CAD Designer to Engineer: An Eight-Year Journey to Graduation

Jewel LeBlanc

Cody Jones joined the Freese and Nichols family in 2009 from an internal referral for a CAD position.

Coming from a construction background, Cody found engineering to be intimidating. After further understanding of the industry, however, he was inspired to continue his education to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in Spring 2018.

In 2012, Cody began his educational journey by completing general coursework in the evenings while working full-time. Further into his degree plan, Group Manager Scott Hubley worked with Cody to develop a part-time work schedule around full-time coursework.

Cody also took advantage of Freese and Nichols’ tuition reimbursement program. Freese and Nichols reimburses eligible employees for tuition expenses associated with approved college level studies and degree plans that are job related. Reimbursement is provided for successfully completed courses.

“Tuition reimbursement helped ease the burden of cost each semester. The tuition reimbursement process at FNI was easy to work with,” Cody said. “I highly encourage those thinking about furthering their education to look into this opportunity.”

Cody graduated in June 2020 and transitioned from a CAD designer to an engineer position in our Stormwater group. His background in construction, CAD and engineering make Cody a well-rounded and valuable design professional with a unique perspective to bring to projects.

Members from his group had a quarantine approved graduation party, on May 14, at his home to celebrate his graduation and achievements.

“We are so proud to see Cody reach his goals and glad that we were able to help him along the way,” Scott said.