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Engineer in the making has a job waiting for her

Junior physics major Kaitlyn Taylor has watched herself grow personally and professionally during her three years at Manchester.

Her employer has noticed too. Kaitlyn has so impressed her bosses at Hoosier Crane Service Co. that they’re offering her a job when she completes her civil engineering degree.

Kaitlyn, of Middlebury, Ind., has worked as an engineering intern at the Elkhart, Ind., firm for the past four summers. Thanks to the critical-thinking skills she developed at Manchester, the company wants her to lead their engineering department when she earns her degree. “They have found that they like the way I think,” Kaitlyn says, “and the drive I have for good work.”

Kaitlyn is enrolled in Manchester’s 3-2 dual-degree engineering program. After three years at Manchester, she will transfer to one of MU’s partner universities to study engineering for two more years. She’ll end up with degrees from both schools.

Kaitlyn has honed her leadership skills in the Society of Physics Students (SPS). “My involvement presented the opportunity to grow as a physics student and upcoming professional,” she says. SPS focuses on research conferences and having fun in ways that broaden members’ physics knowledge, such as paper airplane contests and egg drops.

She also has found that her experience at Manchester may have placed her ahead of physics majors from other schools. At research conferences, she has “been introduced to topics I never would have heard of in an undergraduate classroom.” The conferences teach her how to ask the right questions and understand the topics. “I have developed significant communication skills, networking skills, and a better understanding of a variety of physics research simply by attending conferences through SPS,” she adds.

Kaitlyn has grown in other ways too. Through her involvement with the American Fishery Society and intramural sports, she has forged connections and relationships with people she may not have met otherwise. “I came out with more friends than when I went in,” she reflects.

Coming to Manchester was an easy decision. Thanks to scholarships and grants, she will graduate with only $10,000 of debt. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the scholarships,” says Kaitlyn, who receives endowed scholarships and other financial aid.

Kaitlyn hopes to own her own engineering firm one day. Thanks to Manchester, she is well on her way.

By Catherine Lange ’14

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