Alex Journey Page Header

Senior/Electrical Engineering

Crofton, Maryland

You've completed a lot of research and other projects at UNF. What is it about this school that you thinks gives you this opportunity?  

  

I see UNF as a hybrid between a large and small college. It has a lot of the resources that larger schools have, but smaller class sizes. What does that really mean to me? That means we get so much more experience and learn so much more! Yeah, a big school has a big name, but I personally know that the projects are not as challenging/beneficial. For example - I'm in senior design right now; this is a huge project that requires a full year to finish (and this is still just in the undergrad). Our projects at UNF are so much more impressive and provide a much better learning experience than those at other schools. Some schools are so large that the teachers don't have time to properly look at the same quality projects - therefore they reduce the quality of the projects. 

  

What advice would you give to prospective students about getting involved in research?  

  

Getting involved in research has endless benefits, even if you think you are not yet capable of contributing much. I started doing research my first semester, but because I had limited knowledge of programming and from the core classes, I did more watching. However, being there opened my eyes to what I would be learning. Plus, I became good friends with the professors, and trust me, that will always help in the end! Again, at a larger school, you are most likely not going to be doing any research until graduate school. 

  

What's your favorite aspect of being a student at UNF?  

 

The focus is on the student. UNF does do research, but we are more concerned about helping the students learn, and professors are always available to help. My professors know me personally, they joke with me, and when they want someone on their project, they seek me out. That personal attention has helped me reach my full potential. 

  

What has your "personal journey" become while attending UNF (personal and academic)? How has UNF shaped that?  

  

The past four years have pushed me past what I thought my limits were. My personal journey is just one of growing - I look back at where I was when I started and laugh. I was so dumb. I knew nothing about anything. All I had were the fundamentals: math, science, english, and a good work ethic. Using those tools, I dove into the engineering curriculum, and now I have the mindset of an engineer. It's a story of transformation - I went from someone who felt they could only hope for mediocrity to knowing I can accomplish anything. Thanks to being so close with my professors, my mentor Dr. Jerry Merckel helped me get an internship at Texas Instruments. I tried my best... and I still felt like I was drowning. Luckily, when they throw you in the deep end of the pool, you start learning how to swim fast (as long as you don't give up). What's interesting is the stuff I was working on at my internship is closely related to what I'm doing now for my senior design project (except this time I'm doing the more difficult problems instead of having my tech lead at TI help me). Even though they thought I did a good job, I still wish I could do that internship again with the knowledge I have now - I would have knocked their socks off! But I'm happy that I can look back at what I thought was impossible and now say it would be easy - it means I'm learning. Then this past summer, I was able to get an internship at IBM in New York. I feel I did a good job there too, writing complicated automation codes.  

  

School doesn't teach you everything, but what it taught me is the most important thing - hard work and research will get the job done. So anyone can give me any problem, and given the time, I will have it solved. 

I see UNF as a hybrid between a large and small college. It has a lot of the resources that larger schools have, but smaller class sizes. What does that really mean to me? That means we get so much more experience and learn so much more!