Anna Webster is a mechanical engineering major from Brunswick, Maine
Hometown: Brunswick, Maine
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Transfer from: Wheaton College
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
I probably wanted to be a veterinarian when I was little. When I got to high school, I realized that I really enjoyed math and physics, so the natural combination of the two subjects was engineering.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
Mechanical engineering. It seemed to most align with my interest in incorporating hands-on work into my degree, as well as provide a variety of career options.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I've had a really good experience with the professors at NIU. Every professor I have had a class with has been enthusiastic about teaching and always willing to help if I have any questions. A few professors have also reached out to me about various internship or career opportunities, which has been a great resource for me.
How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
I try to engage while in class, as well as reach out to classmates with questions about the homework. Group projects (of which engineering has many) also help me to meet new people.
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 just started working as an undergraduate research assistant for the superconducting R&D department at Fermilab. I'm really excited to see how the concepts I've learned in class can be applied in a lab setting, especially as I learn how to do the various testing procedures myself.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Dr. Nick Pohlman. I had him for MEE 390: Experimental Methods and MEE 383: Engineering Analysis. I learned a lot from his style of teaching. He teaches the basics during lecture, with examples and answering lots of questions, then the homework and exams stretch you to apply the concepts in class to more complex problems.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
I love taking a walk around the lagoon between classes. It gives me a break from the Engineering Building and gives me time to relax and think.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
Try to tour the college you're applying to and set up meetings with professors! Talking with the professors can give you a feel for their teaching style and investment in students, as well as get you excited about learning from them.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I've been learning to make myself a priority over homework or assignments. There are still nights when I need to stay up late for a big assignment, but for the most part, if I'm really tired or feeling sick, I will do as much of an assignment as I can before turning it in unfinished.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I love taking walks at forest preserves, tossing a frisbee or playing disc golf with my husband, playing pick-up ultimate frisbee and ice skating. When there's time to travel, I love road trips, especially to places where I can camp and hike. Daily relaxing activities for me include cooking, baking, playing with my cat and sewing.
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