As part of Emeryville-based Transit Systems Engineering’s ongoing commitment to giving back to the Bay Area community, the firm recently participated in a career-planning seminar for teens hosted by the East Bay Consortium at Merritt College in Oakland.
TSE’s Sr. Systems Engineer Kevin Nishinaga represented the firm at the July 11th event, where Nishinaga and other Bay Area professionals from a range of disciplines spoke with high school students participating in the East Bay Consortium’s summer career enrichment program.
A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Nishinaga shared with students what steps they would need to take to embark on a career in transit engineering and related fields.
“When you go to college it is important to recognize that your job in college is more about learning how to learn than to learn the material put in front of you,” he says. “Many students at all levels think, ’I won’t really use this, so I don’t really care about this class.’ But what I wanted to express to them is that what they learn in school is the ability to learn, because they will continue to learn from their first job all the way to the end of their careers.”
The non-profit East Bay Consortium operates a Math Summer Enrichment Program called the Pre-Collegiate Academy (PCA). Additionally, the organization has an afternoon College Readiness Workshop component where they encourage career exploration.
“Networking events have proven to spark interests for our students to explore various career options,” says EBC’s Associate Director Boun Khamnouane. “Our goal is to expose our students to as many careers and fields as possible. At this age, we find students often do not know about any jobs other than the ones their family members hold.”
Since 1988, in addition to providing a variety of college information services, the EBC has been providing academic enrichment programs for urban and mostly underserved youth in the East Bay.
Nishinaga, who is currently working on BART’s massive Train Control Modernization Project, was pleased with the level of student engagement and interest in the complex engineering design solutions being worked on by staff at Transit Systems Engineering. Nishinaga adds, “They are starting to think about what they will want to do and how to get there. For them, this is just the beginning, and we want to help show them the blueprint to achieving their goals.”