College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Patrick Bruce: Outstanding senior in electrical engineering

Major: Electrical Engineering

Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Clubs and activities: Alpha Sigma Phi, Peer Mentor

Awards and honors: College of Engineering Dean’s List

What would you consider your greatest accomplishments at ISU?

The close friends I made here who I know will still be there for me long after I leave ISU.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

State Gym.

What’s your advice for first-year students just starting at Iowa State engineering students?

  1. Do your homework: If you get all your homework done, even if you were to not do too well on them, it makes it really difficult to fail classes.
  2. Go to class: The professor will let you know everything they want you to know during class. Additionally, even if you don’t feel like you learn a lot in class, going to class will still get you up and going for the day and at least you will know the gist of what is going on. Also, if you go to class, you will not find out about a test the day of the test because you have been missing class. (Or worse miss a test.)
  3. Go to office hours: After you finish the homework go to office hours each week with a good question. This does two things. First, it helps you learn more about things you don’t know. Second, especially freshman year, your professors knowing who you are among their hundreds of students will make a huge difference.
  4. Get on campus: Don’t study in your room. Get on campus. While you are on campus, turn off your phone and strictly study. When you are in your room do whatever you want, but make the spot you go in the library or whichever building you study in sacred. Only use it for studying.
  5. Most importantly, get motivated: This is the secret sauce. You can plan on doing all the things above and more, but actually doing it is a whole different problem. Find something that motivates you and get serious about pushing yourself to do the things you planned to do.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Rock climbing, jujitsu, and going out with friends.

What’s one lesson you’re taking away from this challenging pandemic year?

Motivation is much harder when I cannot leave my apartment and my bed is always right there. I learned that I have to eliminate the distractions in my life in order to get anything done when my work environment is my living environment.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be working as a software engineer for Emerson Electric in the Twin Cities.