Class year: CEE B.S. '65, M.S. '67
Career background: Founder of Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial and a retired Professor of Practice of the Texas Tech University Personal Financial Planning Department
Growing up in a large family own construction company that his Uncle owned and his father worked in, Evensky also worked in the company during his high school years working on building projects. When asked what inspired him to obtain a CEE degree, he said “I had considered all my options: a doctor – no; an Arts degree – no; Architecture – maybe, however I recognized that I did not have the creativity to be an outstanding architect and therefore figured out that construction fascinated me, and so civil engineering seemed like a natural choice.”
As for advice on selecting a major: “don’t assume that the undergraduate program you select today will ultimately be your long-term career, but do select a program that you find exciting. Needless to say I’m biased but if you have a remote interest, I do not believe you can go wrong by selecting some field of engineering. Although my long term career ultimately ended up in personal financial planning, my engineering education was a major factor in my success.”
Evensky enjoyed his almost seven years at Cornell. Everything from trudging up Libe slope in the morning in the dark and trudging back in the evening in the dark, tray sliding, fascinating classes every semester, great professors, unbelievably smart fellow students, the beauty of the Cornell campus and the amazing energy that exuded on a University campus “where any person can find instruction in any study.”
Advice on entering the workforce: “do your homework. Don’t look for the highest salary but look for an organization that will offer you the most opportunity. It may well not be where you would expect. When I graduated I had offers from a number of the largest construction firms in the country but ultimately took a job with Procter & Gamble in their engineering headquarters.” Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are in over your head on a project, added Evensky.