U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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Washington, DC 20590
FHWA Works: Careers in Motion
FHWA Works: Employee Spotlight - Monica Jurado
Full Name: Monica Jurado
Title: Pavements and Materials Engineer
Division/Department: FHWA Resource Center
Location: El Paso, TX
What is your typical workday like?
I am adjusting to my new full time remote work schedule; a typical workday consists of my daily start of checking email, followed by phone/web meetings with my counterparts at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center and Headquarters, developing trainings, and updating guidance. Due to Transportation Research Board committees I am a part of, I am currently reviewing three research paper submissions. I also provide technical assistance to the division offices.
What has been your biggest accomplishment over the last year?
Over the last year, my biggest accomplishment has been the promotion of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) and Evaluation for pavements by traveling to different states and training others on how to use NDT technologies through the Strategic Highway Research Program.
Prior to working at FHWA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
While in high school, I was a telemarketer conducting political, product, and services surveys. This was the most unusual job because of the different types of people and personalities I got to exchange words with.
What are your hobbies in your spare time?
In my spare time, I'm an avid photographer. I like to capture moments and scenery. I also like to travel and with my two hobbies hand in hand, I spend most of my spare time scrapbooking. I am also a life-long student and love to learn new things, such as dancing, cooking, sign-language, and am currently enrolled as a PhD student.
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned in your career to get you where you are today?
Throughout my 9-year career with FHWA, I've learned that opportunities don't always roll around twice and that you must take advantage of the opportunities that arise. I've learned that while my career is very important, I have to work on my work-life balance. I'm also a firm believer that you learn something new every day, and that you should always connect with people and mirror their good qualities while trying to stay away from those that aren't so good. You should always surround yourself with mentors and others who will challenge you and help you by asking the questions but not always give you the answers.
Who do you admire in the transportation field and why?
Lady Bird Johnson was an advocate for beautifying the nation's cities and highways ("Where flowers bloom, so does hope"). The Highway Beautification Act was informally known as Lady Bird's Bill and had a lot of input from Lady Bird. As an Area Engineer in the New Mexico Division, I learned of the benefits and importance of the Highway Beautification Act.
Complete this sentence: "People would be surprised if they knew..."
If it weren't for my fear of heights, I would have loved to be a bridge engineer. I am in love with historic bridges and most of my photographs are of bridges.
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Page last modified on October 18, 2017