Perseverance and Determination

By: Huguette Abrunhosa, P.E. RPLS
Associate Partner | Senior Project Manager - Land Services

My path of becoming a partner has been faced with many obstacles and my journey to my success is one that I am proud of and excited to share with you. Two days after my high school graduation, I gave birth to my daughter. I was a young mom, forced to grow up quicker than my peers. I knew then that I wanted to prove to others and myself that I could still be successful in life and be a good role model for my daughter.

I was supported by friends and family in my decision to attend college and earn a degree. The fall semester after having my daughter, I attended the University of Houston and began studying civil engineering. I recall the professor for my first engineering course telling me if I did not pass his class, I would not be successful in engineering…As life would have it, I did not pass his class. But the following semester, I returned to school and attempted the course again, determined to pass, and I did.

I graduated as a civil engineer with a three-year-old and began my career slowly, working late and at times having two jobs. Eight years after graduating, married with three children and working full time, I decided to obtain my professional licenses to advance my career.

With support and motivation from my husband and children, I began to study for my professional surveying license. Two years later, I was studying for my professional engineering license. Neither first attempt was successful, but with hard work and perseverance, I passed both exams the second time around.

I was faced with numerous challenges -- academically, professionally, and personally and had to make sacrifices on my path to becoming an engineer and receiving my professional licenses. I am now a licensed professional surveyor, licensed professional engineer and a partner at an incredible engineering firm. My daughter is now 22 and graduating in the Fall of 2021 with a civil engineering degree from Louisiana State University, and I take pride in knowing that my perseverance and determination motivated her to accomplish this.

In my life, there have been many times I wanted to give up but was driven to achieve my aspirations. I want to inspire my children, my colleagues and others and show them that while inevitably there are obstacles and challenges in life, with dedication, hard work and sometimes sacrifice, we can always overcome them, no matter the duration of time or number of attempts. 

Leaders inspire team members to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. As a leader at EHRA Engineering, I see the impact that demonstrating these qualities has on others. Acting as a positive role model will always be important to me in my career; I advise those facing life’s challenges to not give up, adjust their focus and take a stand for the success they deserve.