CIM Faculty/Staff Member
W. James Wilde, PE, CIM Program Director, Texas State University
School: Texas State University
Which CIM program are you involved with and what is your position?
I am serving as the new director of the CIM program at Texas State University. Previous to coming to Texas State, I also served as a professor at Minnesota State University and project manager at The Transtec Group in Austin, Texas. I am happy to be involved in the CIM program at Texas State as I know this is a great program that provides a good education, experience and opportunities for the students and graduates.
Do you teach a CIM class? If so, which one?
I do teach the capstone class which I really enjoy because the students use what they have learned from every other class (math, physics, business, engineering, writing – even history and philosophy sometimes!) to bring a major project to completion. I get to see how the students grow and mature during this class because they have to plan everything. I give them one due date – at the end of the semester – and they must develop their own schedule and interim deadlines. They need to have, or develop, the work ethic and ability to determine all the missing pieces between the beginning and end of the semester, drawing on all the experiences from their formal education and internships to that point.
In your opinion, what is something the CIM program offers that no other programs in the country do?
The CIM curriculum is a unique mixture of the basic math and sciences, engineering, business administration and concrete industry that qualifies a graduate to work in many aspects of the industry without lots of additional on-the-job training. CIM graduates gain a technical background as well as a well-rounded business and science education that serves them well in the industry.
What advice would you give to someone considering joining the CIM program?
Do it if you think you will love the work, the industry and the people. You may not know the answers to those questions until after taking the freshman introductory class. Don’t do it just because of the scholarships, great summer internships, possibilities to work closely with faculty on research or to travel to conferences. Those things pass. You have to love the work you do after you graduate. Pay attention in those introductory courses because it is there you will find the answers to those important questions.
What advice would you give a student about to graduate and enter the working world?
Always work hard. Create more value for your employer than they are spending on your salary and benefits. Be the first to volunteer to do a less desirable job and then do it well. Always give your best and you will be rewarded in due time.