Starting a Career During a Pandemic: Sebastian’s Story


To say that the world is divided between a before and after the emergence of Covid-19 may sound like a cliché, but it certainly represents what has happened. Engineering – like perhaps no other area – and its professionals are called to provide innovative solutions to face the challenges, problems and opportunities that this pandemic is leaving.

Starting my journey as a mechanical engineer in the middle of a pandemic was definitely not something I expected happening at all. I was excited about being able to find Summer Consultants as a company that was willing to give me and other new engineers the opportunity to come on board and be part of an environment conducive to professional growth.

The journey started in the summer of 2020 with an in-person training at the McLean, VA, headquarters where they hosted nearly all of the new, upcoming engineers arriving from different universities. We had the utmost professional welcoming and onboarding experience while following the specific CDC guidelines in order to prevent the spread of Covid. Experienced engineers, as well as engineers that had been working for less than five years, shared their tips and advice on how to properly adapt to the working environment as well as prepare us on each software that we would encounter in our day to day activities (AutoCAD, Revit, Trace Trane, etc.).

We had the chance to learn about the history of Summer Consultants and how the firm has solved our client’s most challenging problems with professionalism, efficiency and quality control since 1963. After the first week of training, we went back to our home offices and start our training with our mentors and supervisors.

Upon returning to Virginia Beach, I was immediately exposed to HVAC design including calculations that are required for equipment selections; extensive AutoCAD design review, as well as introduction to new methods and techniques in terms of conforming to layers, dimensions, project set up based on client requirements and more. In the meantime, we were always practicing social distancing, following protocols regarding any symptoms of Covid-19 as well as having the flexibility to work from home as needed. We used a software that allowed us to call and share our screen at any time with our peers to collaborate on different projects.

Our supervisors and mentors have been great at answering every single question that comes up on a daily basis. Even though we were working during the pandemic, we still had the chance of doing field surveys. This allowed me to start recognizing different mechanical equipment, systems and components used by contractors during construction to build and renovate buildings, based on our designs.

I have seen an immense amount of personal and professional growth during this first year. I am thankful for each and every one here  at Summer Consultants as they encouraged me to pursue the path of becoming a professional engineer (PE) and congratulated me for taking the first step by earning my EIT certification. I’m excited to see where my future is going with Summer, and I cannot wait to become a PE and continue with the legacy that Summer Consultants has created.