What is your advice to incoming freshmen?

Time management; it makes all the difference. Also, make sure to attend Quad Day. It kicks off fall semester and is where student organizations advertise what they do. Illinois has a club for pretty much everything.

Aerospace Engineering, Sophomore
Activities – Air Force ROTC, Illini Paintball Club

Why do you belong at Illinois?

I have a passion for engineering, and Illinois is filled with students with that same passion, which is what makes it great. I’ve found my niche and it’s awesome.

What impresses you most about the College?

The resources available to incoming freshmen. For example, Electrical and Computer Engineering has a store where you can get anything from AA batteries to soldering equipment at special student rates.

What do you enjoy most about the College?

I enjoy the experience and tenure of the professors, as it really makes the difference between a boring lecture, and a captivating lesson.

What has been your favorite engineering course?

Illinois Engineering First-Year Experience (IEFX) 198. You’re given a budget, tools, and free reign to design and build whatever you want. My team created a machine to spread condiments on a bagel. The course stresses the overall planning process. You really learn how to take something from an idea in your head to a functioning machine that you can look at and touch. It was a good way to relieve stress and sample all the new sides of engineering I hadn’t experienced before.

Where is the best place to eat on campus?

Bangkok Thai on Green Street

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at Illinois?

Marched in the homecoming parade with Air Force ROTC.

What do you like about Champaign-Urbana?

The life. The campus is a city and almost everyone you encounter – in stores, working at restaurants, or walking the streets – is a student. That’s cool. The nightlife is crazy and you’ll never be bored.

What are your post-graduate plans?

I’m currently enrolled in the University of Illinois Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, so I’m contracted with the Air Force for a minimum of four years of active-duty service after I graduate. I plan to then transition to one of the big-name aerospace engineering firms, like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, or Northrup Grumman.