First job after graduation brings engineering alum back to George Mason


From an early age, George Mason University alumnus Eduardo Vazquez appeared destined to work on big construction projects. His father, who relocated their family here from Mexico in 2001, has for years built Inova Health Systems facilities and frequently tinkered around the house with his son at his side. They even built a backyard shed together, from the foundation up.

Vazquez and coworker on Fairfax Campus construction site
George Mason alum Eduardo Vazquez (left) with coworker Nam Ngo, also an engineering alum, at the groundbreaking of the new Activities Community Wellness Building. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Office of University Branding

Vazquez, who graduated in May with a civil engineering degree from George Mason’s College of Engineering and Computing, was back on campus this week wearing a different hat—a hard hat. He landed a job as project engineer with Hoar Construction prior to Commencement and was with his new employer as they broke ground on George Mason’s new Activities Community Wellness Building on the Fairfax Campus.

The 25,000-square-foot concrete and tension fabric structure, to be located behind the Recreation Athletic Complex, will be built by Hoar Construction in partnership with Powers Brown Architecture and civil engineer IMEG Corp. and is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Vazquez planned to attend Mason from the time he entered the university’s Early Identification Program, a partnership with area public schools to help prepare middle and high school students who will be the first in their families to attend college. As part of EIP, Vazquez received a full-ride scholarship to George Mason and enrolled in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, where he studied for a brief time before transferring to engineering.

Vazquez attended George Mason under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, a status that left him unable to receive public financial aid. The decision to switch majors and give up his scholarship was significant for him in that it meant he would have to fund his education, something he determined was a worthwhile price for pursuing his passion.

That decision paid off. Vazquez was attending his first-ever career fair in Dewberry Hall and wandered to the very back of the room, where he saw the Hoar Construction booth just as he was ready to leave.

 “I’m pretty knowledgeable about the contractors around here because of my dad’s work, and I’d never heard of them but stopped anyway,” he said. “The vice president was there, which is something you don’t get with the bigger companies. I got along with them right off the bat and left my resume.”

He interned at Hoar in the summer of 2023 and made a good enough impression to get a job offer. It didn’t hurt that the company was hoping to secure a contract with the university.

“At one point they asked me if I had a picture I could give them,” he said. “They said they were bidding on a project for Mason. It was their first [Mason] project, and they wanted to make sure Mason knew they had one of their students on the team.”

Vazquez is excited to work on the project. He said it will be George Mason’s first tensile-fabric structure built. He imagines bringing his own children to campus someday and being able to point to the structure and say, “I helped build that.”

It will be a lasting legacy…one started by his immigrant father putting up drywall day after day so his children could enjoy the American dream.