ICC Engineering Graduate: 2011
Transferred to: North Dakota State University
B.S. in Civil Engineering
Currently Employed: Bolton & Menk, Inc.
Title: Design Engineer
Date of Testimonial: August 28, 2017
What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date? I am proud to say that I am managing my own construction projects from start to finishing, including drafting plans, running meeting, managing daily construction and contractors, and coordinating between residents, contractors, and City staff.
Why did you choose Itasca Community College to start your engineering education? Itasca Community College was a small school that had a great reputation for engineering. The staff was very welcoming when I was considering the program and extremely helpful in making sure I was making the right decision for myself.
What do you think is the best thing about the Itasca Community College? As a smaller school, Itasca Community College allows for you to get to know your fellow students and the staff; the staff gets to know you on a one-on-one basis. You aren't just a number. The staff really care about their students and want to see them succeed and be happy at what they are doing. Almost more importantly, the teachers encouraged you to have fun while learning! I also love the fact that they have a study abroad program! The 3 months overseas was a highlight of my 2 years at ICC. I learned so much about life, other cultures, and economics.
How did ICC Engineering help you shape your personal and professional goals? ICC Engineering provided many opportunities to develop who I am as a person and helped me figure out what I wanted to do in life through a variety of projects. The EPD classes really helped me develop as an engineer by seeing what is out there and allowing me to have projects that interested me and were more personal, not a cookie cutter project. Those, along with the other classes offered, allowed me to learn what I was interested in and what I had no interest in. Personally, they helped me come out of my shell and learned public speaking skills as well as how to have a conversation with someone I didn't know very well, if at all. The study abroad program helped me develop personally by teaching me travelling skills as well as learning a vast amount about other countries and cultures. All the activities inside and outside the classroom created a tight-knit atmosphere that really helped people be themselves and therefore learn more. People weren't afraid to ask questions, because they knew their classmates and knew that 10 other people were wondering the same thing. ICC Engineering allows it's students to be themselves and learn how to learn in a comfortable environment.
In what ways did ICC prepare you to be successful at your transfer school and in your career? ICC taught me how to open up and get to know new people, which helped transferring to a larger school. ICC provided me the opportunity to get the generals courses completed in a smaller classroom where I could have a conversation with my teachers and my teachers put in the time and effort to want to see me succeed. Where as at a larger school, I would have been 1 of 300 students and that one-on-one teaching does not happen unless the student puts forth a ton of effort, and even then chances are you get a TA. By providing me this smaller classroom, I feel like I learned the material more thoroughly, which better helped me prepare for my career.
What advice would you give to prospective ICC Engineering students? ICC Engineering provides so much more than just engineering courses. The staff and students are great resources and they are the ones that you will be around day after day. Take the time to schedule a tour to see what the program really entails, and while you are there, take the time to talk to some of the students that are around and have them tell you what it is like to be involved in ICC Engineering.
What advice would you give to current ICC Engineering students? Don't be afraid to open up and get involved. Whether it is just getting to know your classmates, roommates, or joining clubs pick something and dive into it! You will get as much out of ICC Engineering as you want so don't be afraid to ask and get involved. Study groups are great! And the teachers are more than willing to meet with you to make sure you are learning and understanding the material. Take the time to develop relationships that will last a lifetime. These relationships may be beneficial in the long run. You never know who you will run into throughout your career.
Additional Comments: Thank you for everything you and the other teachers and staff at ICC Engineering provided. I can honestly say I am a better person and engineer because of ICC Engineering.