University of Minnesota

Mechanical Engineering Student Profile

Name: Tijen Petersen
Anticipated Graduation Year:

How and why did you choose your major?

I chose my major because I was always interested in the sciences and mathematics. I found that engineering was a great combination of the two, and decided to pursue it. I didn't know what branch of engineering I wanted to do going into college, so I spoke with current students and advisors to hear the differences in majors. After finding that mechanical engineering was the most general form of engineering and can be paired with many things, I chose it because it seemed to keep many doors open for career paths.

Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.

Mechanical Engineering, in the most general sense, gives you a knowledge of how the physical world around us works. The coursework ranges from design and manufacturing, to electrical circuits, to fluid mechanics, and more. As a mechanical engineer, you learn about a wide range of engineering forms in order connect different ideas, develop analytical and problem solving skills, and eventually apply this to real-world experiences.

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 was involved in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program in the mechanical engineering department, as well as Engineers Without Borders, and a product design student group, Design U.

In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?

Coming into the mechanical engineering major, you should know that school can be challenging, but there are countless amounts of resources that we have as students to help our learning. There is a wonderful support system for students in the College of Science and Engineering who can help with academics, research, extra curricular activities, career planning and much more. Just remember that you can't afraid to ask for help!

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Center for Academic Planning and Exploration
511 Robert H. Bruininks Hall

222 Pleasant St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455