James Flores, ET, started college in 1992, and then life happened.


James Flores is proof that asymmetry works just fine as a career path.

After graduating high school in 1992 and "trying college for a few years," Flores tried trade school on for size and worked in CAD (computer assisted drafting) before getting married—and later separating, just before finals in fall 2016—and having kids.

"Life happened, but in 2009, I decided to go back to school and finish out something I've always dreamed of doing (obtaining his Bachelor's)," he said, noting that he'd always had his eye on architecture and construction.

"When I was younger I was always into architecture. To this day, my mind still wanders looking at something and wondering why it's there. Why it's built that way. Why it's in that situation. From digging holes into the earth to when steel and concrete goes up," he said.

Now, he's leaving Temple with his Bachelor's in Engineering Technology. And instead of looking far into the future for his career, Flores noted he's ready to take on additional responsibilities and growing in a career he's already established.

"I landed my dream job a few years ago as a survey technician and recently got promoted to project manager with a major New Jersey construction survey firm, Layout, Inc.," he said. "The construction tract, to me, is always expanding. It's not a cookie cutter situation, and there's no small projects for us—it's all public sector: major bridges, tunnels, highways. That's what got me into the Engineering Technology and Construction tract."

Flores also added that Temple was a key piece to filling out his education.

"I'm understanding a lot more on the construction end of things now. I'm on job sites. I've taken concrete and masonry design and I'm understanding materials now. They've made me understand more than I had before," he said.

Follow our full Next Stop series to see where some of this semester's graduating seniors are headed.