Edyta Osieczko has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps to become an engineer.
“When I was young, growing up in my native Poland, he often took me to his job sites, which became my oversize playgrounds,” Osieczko said. “For years, I watched him in his work and came to love and sometimes understand what he did. I fell in love with the same profession.”
Now she is hoping for a little help fulfilling that dream by competing in the Construction Intern Awards, where $50,000 in scholarship money is up for grabs.
“All of my family is Europe, so I need my family at UA Little Rock to help me get votes,” she said.
Osieczko needs your votes to move to the next round of theConstruction Intern Awards, which is offering a top scholarship of $10,000. You can vote online once every 24 hours until 4 p.m. Oct. 3. The eight candidates who receive the most online votes will become semifinalists along with nine candidates selected by a committee.
The scholarship program is designed to recognize the strongest construction interns in the industry and the companies with the best construction internship programs in the country.
After moving to America with her husband, Thomas, and daughter, Noemi, Osieczko spent five years living in Alaska before the family made the move to Arkansas in 2007. As her daughter grew older, Osieczko realized it was the right time to go back to school.
“I was thinking that if I don’t go back to school now, I will never go back,” she said. “I always wanted to be educated, but I never had the chance.”
After joining UA Little Rock in 2015, Osieczko is now treasurer of the UA Little student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and will serve as the bridge team captain at this year’s competition. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers.
As a student, Osieczko will complete more than 800 hours of internship experience before graduating. For Osieczko, that meant finding the right company.
“I decided to seek one in a company known for the kind of projects I hope to work on in my professional life,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to be offered an internship by Austin Bridge and Road of Irving, Texas.”
At Austin Bridge and Road, Osieczko learned how to use computer programs, like AutoCad, AutoMath, and BeanPro, to manage concrete calculations and engineering designs.
“Maybe the most important thing that I have taken away from my internship is consciousness of the need for keeping safety in mind at every stage of a project,” she said. “Every detail that can be calculated should be in the interest of immediate safety and long-term quality, which results in safety for all who work on and finally use the structure.”