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Jonathan Cano
EGR 111-005

Becoming a World Class Engineer


Jonathan Cano
University of Kentucky

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Jonathan Cano
EGR 111-005

Becoming a World Class Engineer


When I was a young boy I didnt dream of being an engineer. I wanted to be an astronaut
because it seemed very fun and what boy doesnt dream of traveling to space. As I grew up I
quickly realized that the thought of being in space for long periods of time scared me. So when I
was told to shadow my dream job for a high school, my teacher recommended that I should try
engineering because I was pretty good at math and science. I chose a computer engineering
because I always seemed to be spending tons of time on my computer and thought that I might as
well learn how they run. That day of shadowing a computer engineer changed me and made me
want to be a computer engineer, but not just a regular computer engineer. I wanted to be a world
class computer engineer
For a world class engineer their goals would be to graduate with a high GPA and
graduating in a timely manner (about 4 years). For me I want to graduate with at least a 3.8 GPA
and graduate in 4 years or less. The reasons for this is that Ive always had high goals when it
comes to my education and I cant wait until Im actually out in the real world doing something
I like. Ive set my dream job as working for a tech company in Silicon Valley because Ive
always enjoyed my time in California and I know working for one those companies would be a
great opportunity and I think it will make me happy. Right now Im not exactly sure on my GPA,
but I do know that I should at least have a 3.4 for the fall semester. In terms of credit hours for
graduating, I already came in 15 usable credits for my major and by the end of the fall semester I
should have about a total of 31 total hours, which would put me a little ahead of schedule. I
clearly need to work on my GPA in order to meet my goal of a 3.8 and I need to maintain a good
numbers of hours per semester in order to graduate on schedule. For my goal of working for

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Silicon Valley, I need to gain quite a bit of experience and venture out of my comfort zone, in
order to seem appealing to those tech companies.
Success in engineering as a world class engineer is putting forward the best product you
can. I would have to say that I do this about half the time when it comes to my work because I
feel like I dont always have to try to get the grade I want. I need to change this mindset because
I wont always be able to do that. Engineering to me is someone who solves problems through a
variety of skills. I myself wouldnt meet my definition of what an engineer is because I currently
have a limited skill set. I can change this by learning new and different skills, which would
broaden what I can bring to the table.
I would expect that a world class engineering student would have a term by term plan to
guide them to their graduation. I have not planned out anything beyond the next term because I
havent seen it as necessary. Though I do see the benefits of knowing what you want to take in
the next couple of semesters and knowing what the requirements of the classes you want to take
are. It would also be very useful because you wouldnt have to worry about being short by a
couple of hours your senior year. To be a world class engineering student I need to start planning
ahead more when it comes to my education.
For a world class engineering student inevitable adversity is something they can
overcome, no matter what it is. For me, I struggle with inevitable adversity because I always
seek the easy way out. If I can get out of doing something with little to no consequences, Im
probably going to do so. I understand that this is a big issue, especially for an engineer because
as an engineer youre going to face adversity and you have to overcome it or youre out of a job.
To become a world class engineering student I have to learn to overcome adversity because its

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inevitable in the field I want to be in. I should become more focused and be more motivated
when I face adversity.
I would have to say that a world class engineering student would be able to manage their
personal life well. For me, I would have to say I struggle with maintaining interaction with my
family at college. I never seem to have the time to contact them when I want to. I also seem to
struggle with managing my own finances because the first couple of weeks at college I spent
quite a bit of money on useless things. I clearly need to spend some more time with my family
and try to communicate with them more than I am right now. For managing my finance I need to
get a better grasp on money and how to spend it wisely.
A world class engineering student would be confident, be willing to seek help, not
procrastinate and not have avoidance behavior. I on the other hand am almost the complete
opposite of that. Im not always confident in myself in public, which causes me to seem shy and
miss out on opportunities. I also dont like seeking help because I always have the mindset that I
should be able to do whatever I need to without anyones help and I never want to seem like Im
stupid. I almost always procrastinate with assignments even when I knew that doing so well hurt
me in the long run. I do so because I somehow argue in my head that I could spend my time
doing something more interesting. And I do have avoidance behavior because I dont like doing
tasks that takes too long or is too difficult because as I said before I like taking the easy way out.
I clearly need to become more confident in myself or else my ideas wont be heard. I also need to
be willing to seek out help because I know deep down that at some point Im not going to know
what to do and have to be willing to form connections with my instructors. Overcoming my need
to procrastinate is going to be difficult because Ive been doing it for so long and become norm

