Information provided by Alissa Bleem. Summarized by Katie Chamberlin.
What is Shadow an Engineer day?
The College of Engineering puts this event on once a year (although they should probably invest in it more often) to inform high school students about the engineering programs MSU has to offer. Touring high school students get to witness engineering student in their natural environment, attend engineering classes and tours the facilities.
Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society on campus and the Society of Women Engineers help organize the event and provide volunteer tour guides. Students from all over Montana, and sometimes from beyond, trek to Bozeman to check out what the COE has to offer them.
Volunteers from all the engineering concentrations are available so high school students can shadow a student in their intended concentration if they wish. Or, they can be randomly assigned and get to see a concentration that they wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to. The laboratory tours are often the highlight of the day, especially for students who have an interest in scientific research, either as an undergraduate or as a graduate student. Labs opened to tours this year included the bio-chemical lab, the high temperature corrosion lab, and the snow science lab.
The most useful or perhaps the most unique aspect of Shadow an Engineer is the student-to-student interaction. This event is not about getting talked at my professors or administrative staff or admissions officers. You get a day to day look and the program you are considering and get a student all to yourself for the duration of the school day. They will be happy to sit with you and answer all your questions. They love engineering too. Talk mass transfer, statics and dynamics, circuits, fluids, materials, or senior design. Get psyched.
Alissa’s advice: If you are going to be an engineer, congratulations. Your journey will be long and your time will be eaten by school. But you will love it. And if you don’t love it, at least it will grow on you. Remember: there are lots of engineering stereotypes. Mix it up a little and add something new to the list.
Bio of an engineer:
Behold Alissa Bleem. A native of Fort Collins, CO, AB is a second year student in the College of Engineering. She is a Chemical Engineering major, and works in the Center for Biofilm Engineering on campus as an undergraduate research assistant. While she does not have her own desk yet, she aspires to someday have her lab cubby back. Alissa is a 5’4” curly-headed Italian with green eyes who enjoys candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach. Her hobbies include mind-numbing mathematics, drinking coffee and trail running until she pukes. When not in class or the lab, Alissa can be found hunched over textbooks with her fellow engineering cohorts in the Strand Union Building, furiously scribbling down equations and cleaning drool spots off her homework. While the proud owner of a humidifier, Alissa likes nothing more than to discuss de-humidifying air into the wee hours of the night.