Meet Luis Mora
As a first-generation college student, ETSU senior Luis Mora was uncertain if college was the right path for him. Today, as a double major in construction engineering technology and surveying, he said he looks forward to providing not only for himself, but also his family and to the day when he opens his own business.
“College has given me the opportunity to plan my parents’ retirement, plan my retirement and, hopefully, plan my kid’s future,” said Mora, who chose ETSU’s construction engineering technology major because of his family’s history in the construction business. “I was unsure but I knew if I was going to give college a try, it was going to be in the most welcoming environment. Out of all the universities I applied to, ETSU was the most welcoming. So, I figured, ‘hey, let’s give it a try and see how it goes.’”
Following three years as a construction engineering technology major, Luis was encouraged by ETSU assistant professor Jared Wilson to take a related course in land surveying.
“I had already enjoyed my first three years, then I took a land surveying class. Professor Wilson was very welcoming, one of the very best I’ve ever met, and he encouraged me to seek a double major. So, I did and it’s been one the best experiences I’ve ever had.”
While Mora credits his family’s strong work ethic for providing him with a solid foundation for his successes, he said finding the niche in his chosen profession is thanks to his ETSU experience.
“Coming from a family that’s hardworking and dedicated has helped me become a better student because it makes me want to be the best that I can possibly be,” he said. “It helps me achieve my grades, and makes me want to be one of the top students,” something Luis said he achieved by learning not to fear the need for help when something requires a little more understanding to achieve a maximum result.
“One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned at ETSU is how to ask questions,” said Mora. “Don't be afraid to ask for help! I was always afraid to ask because I didn’t want to be the only person to raise their hand in class. Being part of the surveying program has helped me learn that there’s always someone to answer your questions. Many people are in the position they are currently in because they reached out to their local colleges and professional associations. With that, being a part of ETSU and these programs has taught me that hard work and dedication does pay off. ETSU wants to see you succeed and the professors in these programs will do everything they can for you.”
One of the things about the surveying program Mora said he has enjoyed most are the mock labs that allow hands-on experiences using field technology.
“As a surveying student, you get to work with all the equipment you’ll get to use in the real world,” noted Mora. “The professors are great about setting up labs where you perform real world scenarios in the classroom, including being able to identify any problems that might come up during your lab work, then being able to identify what happened. It’s very much like a real-life scenario; understanding what went wrong and how you can fix it.”
As a senior already gaining experience outside the classroom by working locally in his field of study, Mora said as his time at ETSU comes to an end he looks forward to what is next.
“I’m looking forward to taking all the techniques and lessons that I’ve learned here, and not only using it in the real world to get a job but eventually to open my own company in surveying and the construction industry,” he said. “ETSU has not only taught me about surveying, but how to believe in myself by showing me that I can do things on my own. That’s really helped in shaping into the person that I am today.