Full Name: Kati Horner Gonzalez
Job Title: City Engineer
Employer: City of Independence, MO
Graduation Year: 2010
Degree: BS Civil Engineering
Current City: Independence, MO
Hometown: Independence, MO

How did UMKC prepare you for your career?
My involvement with APWA gave me access to the Kansas City engineering community. By making these connections, I was able to get year-round internships throughout school; the knowledge and experience I gained through these internships provided opportunities to get job offers during the recession. Since then, the relationships I built through the UMKC APWA Student Chapter have continued to propel my career.

What is something that you wish was available to you as a student that current students at UMKC have access to?
A civil engineering-specific CAD course that does autocad AND microstation. Courses that teach the use of modeling software (inroads, geopak, civil 3D). More transportation/traffic/transit engineering classes. Surveying! (Not sure if those are offered now, but they should be.)

What project have you worked on that you are the most proud of?
KC Streetcar

What drew you to Engineering?
It’s genetic.

What do you love about the Engineering Community in Kansas City?
The community embraces the ability to share knowledge throughout the region. There are lots of great opportunities.

What advice do you have for students entering the field?
Get internships! Organizational involvement should be for more than more than just the competitions – be involved to make connections and capitalize on those connections. Getting experience on both the public and private sides is invaluable.

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