BS chemical engineering '11
Current job: Sales application engineer - process market, API Heat Transfer Inc.
Residence: Buffalo, NY
Community activities: Arcade Community Band
When and how did you choose your major(s)?
I began my studies in chemical engineering on day one after arriving. I wasn't sure it was exactly what I wanted, but after the first few classes I absolutely enjoyed it. I had always been interested in math and chemistry in high school and it was a great fit for me.
What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?
I stuck mostly to the engineering clubs and musical groups on campus. As an officer in the AIChE student group, I gained leadership experience and helped introduce new ChemE's to the school and engineering community on campus. I improved my musical talent on trumpet through Pep Band and Brass Choir and had an absolutely wonderful time in both of those groups, as well as several others I was involved in.
What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?
First, go to the Career Center! There is so much knowledge and information there to get you started on a great career path and many people who will work to help you get there. Second, go to the Study Abroad Office. There are so many places to see in the world and many great opportunities to go visit and learn great things. Even if you don't want to spend a semester studying elsewhere, there are many great summer programs that you can apply to.
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?
Literally two weeks after graduation I was on a plane to Germany for a 6-month internship at Evonik to work on heat exchanger systems. This was facilitated by the German Exchange Service, the DAAD, in their RISE program. I would highly recommend applying as the experiences you will have will be some of the most memorable in your life. I had a great time and learned so many things.
What do you do now and why did you choose this career?
At the moment I am an application engineer for a heat exchanger manufacturer. I desperately love solving heat transfer problems, but would also like to be more of a process engineer. I plan to move out of this job in a few years, maybe get a MS, and use my experiences to land a job closer to where I'd like my career to be. I prefer to be out of a lab, doing calculations, and occasionally getting down and dirty with the equipment, so I guess I'd like to be a consultant process engineer in the future.
What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?
I mostly use mass and energy balances and unit conversion on a daily basis. Sometimes higher level math is involved, but not on a regular basis. I do wish that I had taken some more programming in college, but teaching myself isn't bad either; you remember the mistakes better. With engineering, a lot of what you will need to know for your career is learned while solving problems and completing projects in your first years of work. College is a good place to get an idea of what you want to pursue and to learn the basic tools to get there, but industry is a whole new library of information to learn.
What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?
Go to every free food event you can; you'll learn things and meet many new people. Get involved in as many groups as you have time for. You can explore many interesting things in college for free that you can't as easily jump into afterwards; get active! Don't fret if you don't land your dream job; there is always something you can learn from any job that will help your resume in the future.