From Egypt to Russia and now Colorado, Youssef Badawi has had an interest in buildings, architecture and construction.
It’s how he found Colorado State University.
“I have always been fascinated by high-rise buildings,” Badawi says. “It’s amazing how tall these buildings can be, and they are spectacular. That was really my motivation. I needed to know how these buildings were made possible, and I really liked how CSU’s program looked because of the real-world connections. There were so many opportunities for internships and projects that I wanted to do.”
Born in Egypt, Badawi and his family moved to Moscow when he was 13. He began his high school education studying in French, but in his sophomore year, he switched to English.
“Obviously, it was a challenge transitioning from French to English,” Badawi says. “But thankfully I was able to learn it before I was ready to apply for colleges.”
Even though Badawi had never been to Colorado, he chose CSU’s Construction Management program. Since then, he has focused on extracurricular activities that allowed him to engage with the construction industry in Colorado. He started by participating in competitions, in which student teams complete project bids for contractors and present their work in an effort to win the project.
“It’s not 100% real because it is only a proposal, but I learned everything that goes into planning a large-caliber project,” Badawi says. “That includes estimates, design, scheduling, safety and risk management. It was a detailed process that taught me a lot.”
Badawi worked on several project proposals, including designs for health centers, academic buildings, apartment complexes, parking garages and residential areas. Over a winter break, he returned home to Egypt to participate in an internship that focused on connecting two pieces of land with an underwater tunnel.
More recently, Badawi was selected as a project manager for CM Cares, an annual volunteer program that makes building accessibility improvements for nonprofits and people with disabilities. He has spent the end of his senior year planning and constructing a bedroom addition, bathroom addition, wheelchair-accessible walkway and new patio at the home of a Fort Collins resident.
“It was great to use all of the skills that I have learned over my time at CSU to help someone in my new community,” says Badawi who has accepted a position with Turner Construction.
Following graduation, Badawi will move to Denver to begin working on Colorado projects for Turner’s clients.
“Everything was much better than I expected,” he says. “If I had the chance to go back and pick a different school or education, I wouldn’t. I’m really happy in Colorado, and it has been a pleasure to live with the challenges of being in a new place because I am constantly given new opportunities, and I learn something new about this place every day.”