College’s undergrads receive support from young alumni

Many of the college’s recent engineering and computer science graduates are eager to foster student success, a fact that was on display during a recent student-alumni dinner. On March 2, five of these alumni joined 40 of the college’s undergraduate students for a friendly, catered dinner at Sandburg Hall on campus, an event that allowed them to share insider tips for academic and on-the-job success.

The event was organized by the residence hall staff of the Engineering Living Learning Community (LLC), along with Sharon Kaempfer, senior academic advisor, and Juli Pickering, director of career services.

Sophomore Josiah Hilden said that the event was just one way that the UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science has helped him since transferring from UW-Waukesha.

“It provided an opportunity early in my career to get advice and avoid some pitfalls,” he said.

Like the other students, Hilden is a member of the Engineering LLC, which houses 73 undergraduates majoring in engineering or computer science who live on four floors at Sandburg Hall. Now in its third year, the LLC Alumni Dinner is one of several special events offered to Engineering LLC students. All the events, Hilden says, have fostered his connections at UWM.

The alumni shared their recollections of their best academic experiences, job tips and more, many noting how grateful they were for the opportunity. “I’d do anything to help because UWM was so helpful to me,” said Jacob Ainsworth (’19 BS Computer Science), who completed three internships at three different companies as a student and fielded 16 job offers before graduation. He now works at Avidity Science.

“Of all the things you’ll need in your career, willingness to learn is the best trait,” he told the students.

Specific advice from the group included: getting involved in undergraduate research; taking the Product Realization class; getting involved in clubs and student activities; studying abroad; doing internships and co-ops; and taking more than the required software engineering classes. “You’ll need them,” said Jenn Kovac (’18 BS Biomedical Engineering), who works at GE Healthcare.

In addition to Ainsworth and Kovac, the college thanks: Erin Dugan (’17 BS Industrial Engineering), who works at Krones, Inc.; Sam Gollan (’18 BS Mechanical Engineering) who works at Rockwell Automation; and Josh Mitchell (’15 MS, ’12 BS Civil Engineering) who works at EMCS.