ICC Engineering Graduate: 2013
Transferred to: Iron Range Engineering
B.S. in Civil Engineering
Currently Employed: Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH Inc.)
Title: Graduate Engineer
Date of Testimonial: January 2018
What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
I created a very large and detailed Capital Improvement Plan for a small city that will help them prioritize street and infrastructure projects for many years to come.
Why did you choose Itasca Community College to start your engineering education?
I knew I wanted to become an engineer but I wasn’t sure which area of engineering I wanted to work in specifically. ICC allowed me to take classes that were required of all engineers while allowing me to investigate all areas of engineering through practical projects, internships, and different classes.
I am also from the Grand Rapids area and was interested in a more affordable education that was closer to home.
What do you think is the best thing about the Itasca Community College?
The staff and teachers at ICC are irreplaceable and something that a college tuition can’t buy. Instructors at ICC care about a student’s success in and out of school and are there for you when you need them. This helps you feel like you are part of a community at ICC because of the inviting atmosphere the people create.
How did ICC Engineering help you shape your personal and professional goals?
ICC helped me meet new people that became staples in my success as a student and helped me create clear goals that I worked toward until I graduated. Learning valuable skills such as interviewing, public speaking, and writing also helped set me up to be more comfortable with some of these more difficult skill sets in the future.
In what ways did ICC prepare you to be successful at your transfer school and in your career?
ICC taught me the value and importance of project-based learning and why a practical learning experience sticks with you. ICC also prepared me to tackle the real struggles in college such as meeting new people, taking tough classes, and balancing school and a personal life. Going through these struggles at ICC first were much easier and less overwhelming than going to a much larger school with very large class sizes and limited time with instructors to get help.
What advice would you give to a prospective ICC Engineering students?
If you are thinking about becoming an engineer or working in a STEM related field, consider starting at ICC first before transferring to a larger school. ICC offers many of the same classes that are required for an engineering degree at a much more affordable cost. The smaller class sizes and one-on-one time with instructors is also extremely beneficial and will help you become successful as a student.
What advice would you give to a current ICC Engineering student?
Take advantage of the many benefits that ICC offers as often as possible. Attend career fairs, go on trips to different transfer colleges, meet new people at events, and watch a few sports games. All of these things will help you to become a better-rounded student and help you to create connections with people that could last a lifetime.
ICC also offers many opportunities for students to apply for scholarships and get an internship. Apply for as many scholarships as you can and try to get an internship in a field that you might be interested in. Figuring out what you want to do while you are in school can save you time and money in the long run and give you more confidence about entering the work force later on.
You will only get out of college what you put into it. Your success in school and a future career does not depend on your natural ability. Working hard, being determined, and having clear goals is what will set you up for long term success. Stay focused and be confident in your decisions. ICC will help you get started!