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Profile: Jake Timmons

See our interview with Jake from his senior year below, and find out how he is using his CU-Boulder degree. 

You are graduating in May.  Any job prospects?
I currently have one actual job offer at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroads as a management trainee. I would become a supervisor of work and maintenance on rail cars (coal and cargo) in Lincoln, NE starting in September. I have already accepted this position, but I am also considering a couple of other opportunities. One of those is a position with Naval Sea Command Systems as a nuclear engineer in Honolulu, Hawaii  where I would get to work with a top secret security clearance on the nuclear submarines that come into harbor for maintenance. I am also looking at a position with Mentor Graphics as a fluid dynamics or heat transfer engineer, where I would work on circuit design.

How does it feel to have a job lined up before graduation?
It is a huge load off my mind and my parents’ minds. I consider myself lucky to have one job offer, not to mention another two to three in the works.  The pressure is off and I know that I will be successful no matter where I end up, it’s nice to have a plan B.  It also means that my education was worth it, my offer for starting salary is a little less than double the national average from last year for college graduates.  That means that employers see CU as a great educational institution.

Tell me about your internship last summer with Burlington Northern.  What did you do, what experience did you gain?
I was a Mechanical Intern at the Lincoln Diesel Shop in Lincoln, NE.  The shop does unscheduled and scheduled locomotive maintenance. It was a paid internship, and I was pretty much offered the job on the spot after talking to their hiring manager at the CU-Boulder career fair.  I walked up and talked to him and then he handed me his business card and said “If you don’t have an internship by Thanksgiving, give me a call.”  So I did.  The main thing that I took from that internship was the confidence to succeed in the real world.  I actually didn’t do that much engineering work but used a lot more of the people skills and problem solving skills that I learned here at CU.  This was also my first time dealing with a huge company and leading huge projects.  I lead a ~$2 million project and was involved with one that totaled up to $120 million.  So, I learned to really look at every decision that is being made and how it will affect the whole economy.

How did CU-Boulder prepare you for your future career?
CU-Boulder gave me the education and the confidence to succeed.  I have been through classes across almost every engineering field and that gave me the confidence that there is not that much that I cannot learn if I want to.  The education I received is top of the line. Even in engineering, the classes are designed to not only develop your education but also your people/communication skills.

Why did you decide to attend CU-Boulder.  What attracted you?  How did CU-Boulder stand out from other schools?
Attending CU Boulder was really a three-fold reason for me.  First, I love Colorado.  I was born and raised here and think it is absolutely gorgeous. Second, the mechanical engineering department is ranked among the best in public school programs in the nation. Third, I was given the opportunity to compete at the Division I level of athletics and it has always been a dream of mine to do that. These are important for me because I was a very good student out of high school and wanted to continue being challenged as well as continue being competitive at athletics.  I scored a 35 on my ACT’s and had a 3.99 GPA out of high school so I was looking at other schools such as MIT and CalTech.  They didn’t have the same feel, the same life as CU Boulder does throughout the community.  I love it here and can’t picture myself anywhere else!