Student Spotlight: Bo Rider

Bo Rider next to a concrete canoe that has the word Cornell written on it.
  • Hometown: Bethesda, MD

Bo Rider is an undergraduate majoring in Civil Engineering and is the Vice President of the Cornell Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Why did you choose Cornell?
I was drawn to Cornell because of all of the wonderful communities on campus. There are so many ways to find purpose and meaning in what you do here, and to find your niche even in a larger school.

Why CEE?
I was drawn to all of Cornell Engineering’s hands-on experience, especially student project teams. Additionally, I knew that in CEE I would receive a robust, comprehensive education which would prefer for any type of civil engineering career I wanted to pursue after graduation.

What do you think was the most valuable lesson you learned while pursuing this major? 
I learned about the breadth of concepts and opportunities under the label of “civil engineering.” There are so many things to study in this department, and even more ways to build a career after your graduate.

Bo RiderWhat advice do you have for students considering CEE?
Do it! Majoring in CEE is a great way to become an engineer who can give back to the community. There are so many ways to tailor a CEE degree to your own interests, and you’ll learn a lot no matter what approach you take.

Do you have a favorite class and/or instructor?
My favorite class has been CEE 4730: Design of Concrete Structures with Professor Hover. That was the course not only where I learned more than any other, but was able to apply it through a semester project I felt really invested in and proud of.

What are you reading?
I just finished Built: The Hidden Stories Behind our Structures by Roma Agrawal (I know, nerdy). It’s written by a professional structural engineer and emphasizes the importance of structures we often take for granted. And, it gives a really important perspective of being a woman of color in the industry. I highly recommend it!

What interests do you have outside your studies?
On campus, I’m involved in Cornell Concrete Canoe and the American Society of Civil Engineers, which of course are both related to civil engineering. I’m also involved with Cornell Hillel, which has been a great way to have non academic involvement on campus. Outside of school, I love to run, bike, and just be outside in general. I also really enjoy visiting new places, and really want to travel, both within the US and abroad, after I graduate.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
After graduation, I’m going to be going to graduate school for my masters degree in civil engineering, and then want to practice structural engineering professionally. However, I’ve always wanted to teach, so in 10 years, I’ll probably either be teaching or pursuing a doctorate degree.

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