CIM Student Profile

Maria Wagner

School: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Class: Class of 2024

Expected Date of Graduation: 2024

“The industry leaders that I have had the opportunity to meet are happy to impart their extensive business knowledge to us as they realize that CIM graduates are the next generation to lead this important industry.”

Why did you choose this university and the CIM program?
The first four semesters of my undergraduate studies were spent pursuing a chemical engineering degree. Professor Saleed introduced me to the CIM program when I returned to school after taking some time off. We discussed the opportunities the concrete industry offers, not just for me as a woman but also as a professional seeking a long-term career path. And I chose NJIT as it is the only university in New Jersey that offers CIM.

How has the CIM program prepared you for the “real world”?
It has helped expose me to the terminology and various concepts/tests that are used in the field. For example, I have performed cylinder, slump and volumetric tests in lab and on job sites across New York and New Jersey. I have also been exposed to the business side of concrete management and took part in student competitions.

CIM students often travel to industry events and/or association conventions to understand the industry better and network. Which events have you been able to attend?

I have attended Patrons’ meetings, ACI dinners, New Jersey ACI awards dinners, the ACI golf outing and various competitions. These events have allowed me to build relationships with leaders in the industry. They are happy to impart their extensive industry knowledge because many of them have worked in it for more than 30 years and they realize that the concrete industry needs a new generation to take the reins as leaders.

The CIM program works with businesses in providing summer internships. Have you been able to take advantage of that program to develop your industry knowledge?

Yes! I had the opportunity to intern at Essex Cement and learn from some of the best in the business. As a result of my hard work, I was offered and accepted a full-time position to work at Essex. As an intern, I was in the sales department learning specifically about the cement industry. Joe Tedesco, the sales manager at Essex, showed me the big picture of selling, marketing and developing professional relationships with customers in New York and New Jersey. In my current position, I am learning about the logistics side of the cement business including how important vessel schedules and procedures are to the business.