My First Athens Summer

Jelena Mrvos

Jelena Mrvos,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2018

Grad school has always been on my radar. Before I even got to college freshman year, I knew I wanted to get my Master’s, and maybe even my PhD someday. But the plan has always been to work for a while before going back for another degree.

For the first two years of school, I was right on track! I was on par with the ME curriculum flowchart to graduate in four years. I had an internship the summer before my Junior year with a company in Pittsburgh, and I was ready to come back to OU for two semesters and then intern somewhere else again. But my junior year really made me question the path I had set for myself!

Starting in spring semester of my sophomore year, I have been working under Dr. Cyders as a research assistant. That spring semester, things were pretty slow. But in the fall of my junior year, they picked up drastically! Throughout my third year, I got more and more involved in research.

Everyone I worked with was a graduate student, and they all went straight through after undergrad here at OU. It made me rethink my perspective! Why did I have my heart set on going into industry right after graduation? Why haven’t I thought about OU as an option for grad school? These are just a couple of the questions I started to think about. I wanted to get a taste of what grad school would be like. So, I decided to spend the summer in Athens and work full time as a research assistant.

After spending four extra months here, and diving head first into research, I could not be more content with my decision to forego another internship. I learned so much about myself, my academic interests, grad school, and much more this summer. I still am not entirely sure where I will be this time next year, whether it be grad school or industry. But I’m okay with that. No matter where I’ll be, I’m excited for what’s to come.

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