Bridget Courtney

Young woman
Bridget Courtney

Hometown: Haddonfield, New Jersey
Major: Civil Engineering
Class Year: 2023

How did you get interested in engineering?

Like many engineers, I grew up loving to play with Lego, train sets, blocks and anything that would be put together. I spent most of my childhood planning on becoming an architect after watching my grandfather, who was an architect, work on drawings and plans. In high school, I really enjoyed my math and physics classes and had learned more about the subject of engineering, and knew it was what interested me.

How did you end up choosing Drexel?

Most obviously I was really drawn to the co-op program. I felt that being able to work within the industry for a total of a year and half before graduating was a very valuable opportunity. I felt this was especially true going into civil engineering given the variability of types of jobs within the field.

Tell us about your best co-op experience so far.

I actually completed all three of my co-ops at the same company, but even though each co-op was at the same office, I had three completely different co-op experiences working in different departments with different people and on different projects. Of the three, I really enjoyed my final co-op, which was working on a rail design team. I’ve gained a lot of design and CAD experience and have gotten to continue to gain experience by working part-time at my co-op after I returned to classes.

Tell us about your favorite class.

My favorite class so far has been CAEE 212, which is Geological Principles for Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering. I really enjoyed this class because it was very broad and covered a lot of fundamental topics that served as important prerequisite information for the classes we have taken further along in the curriculum. I am also looking forward to taking the professional electives senior year within the concentration that we chose.

What about your major is special to you?

Civil engineering is special to me because of how much of an impact our work can have on society. Sometimes it is subtle but other times it is very obvious that the design of the infrastructure around us directly impacts how we navigate the world. Civil engineering is also a broad subject of engineering which covers the design of our land, structural, hydraulic, environmental, and transportation services.

What extracurricular activities are important to you and why?

I have gotten involved in the American Society of Civil Engineers at Drexel (ASCE). I joined my freshman year but really started to participate in my sophomore year during my first co-op. At work I saw the importance of being involved in a professional society within the industry. Joining ASCE as a student is a great opportunity to meet engineers in the region and can provide many job, leadership, and scholarship opportunities. There are many on campus events also that range from more laid-back social events which are great for meeting other students, as well as more professional events which are great introductions to companies, co-ops, and research opportunities.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who's thinking about declaring a major right now?

There’s a lot of research you can do on your own but it is also very beneficial to talk to students in the program, academic advisors, and professionals in the field all of whom have different perspectives and knowledge and can help give you the best resources to decide which major is right for you.

More Student Stories

Meet these and other Drexel Engineering students.