CM Student Follows in Family Footsteps

By: Desiré Bennett

Alex Stenger is the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Engineer of the Month for July.  Alex maintains a 3.71 GPA in his junior year in the construction management program.

July’s Engineer of the Month construction management student Alex Stenger.

July’s Engineer of the Month construction management student Alex Stenger.

Alex says his love for construction, coupled with his desire to fulfill family aspirations, led him to choose the University of Cincinnati.  “My father attended the University of Cincinnati in the ‘70s to obtain his construction management degree and my older brother currently attends for the same degree,” he said. “Our dream as a family, even when I was younger, is to open our own construction company. I felt the best way to do that was to have the degree.”

So for Alex, studying construction management was a natural fit. “My father and his father had both been engineers, construction managers, and business owners, so you could say that I was born into the profession,” he said. “I have been in and around construction for my entire life and that has created a curiosity in me to find out how things are built and put together.”

He says that even though family ties and tradition initially drew him to UC (Alex’s father works at UC in the Engineers Union), it is cooperative education that sealed the deal for him. “The legendary co-op program at the University of Cincinnati made the decision for me.”

Alex assembling a team of volunteers to work on and complete the front porch installation on the Habitat for Humanity house in North College Hill.

Alex assembling a team of volunteers to work on and complete the front porch installation on the Habitat for Humanity house in North College Hill.

Alex’s has held co-op positions for the past three years with HGC Construction Co. located in Cincinnati, Ohio. He says he has learned about several aspects of the construction industry while working there including lessons in general construction, marketing, business, accounting, interpersonal skills, and ethical decision making and behavior.

“What I like best about my major and future career are the people and the endless possibilities. With the degree that I am getting I will have the knowledge and the expertise to walk onto any jobsite and feel comfortable,” he said. “I like the people in this industry as most are very upstanding individuals and major members of their communities.”

Alex, who was his high school Salutatorian, certainly understands the importance of staying on top of his school work but he also believes that maintaining a healthy balance is important. “Over the past couple of years I have [learned] to prioritize more and have become better organized.” Alex explains. “I have found a way to handle my course load while working and forcing myself to make time to spend time with friends. While School comes first, you will become burned-out if you can’t learn to relax.”

Alex also participates in a myriad of extracurricular activities. He is the president and founder of the college’s first student chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), an organization in which he is also an international member, a member of the Construction Student Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Tau Alpha Pi and Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Societies, and he is an Eagle Scout of America.

The American Concrete Institute Student Group attending a Habitat for Humanity House.

The American Concrete Institute Student Group attending a Habitat for Humanity House.

Alex says that staying organized is the key to his success. “If you have a lot on your plate and you are unorganized you will spend a lot of time stepping back before moving forward,” he said. “If you are organized then you can set up schedules for a week, for studying, classes, student organization times, and then free time.”

His advice for fellow students: “Analyze what will move your career the farthest, ask yourself if you will enjoy the time you are spending with the people in that organization, and be willing to put yourself out there, but know your limits and your time constraints – and then commit.”

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