I like science and engineering in general because I can find out something that's new to the world and/or use my skills to create solutions to practical problems. It's both something that I think is a valuable contribution to society as well as an source of interesting and challenging problems.
I like materials in particular because of all of the many things that you can do with them. The more that you look into it, the more that you can find materials with astounding properties: great strength, ease of processing, shape memory effects, and superconductivity just to name a few. On top of that, we have a lot of control in determining the properties of a material. With a single type of steel, I could design a manufacturing process for a gear that would give it different properties throughout the part. I can make the outside hard so that it doesn't wear down too quickly but not to the point that it's overly brittle, I can make the teeth a bit harder so that they remain stiff, yet I could still have the center be softer so that it's not completely brittle (or it would break like a vase if it was ever dropped).
It's nice to hear that you are benefiting from your classes. I know that art is one of those things that don't require special training for success so I wasn't sure how useful you might find it. Also, I have no idea as to how well art can be "taught," so I was somewhat unsure of it's usefulness.
It sounds like you've figured out what you have to do to achieve success as well. That's good. I know that a lot of people have issues figuring out how to take their skills and interests and develop that into something that they can make a living off of. How long do you think it will be before you finish your education and start your career?
I had interviews with Caterpillar and Oshkosh Corporation. Most other places either won't be making any decisions for a number of months or want applicants to apply online before they will even consider them. I'm pursuing a degree in Materials Engineering, so all of the positions that I'm looking at involve materials processing, quality control testing, materials selection, failure analysis, research and development of materials, etc.
I'm really hoping to get the position with Oshkosh. They have some really nice equipment and it would be a year-long position. After something like that, I should have no problem getting a job whenever I'm ready and I should be set on money for the foreseeable future with the tens of thousands of dollars that they'd pay me over that period. :)
It sucks that your chosen field has a Catch-22 like that, but it is understandable. I know that I'd probably do the same thing in their situation. You just need to find one of those few places that will let you get your foot in the door so that you can start getting published. As long as you are persistent, you should be able to find something.
It sounds like you should have a fun career ahead of you. I myself have very little illustrating talent and couldn't do anything like that. I've always wondered, how helpful do you find your artistic classes? Do you feel that they have contributed to the development of your skills, that they were just useful practice, that they were useful for expanding your portfolio, or any combination thereof?
I'm only taking 14 credit hours this semester: US Environmental Policy, Intellectual Property Law, Intro to Polymers, Economic Decision Analysis, Practical Atomic Probe Microscopy, and Nanotechnology Enterprise. The IP Law class tends to have very time consuming homework and the nanotechnology enterprise expects me to always have a project to work on outside of class.
I'm also involved with a lot of stuff outside of class. I've got two student groups that I attend regularly and I'm working on starting a third at the moment. I also have two part-time jobs. One is doing research work with one of the professors on campus and the other is being the head coach of the Physics Learning Center. I probably spend 10-15 hours/week between the two. On top of that, we had a career fair this week, which meant that I was busy talking with companies that came, interviewing, applying online to places (apparently many places won't even consider people unless they do this), and going to info. sessions... and getting plenty of free food, pop, and miscellaneous swag. ;) I'm really hoping to finally get an internship/co-op this year since it's great experience, great money, and looks great on a resume.
What's your major? It looks like some sort of art or graphic design major. What are you thinking of doing with your degree?
Hey. Sorry I haven't gotten around to continuing our discussion yet. I've been staying fairly busy and I haven't always remembered to get around to responding when I've had the time. I should have a response posted in a couple of days. I'd like to make sure that I don't kill this thing by not responding, since we both seem to be enjoying ourselves. :)
OK, look for the "Ideal form of government" thread. I've made two seperate posts, one to continue our discussion and the other asking you to explain your ideal form of government in more detail and a couple of preliminary questions that I would have.
I finally got around to finishing my response to your last post. I ran into a few delays that I didn't expect. Anyway, I thought that I'd ask you how you wanted to continue this before posting my response. Would you like to continue in the same thread, should we start a new one, or what? Also, I would be interested in hearing more about your ideal government. Hopefully we can continue this discussion in a bit more orderly fashion.
Thanks for the notification. I had the e-mail notification set so I had already seen that you responded, but I hadn't gotten to making my response yet. I have to go a bit out of my way to get at the internet for the time being so it may be another day or two before I post my response.