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Professional alumni panel advises students at ECE Night 2019

For soon-to-be graduates, the wide variety of career paths available for Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) degrees from The Ohio State University can sometimes be overwhelming. 

Fortunately, there are extensive opportunities to talk with Ohio State alumni and ease post-graduation concerns, such as the annual ECE Night 2019. Held on Feb. 6 this year, the event offered students the opportunity to discuss education, internships and careers with Ohio State graduates and faculty who have already been there and done that.

The alumni panel included professionals with diverse backgrounds, ranging from consulting and software engineering, to entrepreneurship.

Students asked questions about how to differentiate themselves from other job applicants, how to make the most out of time as a student, and what drives each professional daily in their careers.

The panelists gave insightful answers and explained how their Ohio State ECE education helped them in a variety of ways. 

“If you’re driven by solving problems, engineering is the best place to be,” panelist and alumnus Barry Whittington said.

Other answers highlighted the importance of approaching challenges in different ways, through company culture, and co-workers. 

Alumna and panelist Sarah Switzer said it is important for graduates to find opportunities. 

“For me, consulting is great because I get to meet new people and try new things. I also appreciate the company culture and flexibility of my job, but to each person it’s different. Find out what’s important to you,” she said.

The panelists welcomed any questions and gave sincere answers to best help the students in attendance. 

Jacob HaehnStudent Jacob Haehn, a pre-ECE student and Ohio State marching band performer, left the event feeling relieved about his next steps as a Buckeye. 

“I enjoyed hearing from former Ohio State grads who had similar experiences, and about all the fields I can work in,” he said. “It was cool to see the importance of the technical and softer skills my ECE degree prepares me with.”

All the panelists agreed receiving their ECE degrees taught them a different mindset and problem-solving abilities, but a degree is only the beginning of opportunities. 

Alumnus and panelist Peter Shisler ended the night with a statement, “Your degree shows that you have an ability to learn and apply problem solving skills. Becoming an engineer changes the way you think about things and approach all kinds of problems in life and work. It’s extremely satisfying and not a lot of majors give you these kinds of problem-solving skills or opportunities.” 

To learn more about the panelists and the annual event, visit: ece.osu.edu/events/2019/02/ece-night-2019

Story by: ECE Student PR Writer, Hannah Romich