College Grad Environmental Engineer
Name: Shwetha
Career: Environmental Engineer
Company Field: Environmental Consulting
Located In: Central New Jersey
Grew Up In: Delaware
Graduated From:
Majored In: Environmental Engineering
Graduated In: 2012
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After College Lifestyles

Shwetha is an environmental engineer at an environmental consulting company in New Jersey. She applies the skills she learned at Rensselaer in her daily job. Her job entails a mix of both field work and office work to determine environmentally sustainable practices in construction.

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Name: Shwetha
Career: Environmental Engineer
Company Field: Environmental Consulting
Located In: Central New Jersey
Grew Up In: Delaware
Graduated From:
Majored In: Environmental Engineering
Graduated In: 2012

Quick Stats on Being an Environmental Engineer

Work Hours/Week: 40 hours
Work Hour Flexibility: Low
Quality of Lifestyle Outside of Work: Medium
Work Stress Level: Low
Level of Routine Work: Low
Interaction with Co-Workers: Medium
Pay Level (out of 5): $$$

Life of a College Grad Environmental Engineer


I work for an international engineering consulting company and my office focuses mostly on environmental remediation. My job consists of both field work and office work. Out in the field, I could be doing anything from construction oversight to taking groundwater samples. In the office, I write reports, analyze lab data, and generally do anything else that my bosses need help with.

Environmental Engineer's Daily Routine:

6:15 AM Wake up, have breakfast and make lunch

7:15 AM Leave for work either by train or car

8:00 AM Get to work, answer emails, GET COFFEE

8:00 AM - 11:00 AM Field work or office work

12:00 PM Leave field and go back to the office. Lunch at the office

1:00 PMMeet with bosses and provide updates on field work

5:00 PM Leave work

6:15 PM Dinner then gym (or vice versa)

11:00 PM Bedtime

Environmental Engineer After College in New Jersey
How To Get Into The Field
I studied Environmental Engineering while I was in school. I didn't really know what kind of job I could get until I attended a career fair (at my college: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York) and did some background research on all the companies that hire Environmental Engineers. I knew that I wanted to work for a consulting company because I would use more of what I learned in school, and so far, I think I have been.

What Do You Really Do?
I usually end up doing something different on a daily basis. Sometimes I work on a project for a couple days, broken up by field work related to a different project. Sometimes, I'll be out in the field all week and will catch up on office work the next week. It really depends on what projects and clients I am working with. But I've never really had more than a couple days be the same.
Pros/Cons of Your Job
I really love the field work aspect of the job because I hate being stuck behind a desk for hours at a time. Most of the time, field work finishes early and I go home early, so that's a nice perk! The frustrating thing about field work is dealing with the elements: cold weather, snow, rain, heat waves, bugs... you really have to be able to suck it up sometimes to get the job done. If you're someone who likes being outside (but not all the time), and getting your hands dirty, then this field would be a good fit.

Tour My New Jersey Rental House:

Quick Stats on New Jersey

Job Opportunities: Medium
Competition for Housing: High
Housing Cost: High
Population of Young People: Medium
Nightlife: Medium
Safety: High
Biggest Industries: Technology, Finance

The Life of a College Grad In Central New Jersey


New Jersey Apartment After College

What's it Like to Live Here?
I would describe where I live as a crowded surburb. There are major roads and train tracks close to my house, which is convenient, but also makes traffic a big issue. The population is very diverse, leading to lots of different types of restaurants and stores. The weather is never too extreme, but my area is prone to flooding if it rains even a little too much.

How Did I End Up Here?
I ended up here just to be closer to my job. I went to school in NY and grew up in Delaware, but both those places are too far to commute. I like where I currently live because there's a lot of businesses and stores within a 5 mile radius from my house, which makes running errands and shopping very convenient. There's also a train station very close to my house with a direct train to NYC, so getting to the city is a breeze.
My Set-Up
I live in a 4-bedroom house with housemates. I picked this house because it was close to the train station and made commuting easier. The rent is also affordable and although I don't know any of my housemates before they move in, it ends up working out.

Closing Advice


Take some time off before you start working. Even if it's only for a week or two. Taking a vacation after you start working is difficult.

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