Personal Development

4 years ago, I remember my 3 cousins, who are my age or younger, and I not believing my older cousin, who had just started college, how college took up most of his time and could not play on the PS4 with us. But, now that I am in college I can see how it is true, how college takes up most of my time, and how I have so little time to do things I would spend most of my free time doing.

As the semester went through I realized I cannot just go to lecture and take tests like I did in high school. I need to go to lecture, do homework, do extra practice problems, and go to the tutoring room in order to do decently well in a test. The only way to get good grades is to spend much time studying and ask for help when something does not make sense.

Being part of a college organization or a club or simply having different groups of people to hang out with makes college much more enjoyable and fun. Having a group of people with which you can study, chat, eat, party is such an essential part of college and life, that, I do not think I would be able to go though college without those groups of people.

I am member of SHPE, PREFACE, LSAMP, and STEM Scholars. And these four groups have given me many opportunities to help me success in college, from advice, to extra academic help, to networking opportunities, to social events, that make me who I am today.

Dr. Carlos Castro DNA Origami Presentation

DNA Origami Example found in DNA Origami Machines and Mechanisms (DOMM) OSU page

About a month and half ago, Dr. Carlos Castro came to my ENGR 1196 MEP Seminar to talk to the class really quick. After this first visit, I was really interested in Dr. Castro’s research since he mentioned how important nanotechnology was. I did some research and emailed him to see if we could talk more about his research, college experience, and life. Before we could meet, he came to my MEP Seminar to give a presentation on Tuesday, October 30th.

Dr. Carlos Castro has a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, however, he is doing research in DNA Origami and has been for the past few years. After the presentation, he offered to give us a tour around his lab. A group of 9 people including me went to his lab and his assistant showed us what they do and how they do it. All his research team is formed by graduate and undergraduate students.

Then, on Friday, November 2nd I met with him at his office. We had a long talk mainly about his research and his college experience at OSU and during PREFACE, The Pre First-Year Academic and Career Engagement Program. I also asked about how I could get more involved in his research since, nanotechnology is so fascinating to me. He told me about a project competition that might happen during spring semester and how I can get involved with his actual researching team during the next fall semester.

Something I was pleasantly surprised about myself is that I was able to keep up the conversation without there being any awkward moments. It is not that I am horrible at talking to people, but sometimes it is hard to keep a conversation with a person I have just met.

I will keep in touch with Dr. Carlos Castro in the future in case new opportunities pop up and to see if I am able to possibly join his research team next fall 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.]

The Engineering Expo

Photo with Chad and Madeline from Marathon Petroleum Corporation

The Engineering Expo at the Ohio State University took place in on the 25th and 26th of September. It was an engineering students-exclusive career fair where only companies offering engineering positions attended.

I attended a summer engineering program for minorities called PREFACE. During the program it was heavily expressed the importance of career fairs since students are able to get internships and co-ops through them. In order to prepare for the career fair, I attended several resume and elevator pitch workshops. I felt like I needed to get an internship because of how much I was told internships matter resulting in me going to these workshops and getting advice from to several people.

During the Engineering Expo I talked to seven different companies. 4 out of seven told me that they were not hiring freshman or Industrial Engineers. I was underwhelming seeing people having long conversations with recruiters  and laughing, while I was having 5 minutes conversations. By the time I talked to the sixth company I wanted to leave. I already had talked to all the companies I wanted to, so it did not matter if I stayed or not. But I decided to do research in one more company and go back in. I did. It actually went really well, the recruiter took my resume, wrote notes on it, and said they will consider me.

I do not think I will get an internship from this career fair. However, all the time I spent preparing for this event will help me during the spring career fair.  

During the whole process I surely felt outside my comfort zone, however, once at the career fair, I turned all the nervousness I felt into excitement. My first conversation was decent and not as bad as I though I would be. I believe that if I tell myself something many times I will start to believe. So if I told myself how nervous I was and I was not going to be able to do it. I was going to have a mediocre experience.

One thing I plan to do for future career fairs is to try and have a casual but job-related conversation with the recruiters. I saw many people doing this and their conversation would go on for more than 10 minutes. I was only following my elevator pitch, but once that was over, if the conversation even lasted that long. I did not have much to say. I do not know if all the engineering freshman went to the career fair. I think the fact that, I attended the career fair puts me ahead of those who did not, since, I know what to expect out of it.  

Even though I felt underwhelmed during the career fair, it makes me feel even more excited about the next one. I know what to work on and what to do differently to maybe get an internship next summer.

About Me

Hola! My name is Alfonso Tinoco Lopez (No, I do not have middle name, I just have two last names!) I was born in Mexico. I was born in Uriangato, a city in the state of Guanajuato. I moved to different cities while I lived in Mexico, until I moved to Jefferson City, Missouri when I was 14. Two years later, I moved to New Albany, Ohio. And two years later I am writing this post.

One of my goals is to obtain my BS in Industrial Engineering. My dad has always told me to be better than him and I feel like that will not be possible without a college degree. This is not the main reason why I decided to come to college, because I could have a good financial life like many people who do not go to college do. However, I think college is an important milestone people should go through.

I have always liked math, since kinder garden. That is why I am studying engineering, because how heavily math focused it is.

Throughout high school there have been several teachers that have influenced me and made me appreciate them so much more than other teachers.

One of them is Mrs. Fraga. Mrs. Fraga was my ESOL teacher for two years in a row. We developed a strong student-teacher relationship since, there were only four student and two teacher in the class. I appreciate her very much due to the fact that this class was aimed for a non native English speaker like me. She takes her job seriously and makes the best she can to help those like me. It is all thanks to her that I can speak English as good as I do.

So far I have had two jobs and one internship. I have worked at Home Depot for the last 6 months and had the chance to work in the customer service area. There have definitely been uncomfortable moments where I have confronted angry, desperate, and entitled customers. Moments where I have been able to deal with the situation myself and where I have needed help from upper staff. However, it has served me as an experience to understand people in general a little bit better and how to treat customers.