ME alum recalls time at ISU and shares advice for success

Q&A with Zack Schaaf (‘11 mech engr)

Why did you choose Iowa State?

I considered some schools out of the state, but for mechanical engineering, I knew Iowa State would be the perfect fit! Both my sister and brother graduated from Iowa State, so Iowa State is the family way!

How did you get involved on campus?

It’s hard not to at Iowa State! I worked a summer for the College of Engineering, working with the camps for kids. I also joined Sigma Phi Epsilon and became very involved in the Greek community. I was also involved with the Blood Drive Committee and the Homecoming Central Committee.

What advice do you have for current Iowa State mechanical engineering students?

Study abroad: It’s hard to find another chance after college to travel for several months, and there’s no other experience like it. Do a co-op: Recruiters will look for this on your resume, and it will help you find out what you want (or don’t want) to do. Above all, make sure you balance your studies with your out-of-the-classroom Iowa State experience.

What do you do now?

I work as a Sales Engineer for Schneider Electric, Global Leader in Energy Management in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I work with the contractors who install our equipment, and my first major project was US Bank Stadium, where the Minnesota Vikings play. I am currently working on the new soccer stadium, Allianz Field, for the Minnesota United team. In my spare time, I stay active and manage an adult kickball and dodgeball league that I first joined with a group of Iowa State alumni. I’m still a huge Iowa State football and basketball fan, it’s a great chance to stay in touch with my friends and family that went to Iowa State!

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