Mechanical Engineering Student Profile
Name: Rose Anderson
Hometown: Bloomington, MN
Anticipated Graduation Year: 2020
How and why did you choose your major?
I'd always been interested in math, science, and how the world around me worked. I was particularly captivated with machines and the way they functioned - how did someone go about designing an engine, an airplane, a mechanical pencil? As I got older, I did more research and found out that mechanical engineers get to design and improve the world around them, and I wanted in!
Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.
Mechanical Engineers at the U of M get a really well rounded education - I like to think of it as a bit of a sampler plate of engineering. There are so many different mechanical engineering applications that we get a basic knowledge of many different types of engineering such as electrical, computer, industrial, and materials science. On top of that, we learn a lot about machine design, thermodynamics (how energy and mass are transferred in a system), mechanics, and system design. One of my favorite classes so far has been thermodynamics - it included a lot of puzzle solving and learning about how energy is transferred in everyday life. I also loved MechE2011, a class where we got to design and build our own robot! I created a Cocoa Bot - it deposited a marshmallow into a cup of hot chocolate.
What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)
I've been very involved with SWE (Society of Women Engineers) - I was on a committee last year and often recruit friends to join me in attending their meetings and events. I've also recently joined SME and hope to be more involved in that in the coming semesters. This summer I was an intern for a company called Despatch in Lakeville, MN- they produce industrial ovens, and I was lucky enough to be involved in a variety of different projects there that taught me a lot about how to apply what I've learned in college to the world of industry.
In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?
For any degree, but especially any type of engineering, it's really important to be excited about what you're doing. While you might not love every class, every homework assignment, or every professor, you'll know you have the right major if you're ready (in some capacity) to learn and be able to make a difference in the world. Engineering can be really difficult, and having the desire to complete the degree will help you to persevere through anything college can throw at you.