Tag Archives: ou student resources

College with a Chronic Illness

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 12 November 2016

I’d like to take the opportunity to use this blog post to apologize to all the professors whose classes I’ve fallen asleep in. I can promise you that it’s never been because you’re bad teachers, or that I don’t appreciate the topic, or that I’m recovering from a wild night out. It’s not for lack of respect, nor lack of effort. It’s not something I can control. In fact, it takes every ounce of strength that I have in me to stay as conscious as I do in an hour long class. I have fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue is something that comes with it.

I wish I could give a definition of fibromyalgia to add some scientific backing to this post, but unfortunately, doctors have no idea what causes it. The current theory is that it has something to do with how the brain interprets pain signals, which explains the chronic soreness, muscle fatigue, and joint pain; but it doesn’t explain the anxiety, mental fatigue (sometimes called “fibro fog”—seriously the worst part about the illness, but more on that later), or digestive distress. Most of these symptoms don’t hurt my academic performance, luckily, but they sure as sugar don’t help it.

“Fibro fog” is the hardest symptom for me to deal with. It makes me think slow, fall asleep at strange times, and do weird things. For example, recently I tried to unlock my apartment with my car key fob. Silly mistake, I know, and most people would just laugh and get the right key out without much thought. Unfortunately for me, it was a “foggy” day, so I stood outside my apartment for five whole minutes trying to figure out why my door was broken and not unlocking. Funny to think about now, but very distressing in the moment. It causes me to work on homework much more slowly, and I’m constantly worried that I’ll have the bad luck of having a “fog” day the same day as a major exam. It hasn’t happened yet—knock on wood—but I’ve still got many an exam ahead of me.

College is hard. College with a chronic illness can be even harder, but it’s something that is entirely doable. I’ve heard that many illnesses are eligible for assistance from the Office of Accessibility Services on campus, but I’ve just recently come to terms with having fibromyalgia and have yet to look into what can be done for this invisible ailment that affects me, and other students on campus who are also suffering in silence. It helps to have a good sense of humor about it. My favorite thing to tell people about my experiences is that now I have an amazing talent: I can fall asleep almost anywhere, any time, in any position. I’m getting close to being able to sleep with my eyes open! In all reality, sometimes you just have to learn to play the game of life with the cards you’ve been dealt. My deck just happens to have a different card.

Help from the CLDC

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 11 December 2015

Finals week is complete and now I have seven semesters down, one more to go! As a lot of Bobcats go home this winter break to rest their brains from finals week, I will be spending some more time here in Athens.

A few people asked why am I not going home right away and the thing is I enjoy it here and I also have a lot to do this break. There is one semester left then I will be unleashed to the real world. I want to make sure I am thoroughly prepared before I start interviewing for jobs. I have some studying to do and some interview preparation also. Athens being nice and quiet is perfect.

One very helpful place that helped me tremendously is the Career and Leadership Development Center. They are located in Baker Center and they do a number of things such as mock interviews, reviewing resumes, and holding leadership programs.

I used a couple of their services last semester: the mock interview and resume review. I received some great pointers on my resume. I made some changes and feel a lot more comfortable since it was reviewed by someone that has so much experience with resumes.

My mock interview was a great experience. It was good practice and a confidence booster also. The interviewer makes the experience feel legitimate and they give you genuine feedback to help you succeed. I told the person that interviewed me that they may see me again because I may be doing another mock interview spring semester!

Job Hunting Season

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 27 September 2015

As my senior year goes on, the threat of real life comes closer. This past week, Ohio University hosted four days of career fairs, two of which were open to the whole university and two specifically for the Russ College of Engineering.

All four of these fairs were PACKED. Knowing that I need to find a full time job following graduation it felt really good knowing that Ohio University is there to help me not only to earn the needed education to succeed in industry but also provide the needed resources to find the job of my dreams.

Not only does Ohio University put on career fairs to help students find jobs but they also support an entire office with this sole purpose, the
Career and Leadership Development Center
(CLDC). This office helps students develop effective resumes, learn to interview effectively and learn to network. Additionally, the CLDC offers career coaching services and several workshops every semester to aid in the job search process.

One of the best services the Career and Leadership Development Center offers is “Bobcat Careerlink”. This is an online resource where students can find and apply for jobs and internships by companies searching specifically for Ohio University students and graduates.

With all of these resources available to us, it really feels great to be an Ohio University student where we are not just numbers and our faculty and staff truly care about our career success.

Athens Startup Weekend

Eric May

Eric May,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 16 March 2015

This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in Athens Startup Weekend at the Ohio University Innovation Center. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where students and local community members get together to come up with ideas, create marketable products, and validate their business model. During the weekend you receive feedback from coaches and mentors who have started businesses to help you as well. Oh, and it was free for us Russ College students. 🙂

The team I was on consisted of 3 students from the Russ College of Engineering and Technology as well as another Ohio University student from outside the College. We came up with an idea for a job searching site that would focus on a particular market segment that we believe other job searching sites are missing or don’t do well. We spent the entire weekend validating our business model, identifying our revenue streams, analyzing our competitors, and pitching our ideas.

Startup Weekend

At Ohio University, and the Russ College, we look to do more than just be engineers and I think that is one of our key competitive advantages. Engineering students come to the Russ College to learn how to be engineers, of course, but we also help students combine their engineering skills with their other passions so that they can hopefully Create for Good in new and innovative ways. It’s hard to find that anywhere else.

Also… I’m really looking forward to the warm weather.

Russ College Career Fair

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 21 February 2015

Being a part of the Russ College of Engineering has more benefits than one may think! It really feels great to be a part of a college where its students are so desired. One example of this is the Russ College Career Fair. This career fair is held once a semester exclusively for Russ College students and employers who desire to hire them. It seems that every semester the career fair grows substantially.

In the past, the fair has only been for one day but as the market for engineers grows and grows, the fair was extended to two days with more than 40 employers attending. Some of the larger employers present were: Kenworth, Dana-Spicer, General Mills, Honda, Kokosing, The Ohio Department of Transportation, US Navy Nuclear Propulsion and The Air Force Training Center. In addition, there was at least one company looking for every major in the College, ranging from electrical engineers to chemical engineers!

But wait there’s more! Some companies stuck around to conduct interviews and offer jobs, making the job hunt so-o-o much easier! With a job outlook like this, there is no question in my mind that I chose the right major, at the right university.