I hope you’re doing well. My name is Seth Anderson and I recently transferred to Clarkson University in the Fall 2021 Semester; I know this process can be intimidating so I wanted to share my experience and help answer any questions that you may have.
Before transferring to Clarkson University I attended Erie Community College in Buffalo, New York where I received my Associates Degree in Engineering Science. Transfer admissions did an awesome job communicating with my previous school to ensure that nearly all my class credits transferred over. One thing I do recommend is trying to take as many general elective courses your school offers before transferring into Clarkson. These can be done over summer and winter semesters, and it allows you to have a lighter workload at Clarkson with more enjoyable classes. If you are unsure if a class is required for your degree, or if it will transfer correctly, reach out to the transfer department and they will be happy to assist you.
When I first stepped onto the Clarkson campus I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure if my prior school prepared me enough to succeed after my transfer. My first semester I was taking 5 classes (one of those classes was Chemistry II and is considered a general elective course for Clarkson), joined the crew team, and was voted in as treasurer for the Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design (SPEED) Steel Bridge Team. The workload at Clarkson was comparable to my community college but the biggest difference was the amount of help that is available through Clarkson such as tutors, office hours, and friendly professors. Staying organized and finding a schedule that works for you are important factors to help you succeed while here.
Steel Bridge SPEED Team
The SPEED Steel Bridge Team is an awesome experience and allowed me to become more involved with school and make friends. The team spends the Fall semester designing a bridge from scratch using different CADD programs and MATLAB to do analysis. The steel and equipment are ordered before winter break, and the bridge is completely fabricated by students before we attend Regional and National competitions in the spring. Clarkson offers free machine shops (such as welding, milling, CNC machining, etc.) that help you get more experience doing trades and are used directly in a ton of the SPEED teams. I recommend trying to join a few clubs to help break the ice and introduce yourself to your classmates, Clarkson holds a club fair in early September so finding and singing ups for clubs is easy. Some clubs take more commitment than others, but you can leave a club whenever you want if you realize it’s too demanding.
Other than clubs there are also many employment opportunities on campus. My first year at Clarkson I worked with the transfer department, Cheel arena, and was a lab technician for the environmental department. If you’re interested in helping a professor with their research or working for a specific department, reach out to them they might have a job opportunity that will work with your schedule.
My Professional Experiences
As a Clarkson student you are required have an internship (also known as professional experience) to graduate. Clarkson holds a 2-3 day Career Fair early in the Fall semester, and later in the Spring semester. I’ve had two internships since I moved to Potsdam: Atlantic Testing Laboratories (ATL) for Summer 2021 and TRC Companies for Summer 2022. ATL is a construction material testing engineering firm where I was a CMET Technician Intern and oversaw the four grade schools as they went through construction in the Massena School District. Working for ATL I received multiple certifications including APNGA Nuclear Gauge Operator, ACI Concrete Testing Technician (Grade I), and the OSHA 10-Hour Certification. That internship allowed me to see multiple construction projects break ground and understand how to test materials to ensure safety of the materials and the project; ATL is located right here in Potsdam on route 11.
My other internship for TRC Companies brought me out to the West Coast where I used CADD programs to design overhead and underground transmission lines. This internship taught me how to understand the process of creating structures that support the transportation of electricity from a substation to the power of your home, host opening and closing meetings with clients, breakdown Request-for-proposals (RFP), build competitive proposals, train staff, and create a concrete guideline for TRC Companies. I enjoyed working for TRC Companies so much that I signed with the company before I started my Senior year and will be moving to Oregon upon graduation.
That was my first year with Clarkson University and I dabbled in tons of activities, internships, clubs, and jobs around campus. I chose Clarkson due to the small number of students, how the staff makes me feel like a person, tons of indoor and outdoor activities, and because my father attended Clarkson. If you have any questions about transferring please reach out. It can be intimidating, but Clarkson is extremely inviting, and everyone is here to help you out!
Cheers,Seth D. Anderson
BS Civil Engineering 2023
Engineering Management Concentration
Steel Bridge SPEED Senior Advisor
ASC Member – Preconstruction