As a 14-year-old working at his grandfather’s engineering company in Arkansas, Grant Lewis thought he would one day carry on the family legacy by becoming an engineer like his father and grandfather.
Lewis’ life took a different turn when he enlisted in the U.S. Army following his graduation from Bryant High School in 2005. He now serves as the air ambulance non-commissioned officer for Detachment 2 Company D 1-114th Aviation Medical Evacuation Regiment. Lewis also is the acting first sergeant at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.
Having never lost his love of learning, Lewis took college classes part time for seven years, through two deployments to Iraq. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business finance in 2014 from the University of Maryland University College.
During his career, Lewis earned numerous certifications as an emergency medical technician, flight paramedic, and trauma life support provider.
With his 30th birthday fast approaching, Lewis is thinking about the future. With plans to retire from the Army after 20 years of service, Lewis wants to devote the next chapter of his life to becoming the engineer he always wanted to be.
“My dad’s company, Phillip Lewis Engineering, Inc. is taking off, so I finally decided that my passion is in engineering, and that is what I really want to do,” Lewis said. “My retirement is within 10 years, so I figure I will get my degree, and then I can pursue engineering full time when I finish.”
After only one semester, Lewis was selected as one of 36 students to attend a national summer program designed to bring the top engineering students in the country to potential employers looking for new talent.
Lewis attended the Construction Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers annual Student Days event July 29 to Aug. 2 in Boston. During the event, he attended several networking events with industry professionals, toured a construction site, and won two team competition events.
He was a member of the six-person team that won the Construction Institute Civil Engineering Team Challenge. During the competition, participants created a bid package for a real-world construction job — a pedestrian bridge renovation — and presented a proposal to construction professionals. Lewis and his teammates each received a $500 award for winning the competition.
“I thought it was a huge honor,” Lewis said. “I didn’t expect to get accepted. They only normally invite juniors and seniors, and I am just a freshman. Getting to network with professionals from the industry all over the country was invaluable. And to be able to win the team competition was very neat. It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Student Days gives high-achieving engineering students the information they need to stand out in a competitive job market, while providing engineering recruiters with unique opportunities to meet top talent. Lewis’ networking has been very productive.
“I’ve already been in contact with several industry leaders who want to keep in touch with me as I finish my degree and become a future leader in the industry,” Lewis said. “The vice president of a company has already contacted me about a possible internship. I think it has been very valuable to get to network with people I wouldn’t normally get to.”