Career Plan

Job Opportunity:  Sustainability Engineer at Armstrong World Industries. Lancaster, PA .

Listing from 

Qualifications Summary: 

This job has many requirements, however, these qualifications will make a new employee very successfulIn terms of education and work experience, a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science, or related technical field is required, and at least one year of equivalent work or research experience. This experience is preferred to be in an environmental field and/or in a manufacturing environment. For the next qualifications, these are directed toward the characteristics of an employee and their working habits. A new hire must have exceptional skills in project management, multi-tasking, and analytics. There should also be success in managing many projects in order to meet final goals. They should have a strong passion for sustainability, as it is a large portion of the company’s initiatives and mission. The employee should have the abilities to work and communicate effectively both in a team setting, with strong interpersonal skills, and individually with an experimental approach, and have the ability to build relationships with others. Finally, the applicant should be proficient in Microsoft Office services, have excellent organizational, written and verbal communication skills, and they should have the knowledge of supply chain initiatives and chemical laboratory analyses.  

As for desired, but not required qualifications, these include previous experience in management of chemical inventories. They also include the previous experience in working on waste/recycling programs and water/energy reduction.  

Job To-Do List: 

For my list of things to do before I could meet the above requirementsI would need to complete the following things. 

  • Meet with my advisors for advice on an internship vs. a co-op program. 
  • Apply for internships and/or co-ops via handshake.  
  • Accept an intern/co-op position.  
  • Complete the internship/co-op. 
  • Graduate with a B.S. Chemical Engineering degree.  
  • Check off the needed work habits and characteristics. 
  • Fill out and submit the application for the job listed above. 

How to Complete My To-Do List: 

For a place to start in accomplishing everything on my to-do list, I would begin by planning out the next 3 or so years. I would speak with my advisors in the College of Engineering and see which experience, either an internship or co-op, would be a better fit for me. I would then see when my lighter-workload semesters are, and I would find a good time to add in an internship or co-op. From there, I would begin researching and finding a variety of different opportunities that fit into the type of work, time, place, etc. that I desire. Then, the application process begins. After filling out and submitting a few applications to various programs, I would simply wait and hope for at least one acceptance letter. Assuming I get accepted into a program, I would complete the job with full passion, grateful for the experience. Once this is done, all I must do is continue through completing my degree in chemical engineering and graduate. From here I would make sure I have all the expected characteristics, and then I could complete my application for the job.  

January Reflection

The month of January has been one of transition, similar to that of August.  Moving back into campus has been a similar transition to how it was in the fall, and I have had similar issues now as I had then. However, it feels good to have the ability to be back in a safe place with people that I enjoy being around.

One thing that I have learned this month is how to actually use Matlab. Last semester I struggled quite a bit with using the programming software, but now that I am in a class dedicated to learning the language, I have been much more successful in understanding how to use the software, and I now feel much more comfortable. In tandem with this, I have learned something about myself. I have been able to apply myself while learning, and I think that that is something I am going to move forward with and improve upon as I learn more about myself and define who I am this semester.

Something that I have struggled with is getting back into the routine of school again. It has been very difficult to get back into the focus of schoolwork and being around people back in Morrill Tower has not exactly helped, as I have wanted to socialize instead of doing work, and it has taken a lot of self-discipline to continue studying.

Something that I have accomplished is that I was accepted into the College of Engineering last December (close enough to this month I suppose). I was accepted into the chemical engineering major program without even having to apply, because I stood out among other students. This is something that I am very proud of doing, and I have been able to work a little bit harder because I have had a boost in confidence as a result of the acceptance.

January has been quite an eventful month.

