Why did you select Penn State for graduate school?
The first time I chose to come to Penn State was as an undergrad. I chose Penn State from among the schools I had been accepted to because of its strong academics and social atmosphere. Over the years this choice has increasingly been validated. I have grown professionally and personally in ways I could not have imagined. When it came time to select a graduate school I was again accepted by many schools. However, I felt that the friendly environment and the support of faculty and staff here at Penn State would be crucial to my success in graduate school. Penn State has a great, high-profile program with strong academics that are preparing me for the future. However, without a doubt it is the people here that really make Penn State the place to be.
How did you become interested in electrical engineering?
I have always been surrounded by engineers. As a child my hobbies included building model replicas and solving complex word problems. It was natural for me to choose an engineering major. I decided to try electrical engineering because I perceived it to be the most difficult of the disciplines. I stayed with electrical engineering because I liked the analytical nature of the subject. I like that in electrical engineering it is possible to derive solutions to problems from first principles and to justify the approach you are taking. I also think that the electrical engineering education has prepared me well for other aspects of my life.
What do you like most about the electrical engineering graduate program?
Without a doubt the strongest and most positive aspect of our program are the people. At each step during my program I have found the support of faculty and staff. I really cannot overstate the importance of the people around you. Graduate school is a long, complex process that challenges the student to become better and to grow. However, there are many unpredictable events that occur on the path to personal growth so it is important to have people that guide you as you strive to become the professional you are desire to be.
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to apply to faculty jobs after my graduation. My time at Penn State has inspired me and really nurtured my desire to learn and grow. I hope to carry this forward as a professor at a research university.
Any advice to prospective students?
My advice to prospective students it to learn as much as possible about the program and the people. There are two important things to think about when considering graduate school. First, the most crucial decision in a graduate career is the selection of an advisor. The advisor will help you develop your research skills, presentation skills, and meet people in the field. The relationship between the student and advisor is very personal and it is important that it is a good match. Your advisor is really the difference between a successful and unsuccessful completion of graduate school. Second, consider going for a PhD. It is longer with more hurdles, but the time flies and the personal growth you experience cannot be measured in money. A PhD is not a solitary endeavor, it will change all aspects of your life and ultimately, I believe, make you a better person.