ALPHA, CLASS OF 2008
MAJOR: MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (BACHELORS)
Involvements while at Penn: Theta Tau (founding team), varsity fencing team.
What have you been up to since graduating?
“I worked as a civilian engineer with the Navy for ~6 years as a mechanical engineer focusing on control systems. During that time, I did my master's degree part time at Penn in robotics. My master's helped me transition to a position at SRI International where I've been for the last 4.5 years as a computer scientist doing research in artificial intelligence and deep learning for various applications.”
What was the biggest change, going from college to career?
“The biggest change going from college to a professional career is learning to set your own expectations, both for yourself and of yourself. You'll need to be able to find the balance between getting your work done and living a healthy life. There's also no template for a "standard career". For instance, I was feeling a little burned out about 2 years ago and worked it out with my manager to take off an entire month to teach robotics to high school students. It was a fantastic experience! And I don't think it hurt my career in any way. If you think of something, ask and you might be surprised.”
What are some of your favorite OT events/memories?
“Theta Tau is such a great organization to meet new people. If it wasn't for Theta Tau, I'd probably have lived in the mechatronics lab (more than I did). Building a grill from a 55 gallon drum was one of those "I can't believe we did that" memories that I'll treasure.”
Do you have any advice for us still here at Penn?
“Use your electives to take classes on topics you'd never think you would like. Outside of engineering, that is.”