Chris Aring - Olin College

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From working on a business idea with help from professors, student teaching at Newton North High School, and teaming up to create a budgeting app for young adults, this past semester at Olin College of Engineering has pushed me to expand my interests and broaden my knowledge into new fields.

In one of my favorite classes to date, “User Experience Design,” I worked with a team to design and build an app to help young adults establish positive budgeting habits. This class allowed me to design for complex engineering problems with a direct, people-oriented goal. My team had to find a group of individuals for whom we could design a product, track the product’s development, and collect data in real time to determine how well the product of our engineering research was working. The activity was an incredible opportunity–one of many I have received through Olin’s design-based courses.

In addition to various engineering projects, my student teaching experience through a class at Wellesley College has allowed me to work alongside a mentor teacher to observe classes, teach lessons, and engage with students.

During my upcoming, final semester of junior year, I plan on finishing the requirements for my Electrical and Computer Engineering degree, refining my business plan, and continuing to explore new opportunities–ones I could never have imagined myself having if I did not end up going to Olin College of Engineering through the support of my community, friends, family, and the generosity of MVYouth.

Chris Aring - Olin College

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During my most recent semester at Olin, I chose my major, built a piano playing robot, designed my own computer processor, and explored more interests. While I've decided to major in electrical and computer engineering, I plan to take education courses at Wellesley College. Since many of the classes at my school combine ideas from multiple disciplines and count for more than one major, I took two computer science classes this semester. By working in project teams with students and teachers, I had additional opportunities to experience what it means not only to fulfill the objective of a project, but to learn to teach others in my group and the entire class the material I knew. In a sense, the project groups are themselves mini-classrooms where my interest in education has grown. In one class, I worked as part of a team during a three month span to create a piano playing robot. Our grade was not based on how functional the final product was, but rather on our documentation, check-in reports, and final product website. This last semester has been one of growth. I learned how to work on large, lengthy projects with a team, how to communicate and research to set myself up to be the first student from my college to go through Wellesley College’s education program, and finally, how to take the next step. Thanks to the support of MVYouth, I have been able to grow and learn in innovative and curious ways.

Chris Aring - Olin College

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My first semester at Olin College of Engineering has been one of the more life changing experiences in my life. All of my assignments were based on team projects and team building exercises which helped make me a better team player and more aware of how other people work. I think it is important to work on projects with groups and not individually because the real world is not about isolation and solo work; the real world is about working with others, sharing ideas, and making connections. I have already met and worked with students who have worked for various companies like Google, Microsoft, SpaceX, and many more. Many of these students are only sophomores and got their job offers from the career fair here each semester. At the career fair, companies show up and students get to walk around and meet with actual engineers from each company. I met with a few businesses and ended up being asked by the members at the Boston Scientific booth to apply for a Co-Op or internship. I decided to hold off on the offer because I wanted to get my first year under my belt before taking a semester long break. It was a great experience that I don't think I could have gotten anywhere else. Being given the opportunity as a first year student to talk with head engineers from Microsoft, Google and other companies is something I don't think many kids get at other schools and it motivates me to work even harder.