Tag Archives: graduation

Life Decisions

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 28 March 2017

This semester I have been faced with making huge life decisions. As someone who is pretty indecisive in general, this has basically been a nightmare.

For the past 4 years of my life here at Ohio University, I have had a vision of what my life would look like when I graduated. This semester forced me to evaluate whether that vision still rings true to me. Making the choice between industry and graduate school has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. I am a big believer in gut feelings, but in these past few months it sometimes felt like my gut was refusing to talk to me.

What helped me come to my final decision was the enormous support from everyone around me. I am the kind of person that wants to know absolutely every piece of available information before I am willing to make a final decision. This is not a particularly useful personality trait in situations where there are a lot of unknowns.

The reason I’m writing this blog post is that I think my situation probably resonates with a lot of incoming freshmen who might not know what the right path is for them. I have two things to say which might ease your worries.

First of all, I would like to say that I reached the decision to accept a job offer because of the unwavering support and patience of my academic advisor here at OU, Dr. Doug Goetz. His impact on my experience in the Russ College cannot be understated.

In these past few weeks, he has met with me every time I felt uncertain or wavered in my decision. He has answered emails, asked for input from his colleagues, and generally been the greatest ally I could have asked for at such a critical point in my life. Ohio University and the Russ College have put me into contact with some of the most incredible people in my life: people that were willing to fight for me and who were there for me during every step of my college experience.

That leads me to my second point: coming to Ohio University was the single best decision that I have ever made. It meant leaving my family behind and flying across the country to a place where I didn’t know a single other person. It also meant that I found a second home.

As I am preparing to leave Athens for my new job as a process design engineer at Kiewit Engineering Group Inc. in Kansas City, I am definitely sad to be closing this chapter of my life, but I also know that my experiences at Ohio University have prepared me to take on the challenges that this next chapter may present.

I wish the best of luck to anyone who might be making those big decisions in their life, and I hope that the experiences of myself and the other Ambassadors might be helpful in making that choice!

How OU has Changed Me

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 April 2016

With graduation only days away, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on how the last four years I’ve spent at Ohio University have affected me as a person.

Coming into Ohio University, I was very timid and soft-spoken. I had a difficult time putting myself out there because I generally kept to myself. I remember taking an introduction to ethics course and the final for the class being to present your beliefs on ethics to the class. (I actually had considered dropping the class, that’s how badly I disliked speaking in front of people.)

Back then, presenting in front of a classroom was the end of the world for me. Not only because of my anxiety of public speaking, but also due to my belief that what I had to say didn’t always seem that important.

The following years I spent at Ohio University changed my opinion on personal voice and, also my life, for the better. I went on to join Theta Tau, the professional engineering fraternity on campus. Through this, I gained friendships that I know will last me a lifetime.

I focused heavily on putting myself into situations that were out of my comfort zone, which gave me the opportunity to grow as an individual. I made sure to put everything I had into my studies, which lead me to obtain a Co-Op at L-3 Communications in Cincinnati, Ohio. I took the experience from there and brought it back to school with me, and applied it to classes.

But, the most important aspect of my college career comes from the opportunity of participating in Engineering Ambassadors. I was nominated for the position at the end of my sophomore year and performed the duties during my junior and senior years.

The position requires strong speaking skills, which as I discussed earlier weren’t as developed back then. I remember that during my interview for the position, I expressed that while my speaking skills may not be as impressive as the fellow applicants, my overall passion to better those skills was immeasurable.

The opportunity to speak with prospective students and parents strengthened my interpersonal skills in unimaginable ways and just the ability to lead students into a direction that will ensure success is extraordinary.

My voice was given purpose and pushed me to pursue opportunities that otherwise would have been unobtainable, and for that I can thank Ohio University.

Graduation and What’s Next

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 26 April 2016

Yesterday I took my last final of my undergrad career and today I picked up my cap and gown. It’s starting to set in that my four years at OU is coming to an end and I will soon be starting the next chapter of my life.

I am excited for my family to come down this weekend for graduation. My paternal grandparents, father and brother are all graduates of OU as well and this will be the first we will all be on campus together, and likely the last. I am so thankful for my Bobcat family I have created during my time here, but even more so that I have a family of Bobcats to share my experiences with.

After graduation I will be spending May at home with family, going to a number of weddings and graduation parties and playing soccer with my dog, Jürgen.

Dog

At the first Engineering Ambassador meeting in the fall we had to introduce ourselves and share something from our bucket list. My bucket list item was that I wanted to backpack through Europe and so for the first two and a half weeks of June I will be doing just that. I am travelling with my cousin and her boyfriend and will be visiting Paris, Rome and Barcelona.

When I return I will have one week to get all of my things packed up and ready to move to Wisconsin. I will begin working full time for Epic Systems Corporation in Madison starting July 5th.

I’m excited to start anew, but nervous at the same time. I know no one in the area, I have only visited the area twice (once for my interview and once to go apartment hunting) and my hometown is a solid seven hour drive away. However, I am always up for a challenge and I am looking forward to using my skills to create for good.