Fall Semester Reflection

Adapting to college life was an adjustment that had to be made pretty quick. I soon realized that my once quality sleep schedule from quarantine was no more, as most nights going to bed before 1 or 2 in the morning became “early,” with a wake-up time before 10 every day. There was also the sheer amount of work that came with my three core classes of chemistry, calculus, and FE, that I had to get used to. It called for a few all-nighters with a one or two-hour nap before my first class the next day. At times I remember thinking to myself that “I wish there weren’t always people around,” since there were a few loud days where I had a large bit of work to do while the rest of my friends would hang out and watch a tv show, or the debate nights I’m looking at you. But since moving home to work fully online, I have seen a significant decrease in my motivation and that is simply because I no longer have my roommates and friends around 24/7. With all of this to consider, though the change was quite abrupt from high school, it was a much-needed switch in perspective and a growing pain to get through.

There are so many things to love about The Ohio State University. For one, I absolutely love our living and dorm arrangement in Morrill Tower. The way the suites are set up with 6 people and being in a double with my roommate (love you Rachel <3), it gives us the perfect amount of space. On top of being friends with all my suitemates, I have made many other friends from several other suites on the floor. So now we have a big group of close friends that I know some life-long friendships will come out of. One thing that I was hesitant about was having too many people around all at once. However, we were all very COVID conscious so none of us ever left the dorm most of the time. And when there was a positive test from one of the suites on our floor, only one person tested positive from our group. This helped to confirm that our bubble of friends worked very well.

Of the things I struggled with throughout this semester, most of them came from being something to adjust to, as mentioned before. I definitely found the amount of work tough most of the time, but if I were to just fix my time management slightly, I would have been able to handle the work a little better. This will get better over time, and I know I just needed a semester to stumble through and learn how to handle it for next time. Also, what I found very difficult, as most people did, was completing courses that are significantly easier in person totally online instead. This was something I struggled with while completing my senior year of high school in the spring, and that did not change coming into the fall at OSU.

Something I achieved throughout this semester is a better understanding of what I want to do with the rest of my life. I have not totally decided, of course, but I have a better idea of what my future might look like, both in school and in after graduation in the industry. I will say having the opportunity to speak with an alumni of the scholars’ program helped open my eyes into the real working world in a career like one that I might want later on. Overall, after talking with advisors, other students, and attending many major information sessions and career panels, I now have a better idea of what a good future for me might look like.

For spring semester, I would like to be better at getting my work done in a timelier manner. I also want to work for better grades and avoid using pass/fail for any class. Another goal is to be mentally ready to apply to the College of Engineering for fall of 2021. By that time, I will have all the credentials completed, I just need to have the confidence that this is exactly what I have been wanting to do and what is right for me.

Here’s to an end of a bumpy first semester, and a hope for a smoother spring semester!

Alumni Interview Reflection

The ENR Scholar Alumni that I had the opportunity to interview was Brittnee Halpin. Brittnee graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and a minor in international studies. She continued living in Ohio for another two years working at Gresham Smith as a full-time engineering consultant, where she was previously interning before graduation. In 2015, Brittnee moved to Denver, Colorado to pursue graduate school. She is currently attending Colorado School of Mines full time for her PhD, researching in stream restoration. She is set to graduate in either December of next year or May in 2022, and in the future, she might try to become a professor.

After speaking with Brittnee, I realized I have a lot yet to learn past college and about the real world. She was able to give many tips and information on finishing undergrad, the job life, interviewing, and going into graduate school. To start, she reassured me that college gets easier after the first two years. Maybe not “easier,” but more tolerable because you start to learn more stuff related to your major. Of course, I had heard that from everyone but hearing it from her made it sit different. She then went on to say that work experience is very important. Whether it is through internships or co-ops, having experiences as a student is a great way to build your resume. Hearing about her personal experiences in internships made the general statement of “get experience in the industry” sound a lot more feasible. When it comes to interviews, Brittnee explained how important it is to be yourself and have confidence in what you know. She mentioned that an interview “is not a test” and that the potential employers just want to know about you and what you have done to get to that point. Moving on to education beyond undergraduate, she mentioned something that I had not quite put together, which was to take time off and get a job in the real world for a few years. Get adjusted and make sure within yourself that it is something you really want to pursue, because the amount of work you must put into it is very extensive. As a sidenote, she mentioned that an engineer should never have to pay for their own higher degree, as the company should pay for it if they want you to have it.

