May 19

Germany – Midterms

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7

 

 

 

It’s hard to believe that I’m half way through my study abroad term in Europe. It has gone by so fast! This entire trip has already been filled with some amazing life experiences and yet, the best is still to come! This weekend we decided not to travel so we could prepare for our midterms on Monday and Tuesday.

On Friday morning, we hiked to the top of a castle in southern Germany called Hohenneufen. It was a steeper hike than any of us were anticipating, but it was a beautiful view from the top! On Friday night, I met up with three German students that I met at Kettering at Wasen (frühlingsfest) and we rode a bunch of carnival rides which, by the way, are much faster than American rides. I’m positive they ran at speeds faster than any American carnival would ever even consider. It was fabulous! It is always a joy to meet up with friends across an ocean! International friendships typically last a lifetime. You may not talk with them everyday but the people met while traveling are typically people you end up staying in contact with throughout a lifetime.

 

The following day, I got a ride in a private airplane over Germany! My friend’s dad has his own plane and so they treated me to a beautiful flight around southern Germany! The views were stunning, and the experience itself was awesome. I am so thankful I got to participate in such a cool adventure! I find that the more people you meet and the more you keep an open mind to new experiences, the more unique opportunities you will have! For anyone that is considering coming to Germany for a study abroad term, do it. Yes, it’s expensive. But it is worth it. The relationships and life experiences you gain far exceed the burden of having a more expensive school term.

So on Sunday we studied (or attempted to study) all day for our midterms on Monday and Tuesday. We had a midterm in DS1, DS2, and German history. Overall, we were able to study well enough to do a good job on the exams. I certainly recommend not traveling the weekends before midterms or finals. There is plenty to see and experience in Germany, and it gives you the time you need to do well in your courses.

May 19

Time Flies

Jessica Bruce

Jessica Bruce

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering senior Jessica Bruce, who is from Flint, MI and is majoring in Industrial Engineering, will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Jessica’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4

Huh, its 6th week already? Seems like the time flies faster and faster the more terms I have under my belt. Only 5 weeks left of work term and then I get to finally, finally, begin my senior year at Kettering. If all goes as planned I’ll be finished with classes at the end of Summer 2015. It’s crazy to think that I’ll be taking classes as a senior in just 2 months, it seemed just yesterday that I was hauling all of my stuff up the stairs into Thompson Hall and getting ready for orientation.

I even officially started the testing process for my thesis project this week. It’s exciting and I can’t wait to get the chance to write once I’m all done with it at the end of the term. Actually testing parts for my thesis is like a quantifiable beginning to the end of my time as an undergrad. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (the light being graduation that is :D ) and it’s a big motivator.

Now if someone sat me down and asked me to give advice to freshman, something I was asked recently, I would definitely have a few things to say. But just because I give the advice, doesn’t mean it’s the bee’s knees, I’m not an authority on the subject of college life, I just think it’s nice to be able to share. College isn’t as scary as it’s made out to be.

1.  Make friends, with everyone if you can.

Now, okay. I know everyone tells incoming freshman this, but it’s no joke. Having a network of friends to lean on during finals, or when your computer’s hard drive crashes and you’re not a CS or CE and have not the slightest clue how to fix it, is important. Be friends with Greeks, even if you aren’t a Greek yourself. They are some of the most awesome people, and they are in the same boat as you, except they have a built in support base. Plus they have a great system of cribs and electronic books that come in really handy in a pinch. \

But the main lesson here is that if you have more friends, you’ll feel less alone and less of an outcast. Sure have a few super close/ best friends (who might not even go to your school), but college is a busy time and they get busy too. One of my favorite things is introducing myself to a student on campus and talking with them. Best ice-breaker at Kettering: “What’s your major?” which is guaranteed at least 3 or 4 sentences of conversation and more if you follow up with why they chose that major. Hobbies are a good second topic choice.

2.  Don’t procrastinate.

Ever. Just don’t.

