It sure has been a long ride from my University of Hartford days, spanning the years from 2004-2008. I went through the four years in West Hartford with great people, inside and outside of the classroom (some I saw in both cases). I majored in Mechanical Engineering Technology at the Ward College of Technology (and later the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture “CETA” after Dana Hall was renovated), simply put I was in the “MET” Program. “MET’s” or “techies” as some professors called us stayed together, aiding in each other’s trouble spots ensuring we all came out as well-rounded Mechanical Engineering Technologists upon our graduation. As May 18, 2008 approached, every graduating MET landed a job offer, and set out on a diverse array of careers. I started at a gas turbine services company in Northern Connecticut that was great off the bat but it was not meant to be and I returned home to my beloved New Jersey a year later. The summer of 2009 didn’t end up being the best, pondering different options to get me working again. I knew my first and second passions in my life are railroading and aviation, I wanted to lean in that direction but I didn’t know how I could get in. I stumbled on the idea of going for a master’s degree and began looking at programs that could fit my personal and professional desires. After researching school after school, I ended up finding a great one in my own backyard. The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) had a Transportation Engineering Program at their Newark College of Engineering that was the perfect fit for me. Hence, I applied, got in, and hit the ground running in the spring of 2010.
I entered the two year transportation engineering program offered at NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering. I was very lucky to have some top notch professors during my Hartford days who laid down the law but also knew how to keep you engaged and motivated throughout your studies. My mechanical courses taught by Ivana Milanovic and Lee Townsend provided me with the tools to get through my graduate studies, especially in courses such as Introduction to Public Transportation Operations, Urban Systems Engineering, and Multi-Modal Freight Transportation where crunching the right numbers was absolutely crucial. Natalie Segal’s technical writing courses lent me expertise in my Transportation Economics, Project Control and Land Use Planning classes where numerous papers/presentations had to be written. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for these professors and the others who taught me at Hartford. They truly stand out from many others who teach, and they teach because the success of their students drives them to success in their careers.
Upon my graduation from NJIT this past May, I was accepted for an internship at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF), one of my dream companies to work for. I am currently working at their headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas in their safety operations department on a precursor project aimed to proactively keep railroad employees safer on the job. It involves data mining through a plethora of data on numerous databases and portals. It is my duty to find trends in the data that will lead BNSF’s proactive approach to continue its lead as one of the safest transportation and logistics companies in the world today. Working here is a dream-come true, not possible if I didn’t have professors like Milanovic, Segal or Townsend. They truly stand out from many others who teach, and they teach because the success of their students drives them to success in their careers.