Educational experience at Iowa State provides for growth in technical and soft skills for young engineers
“Classes do a very good job of teaching you the technical skills that you need to have as a student.”
That’s Chris Levandowski, a master’s student studying structural engineering. And while he understands the seriousness of classes, Levandowski knows there is a flip side to the equation.
“There are a lot of other skills that aren’t necessarily addressed in classes, including public speaking, leadership skills …” he says. “And I think Iowa State provides a lot of opportunity for people to grow in that area.”
Levandowski knows better than many how the Iowa State community can help encourage individuals to grow. He completed his undergraduate degree in Ames and then returned to pursue further engineering education. If you walk into a lab, you can find Levandowski conducting beam testing or working on other real-world structural engineering research.
“There’s always somebody that has knowledge that they’re more than willing to share,” he says of the collaborative educational environment.
The experience doesn’t stop with an academic career. Levandowski has taken part in groups like Chi Epsilon Engineering Honor Society, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and competition teams like the PCI Beam Competition and ultra-high performance concrete student competitions.
“Getting to work on a project with a team has been some of the most fun that I’ve had,” he says.
Levandowski believes the Iowa State experience creates a starting point for young engineers to develop into independent thinkers.
“It really allows you to learn how to learn by yourself,” he explains. “How to be independent and really gain some of those skills where you can function independently and grow as a person.”
Note: In May-July 2018, Iowa State University College of Engineering Communications is setting out to find the top reasons why graduate students choose to pursue their educations at ISU CCEE. “Engineer at ISU CCEE” is a video/written series featuring graduate students from ISU CCEE. Each student shares his or her unique reason for choosing Iowa State. Find out more about the graduate experience at ISU CCEE by following this series, “Engineer at ISU CCEE,” on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts (Iowa State University Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering or ISUConE).