Hello readers! My name is Callie Lindsay and I am a senior Engineering & Management student here at Clarkson University. If you are a prospective student considering Clarkson or a current Clarkson student thinking about changing your major, I hope this blog can be of use to you! I can honestly say that choosing Clarkson and E&M specifically is the best decision I have ever made and I am so grateful to this program and this university for the amazing college experience I’ve had.
So why did I chose Clarkson and the E&M program? It was actually kind of a happy accident! When I was a junior in high school, I had every intention of going to school for Physical Therapy – totally unrelated to engineering, I know! Senior year of high school, I realized that I didn’t want to do that anymore but I had already applied to multiple schools for PT programs, including Clarkson.
By the way, the only reason I applied to Clarkson was because I received a leadership scholarship during my junior year and my parents made me visit the school. After my first visit over the summer between my junior and senior year, I realized that something about Clarkson had me hooked and I was interested in the school itself, not just the majors it offered. I visited again in February of my senior year and, in true North Country fashion, it was freezing cold and sleeting the entire day I was here. Still, after this visit and my meeting with my financial aid advisor, I was sold (no matter how many times my mom tried to convince me to go literally anywhere else).
At the Accepted Students Day in April, my parents and I agreed that it was time to decide on a major and I got to the school that day planning on attending the information session for Environmental Engineering. When we got to Cheel Arena, my mom saw the sign for Engineering & Management and pointed it out. I had never heard of a program like that but she said “that sounds cool…and like it will get you a job,” so I said sure, let’s try it, and I’ve never looked back! I came into Clarkson as an Engineering & Management student and over the years, I have fallen more and more in love with the program!
Now that you know how I got here, let’s talk about why I decided to stay:
- The Curriculum
Yes, this is probably the most boring reason but trust me, it’s a good one. Like I said, I had NEVER considered engineering before getting to college and I really wasn’t all that interested in it but I was pretty good at math and science so it didn’t seem like a terrible idea.
From my perspective, the E&M curriculum is great because it is a full engineering degree AND a full business degree and the classes are divided pretty evenly each semester. This means I’ll have a class like Thermodynamics in the morning, but then a class like Organizational Policy and Strategy in the afternoon, then a class like Operations Research which combines business and engineering. This helps to break up your day, with engineering classes having more lectures and intense homework, and business classes giving you more group work, discussions, and presentations.
For someone like me who is driven by dynamic environments and interesting new things, this is a great set up and I never get bored with my classes or schoolwork. From an employer perspective, I can attest that companies LOVE this blend of technical knowledge and business background.
My E&M education really helps me stand out to employers and has prepared me to apply for a wide range of full time positions; from field engineer, to project manager, to technical sales, to operations manager!
2. The Faculty/Staff
If you ask any current E&M student what makes the E&M Program different from other programs here at Clarkson, or at any university in general, I guarantee you they will tell you that the faculty and staff are one of the biggest factors.
Our program is unique because we have two dedicated faculty advisors, Misty Spriggs and Adrienne Boswell, who spend the majority of their time meeting with students (individually!) to go over questions and concerns and the rest of their time, working to improve the program! Misty and Adrienne have been my biggest supporters throughout my time here at Clarkson and I can go to them with questions about jobs/internships, specific class, or even just life advice! They know the curriculum inside and out and are a really valuable resource to students.
We also now have six dedicated E&M faculty, plus our incredible director, Michelle Crimi! Michelle and all of the faculty, like Misty and Adrienne, are always happy to make time to answer students’ questions and to help them with homework or topics they are struggling with. All of our faculty also have a lot of relevant prior experience and are able to relate this to the topics they teach in class!
3. The Opportunities
Now this is a SUPER broad category so I will start by mentioning some of the experiences I have had throughout school that I don’t think I would have been able to have without being a part of this program:
- I was able to travel to Kenya and Uganda in East Africa for three weeks at the end of my junior year through the Reh School of Business
- I was selected by General Electric as 1 of 10 American students to travel to Poland for 10 days on a Cultural, Economic, and Diplomacy Immersion Trip
- I participated in a co-op with GE Aviation during my sophomore year after receiving an offer at the career fair in my first semester of freshman year
- I have participated in three professional development bus trips where I was able to visit companies all over New York State, learning about career opportunities and meeting with Clarkson alumni
- I have been invited to and participated in multiple meetings with the Reh School of Business Leadership Council, the AACSB Accreditation Team, members of the Board of Trustees, and many more
- I will be traveling to Paris over the upcoming Winter Break to complete two 3 credit classes at KEDGE Business School
- I received the Amy K. Zander Award for Outstanding Career Potential which is a scholarship made possible by two generous E&M alumni
- I have been serving as the E&M Student Assistant since the beginning of my junior year, working side-by-side with our advisers and faculty!
These are just a few (what I think are the coolest) opportunities I have taken advantage of during my time here and I really don’t think many of them, if any, would have been possible if I wasn’t a part of this program. While you are a student here, you will be given chances to travel, apply to incredible internships, give back to the program and the school, and a ton of other cool things!
4. The Students
I’m not sure if this is something students think about a lot but in my senior year, I find myself reflecting on this a lot.
Here at Clarkson, we often talk about how we attract a certain type of person. Our school is obviously pretty far away from pretty much everything and it’s known for being difficult academically so we already have a pretty amazing pool of people when they are just starting out. Lots of these pretty amazing people really thrive at Clarkson and are able to realize their full potential through opportunities in classes, clubs, and other extracurricular activities.
My peers in E&M (and the whole university) are people who already have/will in the future: invent things, patent things, start businesses, acquire businesses, work for companies like Google, Tesla, or Apple, travel the world, become CEOs, and many many more incredible things. The amount of knowledge and experience that surrounds you at Clarkson can sometimes be overwhelming, to be honest, but it is also invigorating. Being around these kinds of people has shown me that there is nothing I cannot do if I put my mind to it.
5. The Alumni
Finally, my fifth reason is that our alumni network here at Clarkson is incredible. Obviously donations from alumni are super important but our alumni are wonderful in so many other ways! There are lots of people that come back to Clarkson all the time for different events, whether they are recruiting new hires for their company, giving a presentation or lecture, or just coming back to hang out with old friends, there are many ways to connect with someone in an industry, company, or position you may be interested in.
Hearing from alumni in your major is a great way to learn about career opportunities after you graduate and older alumni are always willing to share advice on everything from how to get a job to general life advice. Through my position with the E&M Department, I have been able to connect with so many interesting and super accomplished people and I am so glad I’ve gotten the chance to meet them and hear what they have to say!