For advice that I will carry through my time at Ohio State, there are a few good tips Brittnee mentioned. The first being to advocate for what is best for myself and set boundaries for how much I commit to do. She explained how this is one of the most important things someone can do for themselves, as you are the only one who knows your own limits. The next lesson is to accept “good enough.” The importance of this came from paying too close attention to minor details and missing the bigger picture, especially in research. And finally, what should be obvious is the need to look out for your own mental health and surround yourself with people who care about you. Being in a friendly and welcoming environment is crucial to having a quality life, especially in a world like today.

Thank you, Brittnee, for giving great advice I will remember for a very long time.

October Reflection

We survived the first half of the first semester!

In comparison to last month, I would like to think that this month has gone a bit better. I feel like I have become more adjusted with my schedule, habits and my routine has become more natural.

Recently in my Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) class we have been learning how to use the program MatLab. Essentially it is a basic coding application to help us become more experienced with programming. This learning process, even though it can be very time consuming and frustrating at times, will benefit me greatly going into next semester when I must take an engineering course that is entirely based on MatLab.

Something I’m starting to learn about myself is what kind of career I want to go into after college. Through my freshman survey class, I was fortunate enough to be connected with a mentor, who is an upperclassman in the chemical engineering program where I hope to end up in the near future. Last week I was able to have a virtual meeting with my mentor and got to see her perspective and hear about her experiences through the program. She also gave me advice for surviving GE and prerequisite courses and reminded me that it will get easier after the first few years. I also received very valuable information about her co-op and internship opportunities that she has been able to experience, with help from advisors in the ChemE program. Her views and advice has helped me realize that I want to continue on the ChemE track, and later focus on environmental values, like sustainability.

One thing I have struggled with is keeping a regular sleeping schedule. Too many times have I been finding myself staying up until the wee hours of the morning working on an assignment that is due later that day. Though it may seem this is problematic, it is definitely an improvement to when, near the beginning of the semester, I was rushing to finish an assignment in the last hour before it was due (ironic because that is what I happen to be doing at this current moment).

Something I achieved a couple weeks ago was my best score on any midterm this far. I scored a 94 percent on my FE midterm, which wasn’t a shock, but I was definitely relieved when the scores were posted.

This month has been pretty alright, and I’m looking forward to this last push of the semester!

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.

  • Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
  • Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
  • Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
  • Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
  • Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]


[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

September Reflection

An interesting that I have learned so far is from our Scholars Seminar class, from today actually, when Brett explained how highway numbering worked and how to efficiently use a compass. Those two lessons will stay with me for a very long time, I can tell already. What should be intuitive in a way, I for sure have not thought about either of those topics enough to efficiently put them into practice.

One thing I have learned about myself recently is that I am open to change. Before coming into college I had always hated change. I liked the idea of a constant normal and a regular schedule. But, since going through quarantine, I knew change was inevitable and realized it was my mindset that had to change. I am now very spontaneous, and most of my best memories as of late have come from last minute decisions with my friends, and I would not want it any other way.

Lately, I have been struggling with time management. Throughout high school I tended to put assignments off until the last minute. However, now in college I am realizing how much of a bad habit that really is (I knew it was bad, but now it’s worse). I am slowly starting to fix my old routine and find new ways to motivate myself to get work done. One is by rewarding myself with a break outside, whether that be a walk around buckeye grove, a run by the river, or a chill nap in my hammock.

Something that I have achieved, you could call it, is a hand full of lifelong friendships. My suitemates and the people on my floor (Floor 10 for the win!) have been so inclusive and amazing since the day I moved in. In fact, on my very first night, along with many others who also moved in on the same day, we had a small gathering my suite’s common room. I was finally able to connect so many faces to the names of people in the scholars slack group chat. It was so welcoming to be able to move right into a community of people I had already met, albeit virtually. Morrill tower is definitely doing a lot of things right in forming a family of forever friends. <3