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for me, which is why I should stop trying to fool myself that I can do whatever I want and still
get my assignments done. To get over my avoidance behavior I need to get a better work ethic
because I know I can do those difficult task if I have a better work ethic.
I would think that a world class engineering student would have a good teaching style
and would know the best learning style for themselves. I dont believe I have a good teaching
style because I was tasked with tutoring in high school and I struggled immensely with teaching
simple algebra because I couldnt understand why the person I was tutoring wasnt getting the
concept. My learning style would be hands on and seeing it visually because I always seem to do
better in classes when the teacher shows an idea visually to their class. I would also struggle in
classes where the teacher just lectured on and on and then you had to read you textbook. I
understand being able to teach someone a concept shows mastery of the concept, which is
something I want to do. To do so I need to be more considerate and willing to take it slowly with
the person Im teaching. My learning style seems to be pretty good, but I need to expand on how
I learn because not all my instructors are going to teach the way I like.
A world class engineering student would understand the concept of metacognition and
would be able to apply it effectively. I understand the concept of metacognition, but Ive never
actually applied it effectively. Ive noticed the faults in my learning process and did feedback on
what I observed, but I never made changes to better myself. I dont make those changes because
my learning process seems to work well enough in my opinion and I dont like the idea of
changing how Ive been learning for the better part of my life. I will try to apply those changes
over time because if I can improve my learning process, it can make college so much easier.

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I would think that a world class engineer would be able to change their behavior to
succeed in their classes. They would be able to devote adequate study time, making effective use
of their professors, and prepare for lectures ahead of tie. I dont believe I study an adequate
amount of time for my classes. I do well in my classes, but I know I could do a lot better if I
devoted more time to studying. I dont use my professors as resources right now because I
havent really seen the need to do so and once again I dont like people thinking I need help to
solve my problems. I certainly dont prepare for lectures ahead of time because I havent seen the
need to do so. None of my classes quiz me on the spot over some reading and Ive always
grasped the concept that the instructors is teaching fairly quickly. Also none of my classes are
exceptionally challenging so I really dont see a need prepare for lectures. I obviously need to
start doing so because in the future my classes are going to become a whole lot more difficult
and Im going need to be prepared in order to understand the topic. I also need to change my
study habits because Im getting by with just study at the last minute, but thats going to have to
seriously change when I get into the higher level classes. And I need to interact with my
professors more because they can help out a lot.
A world class engineering student would be able to manage their time and tasks
effectively. I struggle with doing this. I sometimes forget about doing assignments and end up
having to do them at the last minute, which end with me getting a low grade on assignments I
know I could have gotten As on. I also seem to lose track of time when Im doing things I like to
do. I would start playing a game at 5 and would say I would play until 7 and then I somehow end
up playing until midnight. I also seem to struggle with going to bed at certain times because I
unfortunately have early classes and I can never seem to go to bed at a good time. I need to
schedule out my days better. I need to be able to devote adequate time to various tasks and I need

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to be willing to give up video games and other forms of entertainment. Managing my time is a
difficult task because Ive always had most of my time token up in high school, but now with so
much free time, I dont know how to spend my time very effectively
A world class engineering student would understand the principles of teamwork and
leadership. I would have to say that Im not always an effective team member because I can be
very lazy when it comes to group work and dont always feel the need to try because other
people can pick up the slack. And typically my team members are as intelligent as I am, so I
know I can rely on them. I would say that I am a bad team leader. I can get the group organized
and can keep everyone on tasks, but I struggle with making big decisions. I get nervous about
making bad decisions and hurting my team if Im wrong. I would rather not be wrong and go
with someone elses idea even if I think my idea might be better. I despise being wrong and
being told Im wrong. I need to work this because as an engineer Im going to work in team in
order to solve large problems. I need to be more confident in myself and be more willing to be
wrong. I also need to try to contribute when working in groups because I dont want to be left out
or seen as the one whos just benefiting off everybody else.
I would think that a world class engineer would participate in co-curricular activities to
good benefit. I would have to say that Ive gotten involved with some good co-curricular
activities that help be become a good engineering student. Im involved in the solar car team,
which has easily been one of my best decisions since coming to college. Ive gotten to see older
peers that have gone through a good portion of the engineering program and seen what Ill learn.
I also got to apply what little I know with computer engineering and was able to help with the
programming. I also got to see other fields of engineering, such as mechanical, electrical and

