Engineering, music make Wartburg worth it

NAME: Marcus Ortiz 
MAJOR: Engineering science

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: I chose Wartburg for several different reasons, but one of the main reasons is because if I went to a larger state college, it wasn’t guaranteed that I could be involved in both choir and an engineering program. If I went to Wartburg, I knew that I would not only be able to be involved, but also be successful in both. Being at Wartburg means that you not only get to study the major you want, but also have the opportunity to get involved in what you want. It’s much easier to do these things in an atmosphere like this, and you are much more likely to succeed in these high-caliber programs. 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ENGINEERING: I have always had an interest in technology, so when I started thinking about what I wanted to do in the future, I looked for careers in technology and science. Engineering seemed like a good prospect because there are so many fields that you can go into. You’re not restricted with the engineering degree that you have, as your future employers care about your capability to learn and try new things.

HOW ARE YOU INVOLVED ON CAMPUS: I am heavily involved in choir here at Wartburg. As a first and second year, I was in both Wartburg Choir and Castle Singers, and currently as a third-year student, I am a member in Wartburg Choir. So, if that’s a question for anyone, yes you can be a part of two touring ensembles, while also being a STEM major here at Wartburg. It is definitely possible and you will be okay.

Marcus Ortiz

WHAT DOES LIFE AS AN INVOLVED ENGINEERING STUDENT LOOK LIKE: It’s kind of what you would expect. It’s busy, but it’s not. It becomes busy during certain periods of time throughout the year, but for the most part, everything is definitely manageable. You’re able to figure out when to do your homework for your classes, and you’re able to be a successful student as long as you’re proactive with your time. Time management skills are huge, but it’s not as if you are busy every waking minute of the day. You need to be aware, and you need to work on those skills, to make sure you can be accountable for yourself!  

WHAT ABOUT WARTBURG’S ENGINEERING PROGRAM STANDS OUT TO YOU: I would say that the student/professor interaction certainly stands out to me. The professors in the program make a point to get to know you personally, and the student to faculty ratio is much lower than a larger university. We are able to get the help and attention that we need, and ever since the beginning, I have felt a sense of community and family in the engineering program.  

WHAT REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCES HAVE YOU HAD: I work at John Deere as a part-time student, and my main job is to be a quality control engineer. I work with heat treatment and make sure certain parts in the factory are of good quality. This job is important, because if anything is wrong and goes unnoticed, it can be a very bad deal. In the summers, John Deere also has me work on different projects. For example, right now I am working and overseeing the new lock-out procedures for the machines.  

WHAT HAS YOUR ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE LOOKED LIKE SO FAR : Up until now, most of my classes have been fairly spread out. Meaning that yes, I have always had to take an engineering course or two, but during my first and second year, most of my courses were focused around a liberal arts education. Now that I am a third year, my schedule is becoming much more concentrated, as the engineering program requires 24.5 credits of strictly engineering courses to graduate. I am currently enrolled in ES 320, which is a material science class, ES 204, which focuses on electrical circuits, German 100 for my foreign language requirement, and MA 214 for Statistical Methods . 

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU WOULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: Probably travel internationally during my first year. I pictured myself going overseas at some point in my college career, but I never would have guessed it would happen so quick. I auditioned for Castle Singers in September, and within a short nine months, I was in Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland on an international tour.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: As of now, I want to start at John Deere after I graduate, and then take it day by day. I don’t really have specifics laid out, but I know I will be a good candidate to the engineering businesses!