N.D. Civil Engineer Attributes Career Preparedness to 4-H Experience
Mandan native Kaylin Tomac credits her 15 years of involvement in North Dakota 4-H with preparing her for her career and life after college.
Now working as a civil engineer in Bismarck, Tomac graduated from NDSU with a degree in civil engineering in the spring of 2021. She was active in 4-H from the moment she joined as a Cloverbud through her time as an elected state 4-H Ambassador, leading events and promoting 4-H along with other young adult members from across the state.
She says 4-H helped her gain valuable public speaking skills, become a savvy consumer and learn to operate in professional settings.
“I’ve always attributed my communication, people and general life skills to 4-H,” says Tomac. “The experience of coming up with ideas, creating the projects and going to the fair to be interviewed about them was very impactful.”
Though Tomac admits she felt timid during judging interviews as a Cloverbud, with practice the interview eventually became one of her favorite parts of showing her 4-H projects.
“As I interviewed for internships throughout college and a post-grad job, I noticed that while I was always nervous, I was also very confident and excited,” Tomac says. “I was able to think on my feet and answer questions thoroughly. I truly believe that my confidence came from the experiences I had during my time in 4-H.”
Her 4-H project interviews also prepared her to receive and learn from constructive criticism. She grew to appreciate that the judges offered her valid points on how to improve for the future.
“As a young engineer, I get lots of constructive criticism,” says Tomac. “Being able to take constructive criticism and understand where it is coming from has helped me greatly in my career so far.”
Sue Quamme Wehlander, 701-231-5923, firstname.lastname@example.org