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EGR 111-005

chemical, which was great because I got to see all the other fields and how theyre all involved in
the process of making a solar car. Ive also joined the IEEE hardware team, which so far has
been a very good experience. I got to learn a new programming language and got to see the
physical application of my code on a little robot, which was pretty great. The only thing I would
say that I could do is join more organizations.
A world class engineering student would understand and respect differences in learning
styles and personality types and in ethnicity and gender. For me Ive always tried to understand
and respect differences in people. I never try to judge people based on their ethnicity or gender,
because that does nothing for you. Ive found that all that does is isolate you and make people
angry at you. Also you miss out on so much if you just deny people based on things such as
ethnicity and gender. I do struggle with certain personality types because they may conflict with
my personality. I also struggle with understanding different learning styles because I just simply
assume everybody learns like I do. Which has hurt me when studying in groups and when trying
to teach other people. To become a world class engineering student I need to be more accepting
of other peoples personality and try to understand where theyre coming from. By not doing so
Im only hurting myself. I need to try to expand my learning styles, so I can better understand
other peoples learning style. Which would allow me to study in groups more effectively and be
able to teach more effectively.
A world class engineering student engages in good health and wellness practices, which
means that they can handle stress and stay active. For me, I never had to deal with stress until I
came to college. During midterms I became quite stressed out because the thought of one test
counting for so much of your grade and messing up could hurt you immensely. I became quite

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nervous and struggled with sleeping. During the exams I also doubted myself quite a bit because
I was so scared of being wrong and it screwing up my grade. Thankfully I did very well on my
midterms, but that showed me that I cant handle stress well. Also around the same time I just
stayed in my room, but I didnt like the idea of people seeing me stressed out. Which was pretty
bad for my health. To become a world class engineering student I have to better manage my
stress and be more prepared for important tests. I could probably seek help for handling my
stress.
A world class engineering student would develop a high sense of personal and
professional integrity and ethical behavior. I would say that I have developed a high personal and
professional integrity and ethical behavior. I value doing my own work and not allowing other
people to copy myself. I also dont like the idea of copying off someone because I imagine how I
would feel if someone was essentially stealing my work and did nothing to contribute. I was
even in a situation this year where a friend of mine wanted to see my program for computer
science. I refused him because I would never ask him to do the same. I myself have copied off
people in high school, more because of my laziness than my inability to do the work. But I
havent done so in college, because there are so few assignments and what was assigned took
quite a bit of work. The only way I can think of improving myself is by being more willing to
help people, but no actually letting them copy.
A world class engineering student is effective at getting what they want and need from
the educational system by utilizing campus resources. I would have to say that I havent used my
campus resources as much as I could. Throughout a lot of my classes Ive heard of all these great
resources on campus that you can use and I havent really done much with that info. I know

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about a great deal of resources, but I havent seen a real need to use them. I know if I did it
would be quite helpful.
The only resource Ive really used on campus is my advisors. I would have to say I enjoy
my meetings with my advisor, Diana Freeman, and she was very helpful with scheduling for next
semester and planning ahead what classes Im going to have to take to get my degree. She was
also very helpful in finding a study abroad program that I might do this summer. I would have to
say she has been the most valuable campus resource for me.
I havent used any of the various tutoring resources offered because I never felt that
without it I would fail. What I do want to use is the job placement services on campus. It seems
quite useful and I definitely intend to try to find an internship after my second year. Forming
connections with the people that work there would be great and I might also try to find a job on
campus. I can definitely improve on trying to use my resources more by being more open to
seeking help from others.
I believe a world class engineering student needs to have a broadened perspective on
things. Which for me means going out into the world and seeing all it has to offer. Now right
now I believe I dont have that because Ive stayed most of my life in Kentucky. Thats why to
improve upon this I want to go to Germany and study calculus 4. Its a great opportunity to get
out of my comfort zone and see how engineering is in Germany is done. I believe going there
will vastly broaden my perspective on engineering and on the world. And by doing so will make
me a much better engineer.
I do believe that I have the makings of a world class engineering student. But I clearly
have a couple of hurdles I have to overcome. I need to stop being so lazy and procrastinating like

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crazy because all thats doing is hurting myself. I need to be more open to people and accept
their help when offered because I know I cant do this all by myself. I do believe I have a good
learning style and have set viable goals for myself. I know I can achieve the goals I have set and
I know I can become a world class engineering student.