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Graduate spotlight: Courtney Smith

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series on Louisiana Tech University Spring 2018 graduates. Commencement will be held Saturday, May 19, in the Thomas Assembly Center. The College of Applied and Natural Sciences, College of Business, and College of Engineering and Science commencement will begin at 10 a.m.; the College of Education and College of Liberal Arts commencement will begin at 5 p.m.

  • Courtney Smith, College of Engineering and Science
  • Age: 22
  • High school, hometown: Fontainebleau High, Mandeville
  • Degree: Civil engineering

Her high school calculus teacher suggested a career in engineering, something Courtney Smith, a math lover, already knew a little about.

“I have a brother four years older than I am,” she said. “As long as I can remember, he was taking things apart at home and putting them back together. We all knew he’d be an engineer.

“I like math and science and solving problems,” she said, “but my interests were a little wider than his.”

She toured Louisiana Tech University, and her brother introduced her to some of his female friends and classmates; they shared their experiences and made it easier for her to decide to remain a Bulldog, just as she’d been at Fontainebleau: she exchanged red and black school colors for red and blue.

As a freshman in the Living with the Lab program, she decided fairly quickly that she’d study civil engineering. “It wasn’t one particular thing but a lot of different things we studied that helped me make up my mind,” she said. “The statics unit is what I liked the most: it has to do with bridges and buildings, analyzing structures that are not accelerating. We also learned computer programming; people who enjoyed that might want to think about electrical or cyber. Living with the Lab gives you a great chance to explore a lot of options.”

Her brother graduated from Tech in 2014 in electrical engineering, worked in the airplane industry with a Dallas company, and is now working for a Washington, D.C. company designing satellites. She will begin work this summer in a management position with Procter & Gamble in Alexandria; she landed two internships with the company through Tech’s Career Fair.

“My brother knew when he was five he wanted to work on airplanes,” she said. “Me, I wanted to be a doctor for a while and a teacher for a while. I wanted to explore a lot more options.

“Right now, this is good,” she said. “I’m happy to see where life takes me.”