(Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a series of student profiles written by students in JLMC 321, Public Relations Writing. Our thanks to the authors, to senior lecturer Erin Wilgenbusch, to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communications, and to the subjects.)
Anna Grimley is a 21-year-old junior from Springville, Iowa, who is studying electrical engineering. For many students, just the field of study would be challenging enough, but not for Grimley. She is currently a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, STARS (Student Admissions Representatives), choir, and the 4-H Foundation, and she co-chaired the 2010 Engineering Fall Career Fair. “A lot of it is careful planning,” Grimley said. “I live by my planner.”
“I chose my type of engineering because I went to the career fair my freshman year and asked around,” Grimley said. “I told them what I was interested in and that I wanted to get advice on what would be useful in the future. They told me electrical engineering,” she said. Grimley enjoys her courses, especially those that are challenging, because she knows that she’ll learn the most. “It’s very labor intensive and takes a lot of time,” she said. Studying “doesn’t take just one hour, it takes several.”
According to Roger Bentley, manager of student and alumni professional development in Engineering Career Services, Grimley always has insightful ideas and is not afraid to express them to her peers; she does this while also being respectful to their ideas as well. “The amount of mental processing she does to analyze a project or problem truly is remarkable for a young professional,” he said. Bentley believes that Grimley is an exceptional young leader because of her knowledge within her industry and her involvement outside of the classroom.
Anna plans to graduate in spring 2012. Not knowing exactly what she’ll do after that, Grimley says, “I will most likely go into government contracting. I really like that type of work.”
Grimley also takes great pride in her work outside of her major, such as her involvement in STARS, which allows her to interact with prospective students and their parents. “I really like talking about the (Memorial Union) zodiac,” she said. “Alumni always have really funny stories about almost stepping on it and then failing an exam. They really like to come back and tell their kids about it.”
— Emily Kathrein
When Gabriel Schive came to Iowa State as a freshman, the computer engineering peer mentoring program was fairly basic. “There was a small learning community when I came into computer engineering,” said Schive.
Now a senior, Schive is himself a peer mentor. The program has come a long way since his freshman year. “It’s really kind of grown up and become almost a required class, because it does help the freshmen out in getting acclimated to the academic and social environment of college,” he said.
The computer engineering peer mentoring program is unique compared to other such programs. The mentors and the students they serve are completely in-house. This not only makes it easier for the students to get in touch with their mentor for academic questions, but it also makes it easier for the mentors to help out their students. “If you become involved in social activities, then you’re also kind of discovering not only your academic identity through the learning you do, but also your social identity. That’s really important,” said Schive, “I’ve seen a lot of computer engineers come in very introverted, but through the social activities that we’ve done in the learning community, we’ve gotten them out of their shells. That’s just been just terrific for their personalities.”
Schive, like many engineering students before him, is also a member of the marching band. The quality of the band program is actually one of the reasons why he came to Iowa State in the first place. “They have a terrific marching band program here. The directors are great, the music is great, and the atmosphere is great,” said Schive. He has taken on a leadership position as one of the band’s guides. As a guide, he is in charge of 8 to 10 individuals in his area of the field. It’s his responsibility to make sure that they are prepared when game day rolls around.
Schive highly recommends getting involved with extracurricular activities while in college. He says they’re, “a chance to recharge. If you do too much academic involvement and you never get any recharge time, there’s a good chance you’re probably going to burn out.”
He sees involvement in activities during college as being vital. Shive said, “Being involved is almost as essential as doing your college work because that’s what cements your identity for when you get out of college.”
— Michael Fox
A leader and role model, Debanjan Ghosh, a junior at Iowa State, has gone above and beyond what is expected of him. He is the associate director of the Engineering Leadership Program and is the treasurer of E-Week, all while studying chemical engineering. He is always striving to do better—if he gets a 99 on a test, he’s looking for 100. “I like to go above and beyond what is expected of me,” said Ghosh.
Last summer he did an internship with 3M, where he spent most of his time working on relief calculations. He has also done research in ethanol production and solid-state chemistry and has worked to tackle the energy crisis. This January he will be given the opportunity to fulfill another internship with Cargill as a production engineer. He urges students to take advantage of the opportunities they are given because “although it’s hard to get that first internship, it gets easier.” One way to make contacts is by attending the career fair, which Ghosh helped set up this semester.
In his area of study, Ghosh is able to do everything from dealing with chemicals to sorting out budgets and working with people. His most valuable skill is his ability to network. Last fall, Ghosh was fortunate enough to attend a conference in Budapest, Hungary. He was able to meet some prestigious people and within an hour, he said, a man offered him a job.
Ghosh said he has had a well-rounded experience and plans to further his education. He hasn’t determined exactly what it is that he would like to do, but he is not worried. “If you are good at something, everything else will follow.”
— Makenzie Heddens