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Nic Hovey

Major: Mechanical Engineering

2020 Criteria:

  • Study Abroad
  • Multi-Disciplinary
  • Leadership

How did you first hear about WSU CoE "Engineer of 2020" program?

I heard about the Engineer of 2020 program my freshman year. My class was the first to have to complete this requirement and I'm glad for the opportunity. This isn't just busy work, but I feel that each opportunity is designed to benefit an engineering student. By completing the Engineer of 2020 program, I'm a more well rounded individual and I have accomplished something that makes me more competitive in the job market.

How did you choose your three 2020 criteria?

Having several opportunities to choose from, I was able to pick the three that best matched my interests and goals. I became quickly involved in student organizations my freshman year, so the leadership experience was easy to accomplish. WSU has a student organization for just about everything that you could imagine. So completing the leadership experience for Engineer of 2020 was as simple as picking a student organization that I was interested in and diving in! For the next two, I completed a couple personal goals of mine--to study abroad and learn Spanish. Both of these goals were already on my bucket list and the Engineer of 2020 program gave me the extra incentive to make these goals a reality.

What did you do for your study abroad experience?

For my study abroad experience I traveled to Puebla, Mexico. Each summer, the Spanish department at WSU offers a summer study program in which students spend six weeks studying Spanish in Puebla. The classes are offered through WSU and taught by WSU Professors. While spending the summer in Puebla, I lived with a host family, which gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in Spanish culture--the only way to learn another language. But more than the language, I was able to experience a different culture and understand the values that make up that culture. This to me is what really made the entire experience priceless.

What did you do for your multi-disciplinary experience?

For my multi-disciplinary experience, I completed a minor in Spanish. Learning Spanish has been a dream of mine because I love to travel, experience new places and meet new people. Now, when I travel, I'm not just limited to the United States and other English speaking countries--which is cool! The Engineer of 2020 program pushed me to not just dream about learning Spanish, but to actually go out and do it.

What did you do for your leadership experience?

The leadership experience was the easiest one, simply because there are so many opportunities to get involved and be a part of leadership at WSU. I've been involved with Engineering Council since I was a freshman, and the "official" leadership experience that counted towards Engineer of 2020 was a project in which I coordinated and planned a block party for the College of Engineering. Engineering Council wanted to create an event which brought students together at the beginning of the semester, allowed them to meet other students, meet their professors, and talk with the student organizations in the College of Engineering. Over the past two years, this event has become known as the Engineering Block Party. However, I say "official" event because I've had the opportunity to be involved in many more leadership positions at WSU. Each one has both strengthened my leadership skills and simply allowed me to be a part of what I enjoy!

Do you have any advice for students on completing the Engineer of 2020 program?

Take the initiative and make it your own. There are millions of opportunities and ways to complete the Engineer of 2020 program--kind of like the Sonic drink selection! Pick three things you want to do and set out to accomplish them in the next four years. Finally, don't hold back in your dreams.