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ms Q+A: Justin Kerns

Maggie Kearns Francis

December 7, 2017

Want to enjoy a sunny afternoon on a patio and a long conversation about environmental and water resources? Justin is the guy you need to find! We asked Justin to tell us a bit more about his life on and off the clock.

Justin in 100 Words or Less

I was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, where I spent the majority of my life growing up.  I attended Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for my undergrad and received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a minor in environmental engineering. After graduation in 2013, I started working at ms Youngstown in the oil and gas division. After 1.5 years in Youngstown, I transferred to the Columbus office, where I work with the environmental and water resource group. I am currently enrolled in the Master of Global Engineering Leadership Program at Ohio State, and I am proud to be a Buckeye!

Speed Round

What was your first job?
Not counting internship experience or working on the family farm, I guess you could say that ms consultants was my very first. Couldn’t have asked for a better one and only.


What is one item on your bucket list?
Road trip across the United States.


Last album you downloaded?
Mr. Misunderstood – Eric Church


What’s the last thing you watched on TV?
I’ve gotten really into Life Below Zero on the National Geographic Channel. It’s about people living off the grid in the Alaskan bush.


If you only had one last meal to eat, what would it be?
A filet mignon and a baked potato.


Last thing you read?
11/22/63 by Stephen King. Great read. I definitely recommend it.


Cook in or eat out?
I do eat out a lot, but I am making an effort to cook more. I recently began ordering meals from Home Chef and I’ve really enjoyed cooking more.


Biggest pet peeve?
When people change lanes without using their turn signal.


If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
I’d probably chose a notable historic figure, like Thomas Jefferson, or George Washington, just to see what life was like in the 1700s. Is that cheating? If it has to be a living person, then I would chose an NFL player, like Tom Brady, so I could play in a professional football game.


Who would play you in a movie?
Leonardo DiCaprio


If you could live one day over again, which would you pick?
Probably the day I graduated from college. It was such a huge accomplishment and a relief.

Tell Us More

What sets ms apart from other engineering & architecture firms?
I feel that ms does a good job of investing in their employees. Those who are enthusiastic and have a desire to learn and improve themselves are rewarded.


What’s your favorite way to give back to the community?
I like to volunteer at the Central Ohio STEM Expo ever year. I think it’s important to encourage kids to get involved in the science, engineering, and technology fields.


Which project are you most proud to have been a part of, and why?
I’ve really enjoyed working on the Columbus Blueprint projects over the last couple of years. Not only has it provided me with great work experience, but I feel like I am providing a service to the community. We’re helping to improve the stormwater drainage and eliminate flooding in neighborhoods throughout the Columbus area.


If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be doing?
I’d be an astronaut. I’ve always been fascinated with space, stars, and planets. If there is ever an opportunity to go to space, sign me up.


What’s your best job perk at ms?
In addition to the professional and personal development that ms fosters, I really enjoy the work environment. It feels good to be part of a strong team, especially when we all work together to solve a tough problem.


You’ve got one day in Columbus. What do you do?
Nothing too crazy. Probably try to find a nice patio somewhere and enjoy a sunny day. Maybe catch a Clipper’s game.


What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like to spend time with friends and I enjoy traveling. I’m always looking for new experiences and love an adventure. I’m not a particularly good planner, so I prefer to live in the moment and take life as it comes.


Any final words?
Anything I try to say here is going to be super corny and cliché like, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” So I’ll leave you with that.