Ryan Erickson

Ryan Erickson

ICC Engineering Graduate: 2014
Transferred to: North Dakota State University


B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Currently Employed: Polaris Ind. / Huntsville, AL
Title: Associate Sustainability Engineer

Date of Testimonial: May 17, 2017

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
It’s early yet in my career, but being chosen by Polaris for a brand new role and team at a new facility was great because it showed they trusted in my skills and experience. Working on cost save initiatives has also been very rewarding.

Why did you choose Itasca Community College to start your engineering education?
I chose ICC based largely on reputation. I had friends that had gone through the program and spoke highly of it. That along with the lower cost was a win-win in my book.

What do you think is the best thing about the Itasca Community College?
It’s hard to point out the single best thing, but I’d say the projects. I don’t look back and remember the exams or homework, but I do remember the projects. They gave a real-world application for our courses and they were fun! Working late nights on projects because we wanted to win or have the best project were some of my favorite memories from ICC. That isn’t something students always experience at a 4-year university.

How did ICC Engineering help you shape your personal and professional goals?
I learned how to learn at ICC. Once I started to understand that, the only limitation was how hard I wanted to work. I began to really believe in myself. That allowed me to shoot for the moon when applying for different internships and jobs. Overall, ICC helped me be confident in my skills and not shy away from challenges.

In what ways did ICC prepare you to be successful at your transfer school and in your career?
ICC was always focused on the individual. That made me as a student feel valued and the faculty were there to help me succeed. Everything from setting up classes for a seamless transfer to supporting all our various projects; ICC does a great job of helping to build a great foundation. “A project I worked on at ICC…” is a common phrase that comes up in conversation when talking about classes and others are always impressed with the amount of projects ICC has in their curriculum.

What advice would you give to a prospective ICC Engineering students?

  • Don’t shy away from ICC just because it’s a 2-year program. It was a great 2 years of my education and helped set precedence for my future.
  • The small class sizes and student-focused faculty have created a culture that helps students develop as engineers and as people.
  • Also, don’t wait until college to get plugged in. Start getting involved with robotics or pre-engineering classes now. It will help you hit the ground running once on campus.

What advice would you give to a current ICC Engineering student?
Get involved! The best memories and experiences I have aren’t necessarily from the classroom or even my free time with friends, rather the times spent with various teams/clubs. Baja SAE is one example of putting you in a spot where you develop yourself overall; both soft and technical skills. Non-technical clubs are also a great chance to give your mind a break and develop yourself as a person. After all, there is more to this life than just engineering!

Additional Comments:
Pass on my appreciation to the faculty. From NDSU now to Polaris down in AL, people are always impressed with the experiences I had during my 1st two years of school. It’s still crazy to me that you all were willing to allocate a large amount of money to send 1st and 2nd year students to compete at Baja SAE against the “big schools”, but it was an invaluable experience! Job opportunities came from Polaris Ind, Honda, John Deere, Case, Oshkosh Corp and Kohler because you all at ICC helped give me a great foundation. So thank you!