USAG Humphreys, Republic of Korea – Lauren Wougk began her career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as a student employee with the Transatlantic Middle East District (TAM) in the summer of 2019. Wougk was later hired as a Department of Army (DA) intern in October 2021, when she acquired her master’s degree in civil engineering at Rutgers University.
“I chose to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because, as a recent graduate, it's been a really good place for me to learn and develop quickly as a young engineer,” said Wougk.
“I love everything about my job, including the sheer amount and variety of opportunities that I get. USACE has allowed me to travel the world. I work for the Middle East District, but I am working here in South Korea on a construction rotation for the Far East District.”
Unlike any other program, the DA intern program provides its interns with opportunities to rotate through different departments and districts.
“It's always been my dream to see the country that I was born in, and USACE has literally made that dream come true,” said Wougk.
Having been adopted from South Korea at five months old, Wougk always wanted to see the country where she was born. A construction rotation with Far East District (FED) provided the perfect opportunity to gain field experience and learn about her birth culture.
When asked about the best part of her time with USACE, Wougk commented that the District was full of highly experienced professionals, and that she valued their desire to teach her what they know.
“Not only do I get to be part of a very meaningful team, I feel like my peers actually care about me, and they really want me to succeed.”
Wougk added that she recommends the Corps of Engineers for young engineers who are just starting their careers.
“Working for the Corps gives a sense of purpose, from protecting local water resources to construction projects supporting the military and their families. Wherever you work in the Corps, you're supporting the American people,” said Wougk.
USACE has a large global footprint, so the interns get to see a very variety of projects all over the world.
Following the conclusion of her FED rotation, Wougk returned to TAM on Sept. 9. Wougk’s internship will complete in November 2023.
In regard to her future plans, Wougk said, “I plan to work as a civil engineer for the Saudi program at TAM and eventually move to a civil works district.”
“I hope I can return to Korea and work for the Far East District in the future.”