Getting Ready to Leave

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 22 April 2016

Today was my last day of class as college student, meaning a week from tomorrow I will be walking across the floor of the Convocation Center as I graduate from Ohio University. This experience is kind of a bittersweet one, one that I’ve never really had before.

Soon I will be starting a new chapter in my life’s book. One not centered around waiting on classes to start or end. It’s both exciting and scary as I will be coming into a whole new batch of variables.

The first few pages of this chapter will be finding an apartment for my fiancée and I while we remodel the farm house. Shortly thereafter, I will be starting my “big-boy job” at Honda.

With all of these huge changes coming in a very short period of time, I’m sure things will be hectic but I know that my experiences here at Ohio University will be some of my most cherished memories and that the Russ College has prepared me for life after college. For the last time, this is Steve Toth signing off. Stay classy, Bobcats.

Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 18 April 2016

With the end of the year approaching, and graduation only about two weeks away, I can’t help but think about how all of this is coming to an end. About five years ago, I was studying day in and day out for college admission tests, thinking about which college I wanted to go to, and writing down pros and cons for a number of different universities.

It would be fair to say I may have shed a few years off my life from the levels of stress I had thinking about all this. It’s not easy to make these large financial decisions that impact the rest of your life, especially at the age of 18.

There was always a little part of me that wanted to come to Ohio University, maybe because I had an older sibling that went here too. The idea of college was intimidating at first, but coming down for Sibs Weekend as a high school senior, spending time with my sister and her “college friends” was a huge encouragement.

OU Sibs Weekend 2011
Sibs Weekend 2011

Despite that, I didn’t want to make a decision that was purely based on one good weekend. But when I added that weekend to the great Aviation program, to the comfort I felt on campus, to the Athens student community, my decision was simple.

From start to finish, I never stopped meeting people. I wasn’t aware until I was on my own how many different types of people there were, the way they thought, and how they perceived life. The people that had the biggest impact on me were the ones who thought differently, and I loved that.

Despite not thinking alike, I find myself to this day with the same group of friends that I made day one in Ewing Hall. We all came from different backgrounds but we shared similar core values: a belief that we’re good people, a want to strive for greatness, and a need to help each other along the way.

It’s almost like having another family. It’s one of those things that’s difficult to describe, possibly because it’s a not tangible, but it’s definitely one of those unique traits that a university like OU holds.

Now that the year is coming to an end, it’s time to grow up and think about the future. Just this past week, I’ve successfully completed my commercial pilot certificate—I’m officially employable! Therefore, starting immediately, I’m starting my Flight Instructor training. This fall, I’ve committed to staying in Athens for a year to be a Flight Instructor for the university.

After the Checkride
After my commercial checkride

Overall, coming to Ohio University was a remarkable experience. I was able to get the degree that I dreamed about as a young boy but I also took away a lot more than what I initially paid for. I was able to become the person I wanted to be: confident, assertive, and an advocate for others in need.

Preparing for Life after Graduation

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 13 April 2016

The final stretch of my last semester. All I have to do is pass my last 4 classes and graduation will be awaiting at the end of April. It didn’t really hit me that I actually have to move out of Athens until I talked to my dad last week about moving my stuff out of my apartment.

I’m still trying to push off the thought and completely ignore the fact that I will have to start packing soon. I remember when I moved in my freshman year and could fit everything into one car load. I don’t know when I acquired all of this extra stuff, but it’s definitely going to take a decent sized SUV and a car to maybe get my stuff back in one trip.

I have been fortunate enough to get hired at PSA Airlines this past month! They flew me down to Charlotte, North Carolina over spring break for an interview and I got hired on the spot!

My first day is the second week of May, so I will be rolling right into a job the week after graduation. I’ll be in training for a few months between Dayton, OH, Charlotte, NC, and Cincinnati, OH then I will be out flying the jets. Not too many people go straight to the airlines after college but this shows that OU has the tools necessary to make it all the way to the dream job!

Moving on to the Next Phase

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, OH 5 April 2016

April 2016 is the month I have been anticipating (and dreading) since I was a freshman; this month, I will graduate from undergrad with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering.

If you would have asked me at the beginning of the school year if I was excited to graduate, I would have told you no and it might have brought a tear to my eye, but I have finally accepted this fate and am actually very eager to see what post-grad life has in store for me.

Upon graduating, I will begin my career as an engineer for General Mills at their Totino’s plant. I spent my last two summers as an intern at this plant and the company was a great fit for me.

My position is part of a rotational program. The first year, I will be a systems engineer where I will become the technical expert of a processing or packaging system. The next six months I will be a team leader where I will lead a group of operators, and the final six months of the program I will implement a capital project as a project engineer.

After completing the program, I will decide which role suits me best and I will continue my career in that position.

As if graduating, moving into my own apartment, and starting a new job weren’t enough changes for me in the next two months, I decided I would join the world of pet parenthood and get a puppy!

Puppy

Poppy is an eight-week old Golden Retriever who will be coming home with me next week! Anyone who knows me knows that I adore dogs, and I can’t wait to have one of my own! The next few months will definitely be crazy, but I am ready to see what’s in store.