Molly Sizemore, a junior at Pennsylvania State University, has been awarded one of the two Ferguson-Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships.
Ferguson underwrites these scholarships, which recognize high-achieving female students working towards a degree relative to the mechanical industry.
Sizemore is the president of the MCA of Central Pennsylvania-sponsored student chapter at Pennsylvania State University, where she studies architectural engineering specializing in mechanical systems.
“To my surprise, mechanical contracting fell into my lap after I was searching for a challenge in my academic career," Sizemore said. "When I first entered Penn State, I was generally just an architectural engineering student teetering between the structural and lighting design options. As I progressed in my academic career, I found myself really fascinated by HVAC and fire protection. HVAC really presented itself as an intricate puzzle which really drew me in.
“MCAA has definitely created a springboard for me into the mechanical contracting industry, and I’m very excited to continue this journey and get others involved," she added.
Sizemore was able to grow her industry network by attending the 2019 Great Futures Forum, which has led her to ignite a passion for mechanical contracting in other students who have chosen to get involved with her student chapter.
Southland Industries Internship
Sizemore has accepted her second summer internship with MCA of Metro Washington member, Southland Industries. She reflected on her experiences:
“I liked the specialization of Southland and the responsibilities they gave me. I also really liked the mentor dynamic where I could sit down for an hour a week and ask any questions I had. My internship put me in a position where I can see all stages of the mechanical contracting process and have an opportunity to contribute at any stage. In my experience with Southland, I really love the dynamic of the firm in that everything is very mechanical-focused and specialized. I like the ability to have a detailed conversation about what is happening at every part of a mechanical system.”
More information about Sizemore’s internship experience are available on the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) website.
Women in the Mechanical Industry Perspective
Sizemore also shared her thoughts about the challenges and opportunities that come along with being a woman in the industry:
“As a woman in the mechanical industry, I’ve experienced first-hand with being the only woman on a project team. Though I initially faced this as a challenge on my path, I turned it around and viewed it as an opportunity to build my own self-confidence and create a voice for myself in an industry dominated by men.
"Beyond my own personal experience, I have been able to mentor young women in the Penn State College of Engineering to ignore the stereotypes and be more than a statistic. As a greater challenge, I think it will be getting everyone on the same page with accepting diversity in the industry. Diversity in a team brings new and innovative ideas because people come with different backgrounds and experience.”
Women in the Mechanical Industry and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulate Sizemore on this prestigious scholarship and thank Ferguson for its commitment to encouraging young women to be engaged in the industry.