College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Q&A with Cole Jensen

Cole Jensen graduated with his B.S. in mechanical engineering in 2020 and now co-manages the company he and his brother founded, Jensen Applied Sciences.

The Jensen brothers present during a pitch competition
Cole Jensen, left, presents with his brother and business partner, Dillon Jensen, during an on-campus entrepreneur pitch competition.

Why did you choose to attend ISU?

I have always heard about Iowa State’s good engineering school and really liked the tour I went on, so I ‘Chose my Adventure’ at Iowa State! With the ACE scholarship, it was also actually cheaper for me to go here instead of the University of Minnesota. It all worked out really well.

Why did you choose ME as your major?

I have always had a passion for technology and Aviation, and I loved an engineering class I had in high school. I originally chose aerospace engineering as my major, but this ended up not being a good fit, so switching to mechanical was a great choice that I’ve never regretted.

Did you take any business classes or other courses that provided you with the know-how for starting and operating your business?

Yes, I took MGMT 310 and 313. Jensen Applied Sciences (JAS) was already started and off the ground when I took these, but they helped validate/change my ideas about running/operating a business. It was also fun to essentially work on JAS as ‘homework’.

I understand that you and your brother were also involved with various pitch competitions and other entrepreneurial activities at ISU. Tell me about some of the particular competitions/activities you were involved with and in what ways did these opportunities contribute to your professional development?

So my first pitch ever (and also the first ever for JAS) was the engineering pitch off in 2019, and it went terrible. Then my brother Dillon and I pitched together at the Innovation Pitch in 2019, as well as over the summer at the Iowa State Fair. We pitched the same events the following year, and also pitched for the supply chain board and the RVCC competition. Finally, despite my failure at the 2019 engineering pitch off, I actually won the 2020 engineering one! So that was pretty cool and a very proud moment for me- it felt like quite the comeback. In total I think Dillon and I have six or seven pitch wins.

What were some of the other clubs/activities/internships that you did while at ISU?

I tried to partake in a lot. I did a co-op at Mercury Marine and an Internship at Rolls-Royce. Club wise, I was director of the AIAA ISU GoFly team (of which I now consult), Professional Relations Committee member of Engineers’ Week, then I also participated in ISU canoe and kayak, film producers club, and ISU automotive enthusiasts. I like A LOT of stuff- sometimes it’s hard to focus on just one of my many interests.

You’re graduated now right? What are you doing these days?

I am currently working at Rolls-Royce as a Manufacturing Engineer! On the side I still run JAS with Dillon and also do various other fun hobbies. You could say I’m pretty busy.

What are some of your interest and hobbies outside of school/work? 

I personally love all things Aviation; flying in general & going to air shows are a blast and I’m going to get my pilot’s license real soon. I also enjoy making videos, playing the drums & keyboard, being active, playing games, and reading. Together, my brother Dillon and I enjoy cars, movies and traveling.

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