First-Year Graduate Student
Starting Fall, 2017
Why graduate school?
I decided to go to graduate school because I cannot imagine a single degree that could encompass everything I want to learn. The world is a large place and a bachelor's degree barely scratches the surface of things I want to know. I want to work in a field that needs innovators and leaders and I think my future success or contributions in that field will only be as strong as the foundation I build of my own knowledge and experience.
Why did you select UNC?
I chose UNC because it offered a program that perfectly fit my existing education goals, and, as both of my parents are alumni, I was familiar with the institution. UNC's reputation of providing a great, affordable education, in a program that can help me achieve my career goals seemed like a combination that was to good to pass up.
Do you have advice for other students about the application and admissions process?
The first thing I noticed when applying to graduate school at UNC was that graduate programs are very different from undergraduate programs. My undergraduate curriculum was designed to present every student with an almost identical knowledge base. With the exception of a few electives, we all took the same courses and learned the same things. My graduate program curriculum, however, seemed to be MUCH more flexible. My advice for other first-time graduate students is to get into contact with an academic advisor in your program as soon as you can. Once I got in touch with mine, he was able to help me evaluate the different educational pathways available within the program and select one that best fit my career goals. Without his input, I don’t think I’d be getting near as much out of my degree.
Environmental Geosciences, P.S.M.
Mechanical Engineering – B.S. – 2017
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
How do you feel about starting graduate school at UNC?
I’m very excited to start this new opportunity at UNC. I thought I would be more nervous about changing universities and entering a field of study I didn’t focus on in my undergraduate work. Fortunately, I have a wonderful advisor who has been in contact with me every step of the way, giving me confidence that I can succeed in this program.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been passionate about saving the world. Pursuing an undergraduate degree in engineering seemed like a great way to pursue that passion. But the more I learned and grew, the more my interest started to shift toward larger, global issues that need attention; like preserving the ground we walk on, the air we breathe and the water we drink. I’m hoping this degree will help me blend my knowledge of physical mechanics with a deeper understanding of the planet we live on. My ultimate goal is to pursue a career in the sustainable engineering field with a specific focus on the integration of renewable energies and sustainable technologies.