportunities. The closest I came to a job was house sitting and pet sitting for teachers. In the community, teachers came from all over the U.S., and they would travel out of state to visit their families during the summer. Every day, I would visit their homes and pets to make sure they were cared for. These small jobs taught me responsibility in caretaking and trust. It was also a lesson in communication. I needed to keep in touch with the teachers and let them know that all was well with their homes and pets. I also spent my time attending various summer camps, both educational and sports-related. Although not a job, I was still spending my time learning as much as I could, and these were great opportunities to expand my knowledge base and keep my brain fit.

Heather Sheridan

B.S. in Civil Engineering, University of California, Davis Licensed Civil Engineer, Black and Veatch

SWEet Wisdom

I worked as a volunteer at the public library.  My primary duty was helping people navigate the new electronic book catalog as they transitioned from the old card index. Computers in libraries were new things. I learned a lot about how to work with technology but also how to work with a vast variety of people. Patrons were young and old, and all sorts of different races and ethnicities. Some people were tech-savvy and others wanted the old card index back. I learned to problem solve and think on my feet but also how to approach people and work with them.

Fiona Redmond

M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University Program Manager, Hughes Network Systems

Sweet Wisdom: How Did You Spend Your Summers While In High School?

I had an internship at the Naval Surface Warfare Center. During my time there I ran tests on some of the SONAR technology they used to determine how effectively it could pick up various shapes and surfaces. It was cool to learn about what civilians are doing in ship design for the Navy.


Do you have a question for our women engineers at SWE? We’d love to hear from you! Send your questions to We’ll answer you directly, or your question may become a future SWEet Wisdom column!

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