By Stephen Satkowski
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District Public Affairs
SEOUL, South Korea - The Far East District is hosting interns for the 15th year as the partnership with the Advancing Minorities interest in Engineering (AMIE) Program continues. Three students from historically black colleges are getting hands on experience in all aspects of engineering.
“It is very exciting to be a part of the largest US Army Corps of Engineers project in history and I hope to see it when it has been completed,” said Joey Reid, one of the three interns interning at Humphreys area offices.
Reid, a student at Hampton University in Virginia studying architecture, said he loves seeing the world and learning about his trade in an exotic environment.
“I absolutely love traveling so being able to come overseas as an intern is an amazing experience,” said Reid. “Being able to experience different cultures and ways of life is something I've always loved doing. My time in Korea has been awesome so far, from the food to the people to the experiences.”
Reid said he hasn’t decided whether he wants to work for the corps or a private architectural design firm, but his goal is to improve the lives of others.
“I hope to be able to make communities better by creating buildings and spaces for interaction and ultimately rebuild and reconnect broken areas of the world,” said Reid.
After a brief respite, the AMIE program began again at the district in 2009 thanks to Adrian Devillasee, who himself was a FED AMIE intern in 2000 and 2002.
“The things I learned about the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Far East District (FED) helped me to determine which path I wanted to take when I graduated,” said Devillasee. “The corps missions and the people that I worked with made it an easy choice to come back to Korea in 2009. Once I came back to FED one of my personal goals was to get the AMIE program up and running again to have AMIE interns here during the summer getting as great an experience as I did when I was here as an intern.”
David Lee, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana seized the opportunity to come work for FED believing it would help distinguish him in his future job search.
“Being able to put this on my resume sets me apart in a big way and will open doors for me,” said Lee. “I believe companies will see this and want to know how was it over here and I could share all of my wonderful experiences.”
Lee is keeping his options open but hopes to work for the Army Corps of Engineers someday soon.
“I don’t know where because there are possibilities all over the world but I have enjoyed this organization and I hope to be a part of it one day,” said Lee.
For Brenae Martin, a recent graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland majoring in civil engineering, engineering was last on her mind entering high school.
“I was introduced to a high school engineering program known as Project Lead the Way and this started the interest and passion for this particular field,” said Martin.
She said the opportunity to intern with the corps was too hard to pass up.
“The Corps has so much to offer and has awesome opportunities in the field of civil engineering,” said Martin. “I was excited to learn as much as I could while applying the principles I learned in college to real everyday work and being in Korea was an added benefit. There is so much to see from exploring the different cities, food, and culture. It has been great to see another country that is so different from the U.S. and what I am accustomed to.”
Martin also hopes to work for the corps, another government agency or a private engineering firm and obtain her masters of business administration.
“I would like to thank the FED for this awesome opportunity,” said Martin. “Everyone has been so helpful and welcoming. I have learned a great deal in my time here. This is my third internship experience and it is by far the best one!”