Through Westminster’s Dual-Degree Engineering program, Austin Fiegel ’14 (pictured above) is now studying engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Here is his Westminster story …
Why did you come to Westminster?
Westminster appealed to me right away because of the subtle feeling I got when I first stepped on campus. I was looking for a prestigious liberal arts school that had equally impressive engineering opportunities. Westminster certainly offered me that and much more.
What did you intend to major in and what was your major at graduation?
I was undecided when I came to Westminster, and due to its excellent liberal arts curriculum, I was able to eventually select a B.A. in Spanish with minors in Math and Business Administration at Westminster and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. The Dual-Degree Engineering Program through Westminster and Washington University allows me to receive two completely different degrees in two completely different areas of study. I get to blend two of my favorite things into one with this program.
What internship experience have you had?
My internship this past summer was a great experience that allowed me a firsthand look at teamwork-based engineering design and problem solving. I was part of the Engineering Development Team at Advanced Technology Services and performed a wide variety of tasks. I started out performing market research on hydraulic and pneumatic pumps and ended the summer repairing LCD and touch screen interfaces for manufacturing machine control equipment. I was kept on my toes at all times and enjoyed seeing how electrical and mechanical engineering interact in a production environment.
How did Westminster prepare you for your current studies at Washington University in St. Louis?
Mechanical Engineering at Washington University is a rigorous major, even by their standards. However, it is very rewarding to see how what I’m learning directly applies to my future career goals. Westminster gave me a great foundation to be successful in a tough program such as this one. I learned excellent time management and study skills at Westminster which I have been applying daily here in St. Louis. Westminster made me a capable individual over the 4 years I spent there, and although there are challenges ahead of me, I know I can accomplish more due to my solid education experience at Westminster. Dual-degree students from Westminster have performed well above average at Washington University over the past few years and this is a trend I plan to continue.
What are your plans after grad school?
I plan to enter the industry after completing my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering next year. I am looking forward to putting my interpersonal communication and writing skills learned at Westminster together with my technical knowledge gained at Washington University. Joining a company that will allow me to put my liberal arts and engineering skills to work side by side is one of my goals for next year.
Any advice for other students who want to pursue engineering?
If you want to pursue engineering but do not want to sacrifice the communication and writing skills needed to be truly successful in the industry today, you should consider Westminster’s dual-degree program. This program gives you the best of both worlds. You will receive two world-class education experiences both centered in Missouri. This program will make you a more confident engineer, as well as a more capable leader later in your career.
For more information on Westminster’s Dual-Degree Engineering program, visit our webpage.