By Natalie Palmquist
Distinguished Young Woman of Wyoming for 2014
Distinguished Young Women has been a blessing from the beginning. I enjoyed every second I spent with the state and national participants who are now my lifelong friends! (There is nothing like having at least one girl in every state that you know you can call at any time!) The connections I made with the girls were completely priceless and they made every hour of fitness routine practice worth it.
I always knew DYW would be a great way to make friends. That is actually why I did the program, to meet studious, responsible, healthy, involved, ambitious girls! What I did not know is that DYW creates great business connections as well.
During Nationals, about midway through our jam-packed two week schedule, we were all invited to a relaxing lunch where we could finally meet and personally thank our sponsors. I was blessed to be paired with, Hargrove Engineering + Constructors, a generous, Mobile-based civil-engineering firm who makes sure to have “the right people, at the right place, at the right time.”
After searching through a crowd of nametags. I found Mr. Roy Duncan “Operations Leader at Hargrove Engineers + Constructors.” It was a great honor to shake his hand and personally thank him for Hargrove’s sponsorship. I knew that without them I could never have afforded those two beautiful weeks in Mobile. Then, Mr. Duncan said something I never expected.
“You know Natalie,” he noted with a smile, “We like to sponsor this program because we hope you young engineering women will show interest in interning for our company in the future.”
WHAT?! Did that just happen? Was I just offered a real engineer internship before my first college semester? I couldn’t believe it! The only thing I could think to say was “Thank you!”… over and over again… “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” This was something I definitely wanted to consider.
When I told my parents about the opportunity, my mom commented knowingly, “Natalie, I just want you to know, you have your whole life to be an engineer. It is ok if you want to wait before taking this on.” I considered her advice, I really did. But after a whole semester as a pre-engineering student at Auburn University, I knew I didn’t want to wait! After all, why wait to start doing something you love?
So, I am proud to announce, on January 1st of 2015 I signed my official contract for a ten week summer employment with Hargrove Engineers + Constructors in Mobile, Alabama. (of course, they are giving me a week off for the Has Been Program!)
I cannot wait to be back in Mobile working for great people, at a great place, at a great time. This truly is a distinguished opportunity!
Natalie Palmquist is a college freshman at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama majoring in Civil Engineering. Originally from Moran, Wyoming, Natalie was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Wyoming for 2014. Learn more about Natalie here.