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Colin Cox

Photo: 
Department: 
Mechanical Engineering
Major: 
Mechanical Engineering
Description: 

Why UC Merced?

I chose UC Merced because I saw the potential for the school to offer great opportunities that wouldn't be as available at otherschools. Since it is the newest UC school, it has new equipment for labs and brand-new buildings for classrooms and dorms. The campus is very beautiful,and the student community here was very friendly and accepting. I wanted tocome here because I wanted to take advantage of all of these amazing attributes to help me grow academically and socially.

Why Your Major?

Throughout my academic life before college, I was always interested in STEM topics and enjoyed solving problems whether they were physical or on paper. I wanted to become an Engineer because I liked the type of problems they worked on and the industries that they worked in. I am a huge fan of the Aerospace, Energy, and Transportation fields. With all thatin mind I did not originally know what engineer I wanted to become because I had an interest in each general area. To compromise, I chose Mechanical Engineering because I would gain knowledge in many different areas of engineering which would help me discover what career path I want to follow when I graduate.

Inspiration and Mentors

My inspiration for doing all of this hard work and dedication would have to be because of my parents and my brother. All of the life lessons and stories that have been told to me from my parents remind me how lucky I am to be in the situation that I am in today.  They have given me so many opportunities and I want to do my best to make them and myself proud. Me and my brother have been competing for as long as I can remember whether it’s in sports, in academics, or in music. We have a strong sibling rivalry and even though he is better than me at some things, it just motivates me to get even better and to surpass him. In school I have had some great mentors who helped me throughout my time here at UC Merced. There are many TA's who have helped me tremendously at office hours and professors who have helped me understand difficult topics. Of all of those people, the onethat stands out to me would be Professor Ashlie Martini. She has helped me a lot with the projects that I have been working on and has helped me apply the skills I have learned in the classroom to solve complex problems. Without a doubt she has helped me grow the most since I started college.

Memorable Academic Experience

My most memorable academic experience here at UC Merced would have to be my freshman year when I absolutely failed my first physics midterm. In high school I would pay attention in class, not study, and getting A's on my tests.  Getting this result gave me a huge shock because I have never failed a test, not in high school, middle school, or elementary school which caused me to become laser focused on my schoolwork. After that 1 midterm, I went to office hours every week, completed my homework 1 week in advance, and studied like crazy for the exams. Because of all that hard work, I ended up acing the rest of the midterms and the final, which got me an A in the class. This experience taught me that working hard and putting in the extra time to learn something is how I can become successful in any task or project that I want to complete.

What's Next?

After I graduate, I plan to enter the job industry as an entry-level Mechanical Engineer. The short-term goal is to work in either the aerospace, energy, or transportation fields and gain experience from the projects I work on. In tandem I would like to pass the FE and EIT exams as soon as possible so that I can work in more qualified positions, eventually working my way up to getting my engineering PE license. In the long term, I would like to eventually work with NASA on planet exploration projects or help develop technological systems that can help minimize global warming.

Anything else?

When I first came to UC Merced, I was very shy, introverted, and typically had a difficult time initiating and continuing conversations. However, when I moved into the dorms my freshman year, I made the decision that I would break out of my shell and improve my social skills. I am so happy I made that decision because I have made so many great friends and have met so many cool people that I would've never met otherwise. I can now start and hold conversations and speak to people with confidence. If it wasn't for the amazing UC Merced students in my freshman class, I would not be where I am today and I am glad that I was able to grow not just academically but socially as well. The memories that I have made during my time at UC Merced were amazing and I can't wait to see what the future will hold.
 

Semester: 
Semester Year: 
2022