April 5, 2016
Three years ago, Chandler Clark saw advertising within the engineering building for a position in WKU’s Engineering Prototype Facility (EPF). Ever since then, she has been a student worker in this facility. She was excited to take the job because of the flexible hours, wide range of experiences she could gain, and the opportunity to learn about machines. Currently, she organizes the facility in order to complete all jobs for students and faculty. She also works to design projects for a variety of disciplines, support student projects, and is involved with Western’s biodiesel project. Chandler says that “working in the EPF has given [her] many hands-on experiences to better connect the theory and math to the actual product being completed” (Clark). She has also learned a great deal about time management and problem solving, all while gaining experience that will prepare her for her future career.
Her favorite part of the job is helping other students complete their projects, and she loves seeing the process through to the end. In fact, one of her most enjoyable experiences as a student worker has been working the Engineering Exposition each semester. At this event, WKU engineering students present their research and projects. Chandler says that it is “neat to see all of the hard work within the department being shown at once” (Clark.)
By having the opportunity to work with other students, Chandler has been able to learn about more than just engineering through her job. She has gained valuable interpersonal skills and made lifelong friends. She has met many people through the engineering department and feels that she can connect well with other engineering students, even if they aren’t specifically in the mechanical discipline like her. Some of her best friends have come from spending countless hours in the engineering building for classes and work. She has also had memorable experiences with the engineering department as a whole, such as frequent bowling trips with both students and professors, and their yearly paintball event.
Chandler is from Edgewood, Kentucky and will be graduating in May 2016 with a major in mechanical engineering and a minor in systems engineering. She chose engineering because of encouragement from a high school teacher, who also happened to be a nun. As Chandler says, “if you can’t trust nuns, you can’t trust anyone!” (Clark). Glad that she followed her teacher’s advice, Chandler loves engineering and hopes to continue her education in the fall, where she will pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. As one of only a handful of females in engineering, Chandler admits that it can sometimes be a challenge to “keep up with the guys,” but she values every chance she gets to learn from teachers and other students (Clark). Clearly, nothing has held her back thus far—in addition to her job in the EPF, Chandler plays soccer for WKU, is president of the WKU branch of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a member of Tau Beta Pi, and a student researcher. She is excited to use the knowledge and skills learned through her job and other experiences at WKU to prepare her for her future education and career.
Clark, Chandler. Personal Interview. 4 April 2016.