Published: Oct. 8, 2018 By

Careers in ME Symposium alumni and students gathering

Students and industry representatives participate in a networking dinner.

Over 260 mechanical engineering sophomores were given the opportunity to learn from local alumni and industry representatives at the third annual Careers in ME Symposium, a professionalism event sponsored by Phillips 66. At this event, 36 alumni and industry volunteers discussed their experiences on the job, shared career advice and inspired the next generation of CU mechanical engineers with presentations, panel discussions and conversations throughout the evening. Both recent graduates and those who have retired from successful careers were excited to share with students.

The annual Careers in ME Symposium is offered as part of MCEN 2000: Mechanical Engineering as a Profession, a course that supports department efforts to help students navigate the career planning process by teaching methods for job and internship searches and by encouraging students to thoughtfully navigate their own career paths using design thinking and prototyping. Students enrolled in MCEN 2000 also conduct informational interviews to learn more about career paths others have taken and participate in mock interviews with alumni to receive feedback on their interviewing skills.

Careers in ME Symposium presentation by Bart Potenzo of Phillips 66

Bart Potenzo of Phillips 66 presents on his experience working as a mechanical engineer in the energy industry.

MCEN 2000 Professor Julie Steinbrenner says, “Students can learn so much from those who are in the field already living the careers that current students wonder about. Students need mentors who can provide directions along the way.”

Positive feedback received from students was in line with the perceived success of this event. Students shared the following:

“This gave me more insight into my game plan for life.”

“I understand much better what it means to be an engineer and all the different paths I can take in the future.”

“I am much more confident that this is what I want and am meant to do.”

Alumni and industry volunteers also left feeling fulfilled, knowing they had given back in an important way. One presenter said, “I wish I would have had this available to me when I graduated with a BSME at CU.”

Others who would like to participate in one of the many opportunities available to engage with CU mechanical engineering students are encouraged to reach out to