Ailon Haileyesus is a senior majoring in biomedical engineering here at the University of Arkansas. She was recently named a “Senior of Significance” by the University, and is also a student in the University’s prestigious Honors College. Below, she offers 10 tips on how to succeed as an undergraduate engineering student here at the U. of A.:
1. Participate and lead in Engineering World Health (EWH) to take advantage of all of its benefits. You can use your engineering knowledge from class and apply it to hands-on experience—either in the community through STEM outreach activities and/or ABROAD!! Check out the EWH Summer Institute and learn how you can get funding and engineering credit through the U. of A.!
2. Actively pursue research your freshman or sophomore year by approaching professors. More than just learning research skills, you will learn time management, effective communication with grad students and faculty, and presentation skills through lab group meetings and conferences.
3. Do homework with friends whenever you can. By speaking out loud and hearing other perspectives, I have been able to retain more information and pick up on what I may have missed.
4. Be open to communication with all your classmates. You never know if others have the same passions/interests as you do. By speaking with classmates about my career goals, we were able to establish and continue the EWH U. of A. chapter.
5. Many summer research opportunities/internships are available for students…some deadlines are in the fall before the summer that you wish to intern, though, so begin searching and applying for these early!
6. If you are passionate to work on medical device design or if you have an idea for a medical device, don’t wait until senior year to develop it! Share your idea with a professor, gather some students, and begin designing and planning. If you simply search the web, A LOT of financial support is available for undergrads who are pursuing such endeavors. This is something I regret not doing, but I really hope some of you will take advantage of these resources!!
7. Stay physically active by joining a club sport or intramurals! Participating in club sport tennis (my favorite sport) since freshman year has been a great way for me to unwind from learning and stay alert!
8. Join activities outside of engineering! My involvement with international students through International Culture Team (ICT), International Students Organization (ISO), African Students Organization (ASO), and Bridges-Cru has allowed me to meet students from all over the world and all parts of campus. I have learned so much about different countries and the unique values and norms of those cultures.
9. Study Abroad!!!!!!! There is absolutely nothing I regret about my study abroad experience in Madrid the summer after sophomore year, except not being able to stay longer. Now that biomedical engineering classes have more flexibility, I would definitely encourage you all to study abroad—for a semester if possible!
10. Take a hike at Hawksbill Crag, watch the sunrise at Artists Point and the sunset at Mount Sequoyah, rent paddle boards at the HPER and go paddle boarding and cliff jumping at Lincoln Lake! If that’s too much, well…after all, you are in “the Natural State!:)