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Cumulative Reflection

As a senior at Iowa State University, I’ve come to understand that the ECPE department
provides a large variety of different classes and opportunities to students. Students get access
to fully stocked labs that supplement their lectures and allow them to practice the skills they’ve
learned. The ECPE Department provides students with the ability to learn from and work with
highly skilled professors on research projects. Many of these professors are more than willing to
help students and are highly interested in their success. Along with the career fairs held every
semester, the ECPE department requires students take part in a Senior Design Project, which
gives students exposure to industry clients that need a particular problem solved. This gives
students real world experience and allows them to make contacts that can further their careers.

The classes that the ECPE Department provides are highly diverse, encompassing all
aspects of Electrical, Computer, and Software Engineering. Being an electrical engineering
student, I have the ability to pursue any major field in electrical engineering such as VLSI,
Antenna and Microwave Design, Semiconductor Physics, Control Systems, Signal Processing
and Communications, Embedded Systems, and Power Systems. The ability for a student to
learn any of these disciplines at one place is a testament to the quality of education that Iowa
State University provides its students. I believe this variety has directly benefited me as I didn’t
know what I wanted to do upon entering Iowa State, but the large amount of resources and
experience of the professors allowed me to choose the path I was most interested in and pursue
it without having to transfer.

An important requirement for electrical engineering students at ISU is their Senior

Design Project. This project allows students to gain exposure on how engineers actually operate
in contrast to attending lectures and labs. The senior design project prepares students for the
real world by assigning them a client who has a problem to solve. The students are given a
budget, time constraints, and design constraints just like an engineer would have and told to
solve the problem. Senior Design has helped me understand what engineers need to care
about, as well as what new considerations need to be taken into account when working on a
project. This helped bridge the gap between academics and industry as it provides a relatively
risk-free environment to develop engineering skills.

ISU has provided me great amounts of opportunities over my academic career here.
One of the biggest things is the career fair. This allowed me to interact directly with future
employers and it gave me insight on what abilities they wanted students to possess when
graduating from college. This has allowed me to focus my efforts on particular subjects or
abilities to give myself an edge when it comes to finding the job I want.

To summarize, Iowa State University has given me many opportunities over the years by
allowing me access to professors, industry, and educational resources. If I had to do anything
over, it would probably be making more use of career fairs and interacting more with professors.
I believe these would help further my goals quicker while giving me a greater degree of
knowledge about electrical engineering.