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Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, George Fox University
Choosing a Major
As his high school graduation drew near, Mike Foster did not have a clue what he wanted to do in college. Noting that Mike enjoyed science and math, a trusted physics teacher recommended that he give engineering a try. Mike followed his teacher's advice, and in engineering he discovered his vocational calling.
The Messiah Experience
Mike not only embraced the academic component of his major but also found ways to incorporate engineering into his non-scholastic pursuits. By spring of his first year, Mike hat gotten involved with Dokimoi Ergatai, a campus service organization that specializes in providing technological advancement for developing countries. Many engineering majors flock to DE because it enables them to apply their skills to service by building solar panels, designing wells, and aiding in other applied technology initiatives. Mike eventually led two service trips and became a director in DE. He didn't spend all of his free time wrapped up in engineering-related tasks, though. He played tuba in symphonic winds for two years, led a life group, and played intramural volleyball.
Mike also made use of Career Center services for real-world vocational experience. In addition to attending an engineering job fair where he was able to meet employers and get a feel for the opportunities in his field, Mike took the time to do a practice interview. "It was excellent," he asserts, in preparing him for professional interviews. Mike also sought resume assistance from the Career Center on multiple occasions.
"You get life experience," Mike says of college, "but at the same time, you get hands-on education." Mike went on a service trip to Africa and on another service trip through DE, and he believes that these experiences not only provided engineering training but also taught him to see the world in an entirely new way, from the perspective of a different country and different people. "It helped shape what I know," Mike says of his time at Messiah, "and realize how I think about the world."
Profile by Angela Kriebel, 2005