Magnet High School Student Colton Jensen Wants to be an Aerospace Engineer. He’s Learning Real-Life Work Skills at KHS&S.
Colton Jensen isn’t expected to graduate from high school until 2023. But for the past 10 weeks, he and two fellow students from Hillsborough County’s Middleton High School Academy of Engineering have been gaining real-life experience working as design phase assistants in KHS&S’s preconstruction / themed services division in Tampa.
The summer work opportunity is part of KHS&S’s commitment to promote and support construction careers in local markets they serve.
Meet Colton and learn more about his KHS&S experience and how he wants to contribute to the industry in the future.
When did you become interested in construction design?
I became interested in a class I was taking last year called Drafting 2. We did basic construction design projects and that really peaked my interest. So when a summer job was offered at KHS&S, I took it.
What do you like best about construction design?
It’s a broad field that allows me to work on all sorts of incredible projects.
What have you enjoyed most about your time at KHS&S?
I most enjoyed the immense variety of different types of jobs. There’s always something new, so it’s never boring!
What is the most important thing you have learned at KHS&S that will help you in the future?
The most important thing I’ve learned is how the design industry operates. It has given me first-hand experience into this field and has allowed me to take part in the development of some remarkable things!
Did you encounter any surprises about the field of study or about working in general during your time at KHS&S?
I wasn’t expecting the sheer amount of interpretation that goes into what we do. It was summed up best by my boss on our first day. He told us that while the architects for the project may have generated around 500 pages of drawings, our company alone had already created more than 1,000. A large part of the job is filling in the blanks.
What challenged you the most?
The most challenging part of my work program at KHS&S was learning how to operate AutoCAD3D. I had an immense amount of experience using AutoCAD in its 2D mode, but it took about two weeks to finally become decent at the 3D software.
What is your ultimate career goal?
I plan to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. Then my goal is to work at NASA, Boeing or SpaceX.
Do you have any advice for other students?
The most important advice I can offer is you have to learn a lot on the job in a very short amount of time. But if you’re committed and you keep studying, you’ll do fine!
About Middleton High School’s Academy of Engineering
Hillsborough County’s Academy of Engineering at Middleton High School is a nationally recognized pre-engineering curriculum of Project Lead the Way (www.pltw.org). Courses in this rigorous curriculum include: Introduction to Engineering, Principes of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Civil Engineering / Architecture, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Design & Development. Students use the same industry-leading 3D design software used by companies like Intel, Lockheed Martin and Pixar, such as Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD.