Michael Hernandez first began with a degree in pre-engineering/pre-med but quickly realized that his passion lied in computing, which drove him to switch to a degree in Computing: Emphasis on Software Systems with a minor in Business. During his undergraduate years, he had worked on several projects, such as a collaboration with Bernardo Martinez on a small graphing system for Bryan Bankhead's senior engineering project, as well as an attempt to create an order alert system for the Gazebo. Throughout his time at Andrews University, he was grateful to have the support of his professors on assignments and projects. In the summer following his junior year, he was accepted as an intern at Adventist Health System (AHS) in Florida and learned all about the healthcare IT operations at AHS. Michael graduated from Andrews in 2015 and is currently doing his Masters in Healthcare Administration at Adventist University of Health Sciences and plan to graduate December of 2017.
Stephen Mayer, an engineering graduate from 2010, is a licensed professional engineer working for M+W Group. For the past five years he has been designing HVAC, hydronic, and plumbing systems for high tech industrial facilities around the world. The fundamentals in engineering he learned at Andrews have assisted him throughout his years and have given him a solid base from which to grow. Most importantly, Andrews University instilled the value of keeping God first in all things. Keeping God first has assisted in the ever changing atmosphere in both the world and at work. Since 2013 Stephen has been married to Kathlyn (Bearce), whom he met at Andrews. Together they reside near Albany, NY.
Steven Oxley majored in Computing: Computer Science and minored in Mathematics. He had an interest in programming and would always spend some of his spare time working on side projects. He tried to be involved in every software-related opportunity as much as possible, often assisting his classmates with their projects and even having a web developer position as a student missionary. In his senior year, Steven secured a part-time programming job with SimpleUpdates. He graduated in 2010 from Andrews and became a software engineer at Groupon. He is now a Director of Engineering at a branded content start-up called Social Native. “The main thing I learned from my time at Andrews is that just getting through classwork is rarely enough. That is just a starting point: there is way too much to learn to stop there. Seeking out opportunities to learn more and practice skills is crucial.”
Sandra Gordon (previously Sandra Prieto) graduated in May 2011 with BS Engineering, with an emphasis in Electrical Engineering. She was one of the first two women to graduate with engineering degrees from Andrews University. As an undergraduate, she received research experience working with Dr. Kwon during the summer following her junior year. It introduced her into Biomedical research, which she eventually pursued. After graduating, Sandra traveled to Korea and taught English and Bible for 10 months to see if she truly enjoyed teaching. When she returned to the States, she applied to graduate school to obtain a PhD to be able to teach at the university level. She is currently a fourth-year graduate student and PhD candidate at the University of Arkansas, Biomedical Engineering Department. Some of her work includes photon imaging, microendoscopy, and more. She is thankful for the research experience she had with Dr. Kwon as well as the one-on-one care and attention she received by her professors.
David Greene graduated from Andrews University in 2010 with B.S. in Engineering with a Mechanical Engineering focus. While in school, he worked for a local construction business and the Physics Department as a lab assistant. He obtained a summer internship at the American Electric Power Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman Michigan, where he has been employed since graduating. He was first hired into Cook's rotational engineer program and then worked in plant engineering until June 2014, when he started his current job as an engineering training instructor. In December 2015, he graduated from Western Michigan University with a Master of Arts in Organizational Learning and Performance. He really enjoys the field of training and development. His passion is to develop training that improves work performance and is student-centered.
Katie Parker-Mejeur majored in Chemistry (ACS Approved), Mathematical Studies, and Engineering (Mechanical Engineering Emphasis) and graduated in 2011 with a total of 214 credits. She then received a Master’s in Chemical Engineering in 2013 from Wayne State University. She did not have extra research or internships other than her studies and her family business, Specialty Steel Treating, Inc. She started working there as a summer receptionist in 2002 and gradually became a full time Process Engineer. Parker-Mejeur found that what she learned at her family shop and at Andrews applied heavily to where she worked.
Fun fact: Engineering runs in her family! Her husband, Andrew Mejeur, whom she married in 2014, is also an engineering graduate from Andrews University. Additionally, Zach Verhelle, who is a currently a freshman(2015-2016) in the engineering program, is her cousin.
Rob Fuentes graduated from with a Bachelor’s in Science of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was involved in SHPE and NSBE during his time at Andrews University, as well as with Baja SAE. He loves to work with cars. “The majority of my life has been involved with cars. Whether it be working on them or racing them; I lean heavily to do track days, autocross events, drag events, even go-carts circuits, and just recently picked up on sport bike related events. I talk, eat, sleep, repeat on the topic of cars.” While in school, he had a lot of car projects, including removing and transferring an engine and transmission from one car to another in a time span of one week. He is currently a Calibration Verification Engineer working with LGE 4 Cylinder at General Motors.
His advice to engineering student: “How bad do you want it? Keep pursuing your dream and don't let anyone tell you, you can’t.”
Martin Gaynor majored in Computer Science and graduated in August of 2013. During his years at Andrews University, he was not involved in any research or internship programs while at Andrews, but got a real start in mobile development through the senior capstone project for the CS program. Gaynor and his classmates attempted to build an iOS application for the AU Arboretum for the grounds department. Although it was unfinished, it played an integral part in fine tuning the direction of his career. He started building a number of iOS and Android applications for a few clients on his own. He is currently a Systems Development Specialist at Xerox Corporation. His role is to lead the development of custom mobile applications for both iOS and Android.
Larry graduated in 2014 with A BSE in Mechanical Engineering. During his junior year at Andrews, he interned at Dane Systems in Stevensville, MI. Then, after a year of studying abroad in Argentina, he interned at Lhoist North America in Alabama. Mendizabal not only focused on maintaining a high GPA, but also made sure to have time to socialize with his peers to build his communication skills. “Being able to communicate well in a social setting is very powerful, especially for large corporations where you have to deal with all kinds of different departments and personalities. It also helps to make connections and meet people, as that will help you move up the corporate ladder more than your brain will.” He spent hours sending applications to over 40 internship positions. Out of the 80+ applications he sent out, only 4 or 5 responded positively. He now works as an Engineering Specialist Trainee at Volkswagen of America, Inc. in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
"In the fall, I will be beginning my graduate studies [at Notre Dame] in Electrical Engineering on my way to a doctoral degree. This will, for the most part, be classwork and trying to find a research adviser for my doctoral work as well as preparing for the qualifying exam. After the first year, I will need to identify my research adviser, pass my quals and then begin working more fully on research. Once I have received my degree, I plan on finding a job in nanofabrication working on the next generation computing hardware."
"Advice I would give to potential students would be to immerse themselves in their major. Find out as soon as possible if what they are studying is what they really want to do. You don't want to have an internship your junior year and realize you hate your future career. Plunge into your class projects; if you don't love them, you may be in the wrong field. Finally, get some real world experience. Shadow someone, get an internship, be a lab TA. Find your passion and stick with it! Also use one of the most powerful resources available in college: your professors. They are dedicated to your success. Talk to them about your future plans and see if they can set you up with an internship or a letter of recommendation."
"My engineering professors, especially Dr. Kwon and Dr. Lovhoiden, were integral in my acceptance into summer programs and graduate school. Finally, make sure you have time for yourself to have fun and exercise every day. It will keep your blood moving towards your brain and the winter blues away."
"I interned twice during my college career. My first internship was for UTC in France. This experience was my first exposure to the industrial work. It helped me build my resume with experience, which led to my second internship with Cummins Inc. in Indiana. During this internship, I was given more responsibilities and as a result of my hard work, I was offered a full-time position after graduation.”
“My position at Cummins is in their Engineer Development Program. The EDP is a rotational program that allows its participant to move throughout the company in three 1-year and one 6-month rotation. Therefore, I should be able to travel and change position over the next 3.5 years.”
Nina advises future engineering students to not wait to look for internships. She said, “The way I got my internship was by going to conventions. Even if you are not looking for an internship, it is crucial that you start going to conventions and seminars as a freshman so you have a feel of what you should be prepared for. Also, get involved with engineering clubs. Employers are impressed by leadership skills displayed through these extra-curricular activities.”
Eric 'Siggy' Scott is a computing and math alumnus who is working on a Ph.D. in computer science at George Mason University. On top of a number of side projects involving artificial intelligence, he is currently collaborating with a team of computational neuroscientists, using his knowledge of evolutionary computation and software engineering to help build realistic neural network models of the hippocampus to run on GPU clusters.
Eric also works one day a week as an intern at MITRE Corporation, where he does research on applications of data mining and speech recognition in support of the federal judiciary in Washington, D.C. A staunch advocate of unit testing and writing all documents in LaTeX, Eric's advice to undergraduates is, "always to be self-motivated learners: come up with an idea, build it, throw it away, and build it better next time."
Jonathan Ford is an engineering and math alumnus who is working for Lockheed Martin as an engineer. He got this position after
two summer internships with the company his junior and senior years. How he obtained the internship was by spending his sophomore year Christmas break submitting resumes to 15+ engineering company websites. By February, he received a call from Lockheed Martin and had an interview. He passed their checks and started working in May once school was out.
Some of the things that Jonathan valued from his internship included making it easier stepping into a full time position. Also, Jonathan mentioned, "there were interviews for the second internship and full time hire, but the inside connections who knew me and liked my work were an immense help.
" He explained what internships are about by saying, "Internships let the intern "try out" the company and the company "try out" the intern. If it is a good match for both it easily becomes a full time job, if not, it's easy enough not to go back. It's also a summer job that helps decide if the field is right for you."
Advice that Jonathan shares with prospective students is, "your resume is key. Have professors, peers, guest speakers critique and give suggestions.
Know the company you are applying to and taylor your resume to the job description when possible. Many companies search the resume for keywords prior to any human reading the resume."
"List items that set you apart from other contenders, if you don't have many, consider trying something new, volunteer, lead out in your church, organize a club etc. Your resume should look appealing and be easy to glance at and get a good idea of what it says. Too much crowded text can turn off someone who has dozens to look at."