It might be tempting, to go out and see a movie, or hang with friends, but those 5 pages of homework or that CAD project that’s due in 4 weeks will still be there. Especially when it’s the night before its due, nothing’s done and now you’re in panic mode. See, procrastination is bad. Most professors give a syllabus that has all the assignments on it. Plan out when you should have larger assignments done by, giving yourself a few days before it’s due to show it to peers and review it. Studying for big tests goes the same way. Plan out when and what to study. Make a review topic sheet, hunt for cribs, talk with classmates, and talk with students who took that class from the professor in the past.

3.  Get to know your professors.

They are the ones teaching you and grading your papers and tests. Don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask questions. They get paid to help the students. Plus some professors can just be plain cool to talk to and some might even share hobbies with you. At some point everyone at Kettering is connected with engineering, and it brings about an interesting community.

4.  Take care of yourself.

Doing your best impression of an infected from Left 4 Dead won’t do you any good, especially if it’s not on purpose. Sleep (recommended at least 7 hours a day), eat good food (don’t live on ramen, cereal and Mountain Dew), exercise (even just going for a walk around campus, or for a swim in the Rec Center helps clear your mind), and relax. The relax one is important. As long as you don’t have anything pressing due, at least once a week take about a 4-hour chunk of time just for yourself (so typically…alone), set an alarm, and do whatever it is you want; read, nap, play video games, draw, shop, play music, watch Netflix, etc. It’s like a reset for your brain. In order to be at the top of you game, you need to be healthy, relaxed and raring to go. Getting obsessed with homework and grades won’t do you any good. Remember that grade is not a direct definition of your self-worth.

5.  Follow your heart and remember life has a funny way of working itself out.

I have questioned my logic behind attending Kettering multiple times. And that’s normal. It’s part of human nature to question oneself. But you also have to have faith in your ability to rise above any challenges you face. What happens after graduation is anybody’s guess. Be open to new things and change and life might surprise you. Having a set in stone plan after graduation isn’t always the best idea. Have goals instead. Having a game plan, with every step laid out is just begging for disappointment. Goals however give you a great sense of achievement and accomplishment. Instead of having your heart set on one certain job or thing, be open to a job or item that might be a little different, but you’ll enjoy more and be happier in the long run.

May 14

Germany – Fourth Weekend

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5 | Post 6

 

This weekend we ventured to Belgium and Holland (also known as the Netherlands)! It was certainly an experience! We left Friday morning and arrived in Brussels, Belgium Friday afternoon. We found our way to our hostel, dropped our bags off, then explored the city! (and ate chocolate, of course). The city was interesting. We were able to spend the day exploring and discovering what makes Brussels great. Perhaps I’m ignorant, but it struck me as a bit odd that virtually all tourist paraphernalia revolved entirely around the Manneken Pis (a statute of a little boy peeing). It was a beautiful city, nonetheless. On a different, and more delightful note, I enjoyed the most delicious (and messy) waffle I have ever eaten in my entire life. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I should never order a waffle to go if I plan on looking graceful and poised while eating it.  After a day of wandering, we went back to the hostel and prepared for the next day’s adventure to Amsterdam.

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect in Amsterdam to be honest, but I can tell you that what we stumbled upon was different than our entire group anticipated. We had absolutely no idea that the day we planned to visit was also a national holiday/festival/party in the Netherlands called King’s Day (it used to be called Queen’s Day but was recently changed to King’s Day). The moment we realized we stumbled across something out of the ordinary was the moment we got sardined onto a train surround by a mass of people all incorporating serious amounts of orange into their appearance. We were shocked. It was sincerely overwhelming (and hilarious) and within ten minutes on the streets you better believe I was wearing an orange crown headband and complimented the headband with an obnoxiously loud (and I mean seriously obnoxious) horn around my neck. The city was mad! Everyone and their mother was parading through the streets, meanwhile, the casual American tourists (us) were so flustered by the whole event, we didn’t know quite what to do with the whole thing. We were expecting a nice quiet day in Amsterdam, little did we know we would come across a massive national party! After a few hours, we decided to go to a smaller town in Holland, hoping to find a more peaceful location. We had no such luck. This party was unlike anything we had ever experienced before! It was grand, crazy, and loud all throughout Holland! Young and old were wearing full suits of orange, music was blasting, and so many people were holding what looked like garage sales all over the streets. Certainly not the day we were expecting!

