A Summer at catena | image 1

A Summer at catena

September 19, 2019  |  By Kachun Choi

Hello everyone, my name is Kachun Choi and I interned at catena consulting engineers for the summer. The past 14 weeks have been a very welcoming experience. Catena provided me a home-like environment where I felt comfortable working and learning.

Catena isn’t just a place to work, but also a place to have fun and enjoy ourselves. A special thank you to our Marketing Coordinator, Lily, and Principal, Paige, who never missed anyone’s birthday or any special holidays. They brought cookies, doughnuts, bagels, or ice cream to celebrate our fellow employees’ birthdays. Thanks to them, I also experienced National Root Beer Float Day and National Ice Cream Day at work.

Catena handles a large variety of projects that cover masonry, timber, steel, and concrete, which offered me a chance to get familiar with different types of material connections and economies. It has been a very humbling experience to work under professional engineers who have been in the field for more than a decade. The way they convey a message, deliver a task, communicate with others, present an idea, and teach are beyond impressive. These skills are not often emphasized in school, but yet very crucial to the success of a team and overall project. Over the course of this internship, I learned more than just the technical skills required of engineers. I also improved my skills on presenting an idea, organizing my thoughts to convey them in a logical manner, and delivering a task (calculation package).

Another thing I appreciated is that catena offers flexible hours to their employees which was beneficial for me because it allowed me to walk my dog Tofu in the morning.

Beside work, experiencing Portland has been interesting. There is always something going on in the city and there is always something to offer such as a hot sauce expo, beer festivals, music events, etc. The most fun experience I had while here was white water rafting, which is not something I could have easily done coming from Southern California. It was an unforgettable and unique experience.

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