Hi, my name is Ron Hobson and I’m studying Material Science & Engineering at the University of Michigan. I chose Michigan as my engineering school because of the large networking possibilities, national engineering ranking, and the opportunity to minor in entrepreneurship. These are some of the unique opportunities at Michigan that I didn’t find at the other engineering schools.
One of my favorite experiences so far has involved hanging out with the other AUC students. We’ve volunteered together, held cookouts before it got cold, and attended all types of sporting events like football, basketball, even hockey. Although living in Michigan can have its ups, it also has its downs. One of the most challenging parts of being a DDEP student is getting integrated into the Michigan lifestyle. Finding new friends outside of the AUC students can be a challenge. I found it challenging to relate to Michigan students and always felt more comfortable being with other black students on campus. However, at the end of the day, I realized we have a lot more in common and started to hang out with Michigan students.
Before I started classes, I was awarded the opportunity to participate in an iREU program in Paris, France through the University of Michigan. The program is called “The Optics in the City of Lights,” and is coordinated by Steve Yalisove, an MSE professor at the University of Michigan. This program was great not just because I could go abroad again to research up and coming technology. It also helped me get adjusted to interacting with students outside of the AUC and get acclimated with the MSE department through Dr. Yalisove.
Since then I have worked at two companies, XALT Energy and Alcoa. Both internships gave me experience with working in a corporate environment, something that I was not used to at Morehouse. They also showed me that there are other opportunities for MSE majors besides research. Michigan DDEP has prepared me much more than Morehouse could offer because I am able to network with engineers from around the world and discover more opportunities for a professional career in engineering.