 

The next day, we intended to go see a field of tulips, but our train was late causing us to miss the train (by seconds!!) that would get us to the tulip fields before we went home, so we decided to go back to Amsterdam in hopes that maybe today we might actually be able to see the city. It was pouring rain, but we made it work! the city was surprisingly clean from Saturday’s festivities and the city was much quieter than it had been the previous day! I think my favorite part of the day was stumbling across a cheese museum that had cheese tasting! We also got to dress up in cheese costumes, which, let’s be honest, was probably the highlight of the entire day. ;)

Apr 30

Germany – Third Week

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5

On Thursday night, I met up with Becca (a Kettering Alumni) and her husband (they met during his study abroad term at Kettering, she is American and he is German) for a traditional Passover Meal. It was amazing. All the food was so incredibly fresh (I’m talking straight from the fields/market), and she had done research to find all the food that was traditionally served at a Passover dinner.

As always, our travel plans got changed and rearranged Thursday night. We decided we would go to Strasbourg, France for the day on Friday. This was an interesting experience primarily because no one in our group speaks any French. So it was a bit more of an adventure language-wise, and even though the city is very close to the border of Germany, the culture is still quite different. For example, when you order a “Big Coffee”, you get about as much liquid as you would in a tablespoon. The coffee is stronger, but you certainly get less than one would expect in America. Strasbourg has the tallest cathedral, so naturally we climbed all 330 steps to the top. It was a marvelous, and breathtaking (literally) view! We also got to sit in on a service (held in French) because it was Good Friday. The Choir and the atmosphere was magical.

The next day, we spent in Berlin. I was specifically excited for this city because there is so much history embedded into it’s grounds. It was a very artsy city filled with graffiti and street art. Much of it is still empty. The Berlin Wall was surprising because it wasn’t as large or as advertised as I was expecting it to be. Nonetheless, It was still a neat experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Easter, we had a great brunch (seriously, so delicious) then I split from the group and took a train to meet up with one of my Turkish-German friends, Alper, to celebrate his birthday with him and his friends. It was a 6 hour train ride, but since train-rides (and any mode of public transportation) put me straight to sleep, I wasn’t bothered. It was great to celebrate with my friend as well. I met him when he studied abroad at Kettering during my first term, and we have kept it touch over the years.

The next day, I slept in, then decided to go to Munich for the evening to meet my cousin and her fiancé for dinner. I ran into Kyle Taylor at the bus stop, and convinced him to come with me so he ran home to get his eurail pass before the bus came 10 minutes later. After we got there, we were enjoying dinner, and I may or may not have made the mistake of looking only at departure times of trains instead of also looking at arrival times, so after it was too late I realized that the only train we would be able to catch would put us in Plochingen, Germany for 3 hours from1am to 4am…. So we explored Munich at night, then ended up in Plochingen. It was a pretty horrible mistake on my end, but we were able to finish some homework late night in a McDonalds, and we figured out Plochingen was only 10 mins from Esslingen, so we just took a taxi. It was humorous in the moment, and looking back, it’s still humorous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following evening (Tuesday evening) I got to go to Frühlingsfest (it’s the Spring Beer Festival in Stuttgart, like Oktoberfest, but in the spring). I have now listed this Festival amongst the top 20 experiences of my life. The atmosphere was so incredible! I got to wear my dirndl and I met up with one of the Finnish students after class and went with him and Kyle. As soon as we got there we ate bratwurst, then immediately rode one of the fast and spinning carnival rides. Afterwards, we went to one of the beer tents and joined the other international students with table standing, singing, and “Prost-ing” (the german word for cheers). It was an absolutely amazing experience.

