Kimberly Colavito '16 M'17 on Business Insider Ranking
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Kimberly Colavito '16 M'17 on Business Insider Ranking

Business Insider logoIn a nationwide college salary report compiled by PayScale, Inc. and reported in Business Insider magazine, the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) was named as one the top schools in the nation whose engineering graduates earn the highest starting and mid-career salaries, tied with MIT, Cooper Union, Tufts, and Carnegie Mellon. How does this exciting position make our students feel? We talked with Kimberly Colavito’16, who is currently finishing her engineering master’s degree.

Can you tell us where you’re from and what you are majoring in at CETA?

Dana Hall stairs

My name is Kimberly Colavito and I am currently studying to receive my Masters of Science (with a focus on structural engineering), which I will receive in May 2017. I graduated in May 2016 from the University's undergraduate program with a major in Civil Engineering, a minor in mathematics, and a minor in business management. My hometown is Sayville, Long Island (New York).

What are your feelings about the ranking?

Kimberly Colavito '16 M'17

I'm enthusiastic and excited to hear that the University was ranked 14th in the nation for graduates, although I feel from my own experience here that we should be ranked first! I feel as though the university is undervalued because there are so many interesting and unique class offerings, various research opportunities, and an abundance of professional clubs, internships, and company partnerships/sponsorships, especially for a smaller school like Hartford's CETA.

How have your experiences inside the classroom been?

In the classroom, CETA has prepared me for a very successful future my offering me relevant and exciting courses taught by very capable, knowledgeable professors. These classes have given me a strong foundation in engineering, affording me the education necessary to attain the engineering internships every summer since freshman year. CETA has also prepared me for the future employment outside of the classroom; working closely with caring faculty like Professors Pines and Bjarnadottir on various projects outside of the classroom has given me both confidence and practical experience, enhancing my formal education. I truly believe that CETA has offered me every opportunity, inside and outside of the classroom, to be very successful, both personally and professionally.

Have you developed working relationships with your professors?

In my senior year I approached one of the faculty members, Professor Bjarnadottir, for guidance and have since been working closely with her on developing a Coastal Community Social Vulnerability Index, (my master’s thesis), and I will be presenting my work next year at conferences in Poland and Colorado. These projects not only supplemented the material I had been learning in my classes, but also helped me understand which direction I want my career to take.

Have you had the opportunity to participate in professional organizations?

The University has a variety of professional clubs and organizations that I was able to participate in. I was an active member of my campus's chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and attended multiple networking events and company tours through our connection to the local professional ASCE chapter. Additionally, I sat on the executive boards for both Tau Beta Pi, (an engineering honor society), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) as vice president and president. As such, I was able to attend conferences and network in Massachusetts and Washington, as well as attend various professional development seminars.

How do you think CETA is preparing you for a job upon graduation?

CETA's smaller class sizes have always been an advantage for me. Since beginning here my freshman year, I have always had attentive and knowledgeable faculty who always went above and beyond to help me whenever I felt I needed it. My professors went out of their way to see me if I was struggling with a subject. Though the emphasis is placed on teaching here, there are plenty of research opportunities as well. My freshman year, Professor David Pines approached me about an External Research Project and I was able to work closely with him and a local engineering company, Kleinfelder, on a project comparing two different wastewater treatment methods.

CETA has done an amazing job preparing me for a job upon graduation. Because of CETA's connections, among other reasons, I have received several employment offers for immediate consideration, which I had to turn down because I am currently attending graduate school. I had an internship this past summer at General Dynamics Electric Boat, and have received an offer for employment upon graduation next year.