Jorge Fernandez

Jorge Fernandez

Jorge Fernandez is a mechatronics engineering major from Chicago, IL

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Year: Expected graduation: 2022

Major: Mechatronics engineering

What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I received the following scholarships/grants, which have made it possible for me to continue my education at NIU: Illinois Space Grant Consortium, Engineering and Technology Leadership Tuition Program for Ambassadors, and Northern Academic Scholarship 4Y. 

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
Growing up, I never imagined having a technical career. It wasn't until coming to college that I was able to experience STEM and all it has to offer. 

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I am majoring in mechatronics engineering. I chose this because I wanted to learn different aspects of engineering and be able to work on all aspects of a project.

What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Being able to learn about engineering and all the support systems that come with being a student.

How have you connected with other students virtually to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
For my engineering classes and for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), we switched over to having our workshops and company meetings on Microsoft Teams and Zoom. We have been able to grow our chapter this way.

Are you involved in any student organizations, mentoring programs or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I'm the president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Coming into college, it feels great to find a place where you can feel at home. Finding a support system in college is important, and I'm glad I am able to provide that to incoming students who are away from home for the first time.

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
It's hard to say which professor is my favorite. There have been many professors who have helped me get to where I am today. One specifically would have to be Dr. John Shelton. I am currently taking an independent study course with him. 

Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus would be Founders Memorial Library. As a freshman, I spent most of my days there studying, so I got used to being there.

What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
I would say make sure you look into your college and see if they offer majors you're interested in.

Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
Coming to college, I've learned that if you want to become an engineer, you have to do a lot of studying. I've learned to be more efficient with my time and better manage it. 

What do you do to relax or recharge?
To relax, I like to work out or take power naps.

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