David Duré walks the hallways of Florida Polytechnic University like a man on a mission. And at age 30, his career mission is very clear: to become an aerospace military contractor.
The Marine veteran will graduate from Florida Poly in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. This summer he’ll intern with Goldman Sachs, a global investment firm, in their Salt Lake City, Utah office.
“In the military, I learned to be the hardest worker in the room. And with my degree, I can’t wait to see what my future holds,” said Duré.
Duré is the president and co-founder of Florida Poly’s National Society of Black Engineers chapter.
Before coming to Florida Poly, Duré’s future wasn’t so certain. After high school, the Brooklyn, New York native found himself outside a Walmart store with every intention of applying for whatever job he could get. As fate would have it, he never made it inside the store.
He was approached by a military recruiter who offered him a regular paycheck, the opportunity to travel and the promise of a college education was too good to pass up, Duré says.
In the military, he worked as an aviation mechanic and learned to repair helicopters. It was his very first taste of what it might be like to work as an engineer.
“I was so intrigued by these machines. I took it upon myself to understand everything about them,” said Dure.
Four years later, a medical condition prevented Duré from re-enlisting and led him to a classroom in Polk County where he taught elementary school children. He loved teaching, he says, but didn’t love the public education system.
Once again, he found himself with an uncertain future. This time it was different though; he had a family to support.
“I remember sitting in my living room, feeling the burden, not knowing what my next move would be,” said Duré.
Later that day he found his answer in his mailbox in the form of a brochure from Florida Polytechnic University. He had not forgotten the helicopters and his passion for aviation.
“I knew this was it,” Duré exclaimed. “I knew this opportunity would set me up for success.”
Duré has in fact succeeded in what he describes as Florida Poly’s “outside the box” environment, where he is learning the value of new ideas, critical thinking and leadership skills.
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