Fall 2011 will be a very unique semester in my four years at Pacific. Why is this? I am currently on my engineering co-op this semester. What is that you might ask? A co-op is an opportunity to work for a company to gain a few months of practical experience during the summer and a semester. For engineering students at Pacific (other than bio-engineering), an engineering co-op is a requirement to graduate. This program was one of the selling points for Pacific’s Engineering Program. I think it is a great advantage to have practical work experience before I graduate.
My summer co-op was the Tahoe Baikal Institute Summer Environmental Exchange Program which I described before. My fall co-op is under the Department of the Navy: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). As an Engineering Technician at NAVFAC, I am able to learn about and assist in the many environmental cleanup projects that are ongoing in the San Francisco Bay Area. To me, this is all very exciting!
A Field Day at Concord Naval Weapons Station
I can already tell that this internship/co-op will be highly beneficial in many ways. I have already learned what it is like to work in an office and how to interact with co-workers. In my first few weeks, I have learned a lot by sitting in on meetings and visiting different job sites. These things seem very simple, but actually experiencing them is really eye opening. These benefits are not limited to engineering co-ops. I highly recommend that you pursue employment opportunities on-campus or off-campus to gain practical experience. If you desire, I also recommend full time summer internships.
It may not seem fun to work, but I enjoy it! I was so happy to finish class in May knowing that the rest of 2011 would have no homework and no tests! It is so nice to have free time and to live in a new place. It also helps knowing that I will be returning to campus in January. This is just a test run of the real world. And I will enjoy every moment of it!
I hope that everyone had a fabulous summer vacation and is adjusting well to their Fall schedules! At Pacific, there are plenty of opportunities to make your summer worthwhile. Whether it is getting ahead on classes for summer school, learning Spanish in Guatemala or Italian in Italy, or one of the many other programs Pacific offers- your summer doesn’t have to be boring if you don’t want it to be! Just talk to your faculty advisor, professor, or classmates to find something that fits your interests.
For my summer, I participated in the Tahoe Baikal Institute (TBI) Summer Environmental Exchange Program. A two month program for students interested in environmental issues, science, and culture, I spent my summer with amazing international students in Lake Tahoe, Mongolia, and Russia. I was able to attend meetings, participate in research projects in Tahoe and Russia, and volunteer in local communities. I was able to kayak, hike mountains, go backpacking, and appreciate the beauty of Lake Tahoe and Lake Baikal. (If you have never heard of Lake Baikal, you should Wikipedia it! It is quite an impressive lake!)
What was different about TBI was that we were a group of student from around the world who traveled through three countries together. Six Americans, one Argentinean, one French, and three Russians. It was interesting to go through the process of breaking stereotypes and to become great friends through the program. I remember starting in June and having to do chores with a Russian participant. We could hardly communicate to each other our hobbies. But by the end of the program, the Russian participants would translate Russian to English at our homestays. Their English improved way more than my Russian did! I’m still working on it!
Group Photo at Lake Baikal
If you want to learn more about my summer, check out the TBI summer blog at see2011.wordpress.com. If you want more information about Tahoe Baikal Institute, check out their website at tahoebaikal.org.
До свидания! (Goodbye!)
Whether you’ve applied, been accepted, or are thinking about applying, I just wanted to share one of my first and favorite experiences: the MOVE program. MOVE stands for Mountains Oceans Valleys Experiences and is a great Freshman program which takes place the weekend before class begins in the Fall. After all the moving in and farewell to parents occur, you are now a new college student! Maybe you’ve hung out with your roommate a little bit, explored campus, or decorated your new home. After you move in on Thursday, Friday and Saturday is your MOVE trip. There are many different locations each year- I chose Yosemite National Park.
Never having been to Yosemite, I was very excited to get on our way but also nervous since there was so many new faces! I happened to go on the same program as my roommates and it was very easy to get to know other people because we were all excited to be starting school! Once at Yosemite we were broken down into our groups- I was in the Sequoia Tigers group. It’s funny now looking back because I never would have guessed that these group mates would still be my friends today :). In Yosemite, we ate lots of food, went on a nice hike, did group activities, and got to know each other. We sat around the campfire and enjoyed how beautiful Yosemite is. Because University of the Pacific has a large majority of John Muir’s Special Collections, it was interesting to have “John Muir” come and visit us, to hear him speak. It really was a jam packed Friday and a lot of fun. On the Saturday, we did a little bit of community service- removing invasive blackberry bushes. It was hard work, but a rewarding time.
Pacific makes it so easy to adjust to college living. The MOVE trip is just one way in which you get ready for school to begin. I won’t ruin all the surprises because I want your first weekend to be just as great as mine was!
Have a great Spring!
University of the Pacific
Wow! I can’t believe this is already my fourth semester at Pacific! So much has happened! I have become involved in many different organizations and learned so much. I have made new friends and created memories that will last a lifetime. Through the many months that I have been here at Pacific, I have continued to be a proud Tiger! I really do enjoy every aspect of student life here at Pacific, both the academics and the social.
Why did I choose Pacific? Working in the Office of Admissions, I have been asked this a lot. So let me share with you :). When I was a Senior in high school, I was looking for a University in which I could see myself thriving at. I was deciding where I wanted to live for four years, so I wanted to make the right choice. Visiting different colleges, I always enjoyed seeing the campuses but for me, Pacific was the campus I could see myself at. Pacific won me over due to the small class sizes and personal attention you are able to receive from faculty. I was really excited about all the opportunities on campus and the many ways that Pacific supports you through that process. I knew that by choosing Pacific, I would have a relationship with my professors and that I would not be just another anonymous student.
Phew! It has paid off! My first semester I was a Research Assistant for a professor, did an Independent study my second semester with the same professor, and by the end of my first year, I recieved a great letter of recommendation. I believe that another University, there would be a small likelihood that I would recieve the same relationship with Pacific’s faculty. In my second year, I was selected as 1 of 5 American students (1 of 15 students worldwide) to participate in the Tahoe Baikal Institute Summer Environmental Exchange Program on which I will conduct research at Lake Tahoe and Lake Baikal in SIBERIA. I am so thankful this opportunity and I really believe it was possible due to the support of my faculty advisor and professors.
SHINE! This was the word I chose for my One Word Project. I believe that if you want to be a leader, if you want to be involved, if you want to be an outstanding student, then Pacific is the place for you. I wanted these things, and I am very happy where I am at now.
So why Techno Powercat? Well, I really do have school spirit. I want to share it with you! Check out this youtube video my brother and I made over last Winter break: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZo58CZeHjI.
Wishing you all the best,
University of the Pacific