Apr 25

From school to work, the fun continues

Chaz Mancino

Chaz Mancino

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering freshman Charles ‘Chaz’ Mancino. Chaz, who is from Fredonia, NY, and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering, will occasionally post his thoughts about his Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering.If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Chaz’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 |Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7 | Post 8 | Post 9 | Post 10 | Post 11 | Post 12 | Post 13 Post 14 Post 15 | Post 16 Post 17 | Post 18 | Post 19 | Post 20 | Post 21

What do Porsche and Tennessee have in common? Being a part of the life of a Kettering University student.

As a student of Kettering University, one might not know what will come next. For example, during school term, different alumni come to talk about how their Kettering experiences impacted their life and career. One of these speakers, Trent Warnke, currently works at Porsche, one of the most prestigious automakers in the world. While Warnke came to talk at the tail end of my previous school term, the first day of work allowed the term to start off with a bang. After asking me what I was planning to do from Tuesday morning to Friday evening of that week, one of my supervisors offered me a trip to one of Tenneco’s plant in Tennessee. Porsche and a trip to Tennessee in one month? Only in the life of a Kettering University student.

On March 25, the Project Manager for E Mobility for Porsche Trent Warnke, a Kettering graduate from 2005, came to talk to the Kettering community about how his Kettering career impacted his professional career thus far. After receiving a Master’s Degree in mechanical engineering, Warnke worked for General Motors and helped launch the Chevrolet Volt. He then took a job at Porsche in Atlanta, Georgia, to help launch models such as the Panamera E-Hybrid. Currently trying to receive his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Michigan and working for Porsche in Atlanta, Warnke has to occasionally fly back and forth to complete his degree. While Warnke said that whether the time and money commitment for receiving his MBA will be worth it is yet to be seen, there is a good chance that his risk will pay off since it is clearly evident that his other degrees have helped elevate him to his current position. As an addition to his talk, Warnke gave out a 2013 Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition to a lucky member of the audience if he or she could answer two questions: what are the names of the vehicles in Porsche’s current lineup and how much horsepower does the new 918 Spyder produce. Out of everyone in the audience, yours truly managed to take home the 911. Unfortunately, however, the 911 came in a Porsche bag…and was not the real thing. Still, bringing home a miniature 911 is better than bringing home no 911.

To add to the excitement of winning a Porsche, completing another school term, and starting off a new work term, this time in the AME (advanced manufacturing engineering) department at Tenneco, came an unexpected surprise. Instead of sitting at a desk for my first week back to work, I was asked to come down to our Smithville, Tennessee, plant for a design review for an exhaust system of a new vehicle. Excitement rushed through me as this was the first time that I have been asked to travel with Tenneco and the first time that I have been able to go to one of our plants. In addition, that plant is in a state that usually sees high temperatures. Not to mention that Tenneco paid for the whole trip, from the gas it took to get down there and back to the hotel rooms to the meals. Oh, and each employee (including the co-op) had his or her own hotel room. Just further proof that a company like Tenneco treats its employees, even the co-ops, well.

Of course, the trip to Tenneco’s Smithville plant was not all fun and games. That Wednesday, members of my group and I walked through the plant to look at the machines that are to produce the exhaust parts for the new vehicle. That was when I realized how much engineering truly goes into producing an exhaust system. What may seem like a simple part of a vehicle is actually surrounded by cutting-edge technology, from the design to the manufacturing of it. The design review was held on Thursday of that week.

Porsche and Tennessee in one month. Two amazing experiences held in two different terms within thirty days of each other. Only in the life of a Kettering University student. What my next amazing experience due to Kettering University is going to be is beyond me, but I know that it will be full of excitement. I would not have it any other way.

Older posts «