Student Experiences in MDP

Christopher Seow
Mechanical Engineering, B.S.E. ’15
Amway Project – 2014 Cohort
Biomedical Engineering, M.S.E.
Graduating May 2017

I graduated with a B.S.E in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Multidisciplinary Design, and am now pursing a M.S.E in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Medical Product Design. I have been involved with MDP since 2013. I started as peer advisor and was also a team member on the Amway Project – 2014 Cohort. The experiences and opportunities provided by MDP have enabled me to pursue my passion for design, grow professionally as an engineer, and gain skills and the confidence needed to solve engineering problems in the real world. My role as a peer advisor allows me to interact with students of different ages (first-year students – graduate students) from many different academic backgrounds (LS&A, Art & Design, Engineering, Business, etc.). What I enjoy most about these interactions is hearing how positively MDP has affected students’ lives. Many have obtained internships and full-time jobs because of their project experience, others have discovered the career path they want to pursue, and lastly, almost all of the students involved with MDP learn skills, both soft and technical, that they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to learn.

Stacy Skekloff
B.A. Graphic Design, Stamps School of Art & Design 
NTVB Media Mobile App Project – 2015 Cohort
Graduated in May 2016

During my junior year, I began to carefully consider what I wanted out of my University of Michigan education and what experiences would set me apart from every other designer with a college education. The MDP program allowed me the flexibility of pursuing a minor in the School of Engineering, while still maintaining a focus on design through applying for a sponsored project team during the school year. I can honestly say MDP has been the most worthwhile and growing experience I could have pursed for my career path as a Graphic Designer. I have expanded my knowledge and skill set in ways regular classes couldn’t allow for, while learning to balance my time, team expectations, project management skills, sponsor requirements and meeting many people along the way. If you are looking for a community of students, faculty and industry professionals to help you grow personally and professionally this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on, I’m so glad I did it!

Alexandra Kolberg
Mechanical Engineering
General Motors Transmission Efficiency Project – 2014 Cohort
Graduated May 2016

I am graduating with a B.S.E in Mechanical Engineering, a minor in Multidisciplinary Design, and a supplemental studies in Sustainable Engineering. I have been involved with MDP since 2014, when I joined the General Motors team that was focused on improving transmission efficiency. As a sophomore, it was a great experience being about to work with a company on a challenging project that may or may not have an answer. Following the first half of the project, I was given the opportunity, along with the other students on the team, to continue the project at the GM facilities during a summer internship. Being able to work with experienced engineers on such complex systems was an extremely rewarding experience that prepared me for more upper-level classes, internships to follow, and job recruitment. The experiences that I have developed with MDP have allowed me to grow as an individual and as an engineer. I learned better leadership methods, how to work effectively and efficiently with a diverse team, and better ways at problem solving. Because my experience with MDP was so rewarding, I became a peer advisor to show other students the benefits of this program. To cap off my college experience, I was given the opportunity to join General Motors following graduation.

Collin Peterson
Computer Science & Economics
JP Morgan Chase Project – 2013 Cohort
Graduated in May 2014

I graduated in December 2013 with a degree in Computer Science and Economics. I participated in MDP during my final year by developing a web application for JPMorgan. Working on a team of students to solve a real-world business problem provided a unique opportunity for me to develop both leadership and technical skills. Not to mention, I was able to build a relationship with the company that eventually became my employer!

William Breznau, Jr.
Electrical Engineering
Stryker SmartMed Project – 2015 Cohort
Graduating in December 2016

The MDP program at Michigan supercharged my career path. There is no substitute for real world engineering experience. Working on industry sponsored projects through the MDP program at Michigan has helped me build the skills and experience companies are looking for. Job interviews are so much easier when you have personal experience to talk about. Working with our team’s sponsor introduced me to an great engineering firm and in the end I received an amazing job offer from them to do the exact job I had been dreaming of.

Tyler Cialek
Masters Candidate, Industrial & Operations Engineering
JPMorgan Chase – Fast Math Computation Project, 2015 Cohort

The 2015 JP Morgan MDP project involved an exciting mix of math, finance, and computer science with the objective of speeding up derivative computations. I am a master’s student in Michigan’s Industrial and Operations Engineering program, and this project let me apply what I had learned in my financial engineering and algorithm coursework to help the team solve this intriguing problem. The MDP experience proved to be a much richer experience than a traditional semester-long project or summer internship because I received coaching from my very intelligent and motivated teammates, the MDP staff, Professor Stout from the computer science department, and Mintak Ng and Lawrence Chan, the corporate sponsors at JP Morgan. Ultimately, when I wasn’t offered funding for my master’s for fall semester, JP Morgan offered me a permanent position working in New York in credit risk analytics and will be supporting the remainder of my graduate studies part-time while working.

Saanya Sethi
Bachelor of Business Administration, Ross School of Business
Amway Skincare Device Project – 2015 Cohort
Graduating in May 2017

My time at MDP thus far has allowed to me to experience so much in such a short amount of time. Instead of obtaining a narrow business education from Ross, MDP has allowed me to learn about engineering design processes, arduino controllers and even SolidWorks! The MDP Staff really aided me in learning and exploring different disciplines. They are always available to help and it is a great feeling to know that they want our team to succeed. Additionally, MDP helped me obtain my summer internship for 2015 in Buena Park, California. My internship at Amway gave me real life procurement experience but also allowed me to connect with the company even more to help my team do the best in our project. Overall, MDP is an experience of a lifetime that I have learned so much from!

Julianne Tsai
Mechanical Engineering
Chimp Joystick Project – 2013 Cohort
Graduated May 2015

I was a member of the Chimp Joystick design team through the Department of Psychology. Our task was to create a joystick with biosensors embedded into the handle to measure physiological stress in chimpanzees. Out of a team of 5 engineers, I was the only mechanical engineer so my task was to design and fabricate the joystick handles while taking into account the various sensor dimensions, interaction with the chimpanzee, and more. I gained great experience through working with people who have different backgrounds as me, developed my public speaking skills through the design reviews, and honed my CAD and machining skills. I am graduating in December 2015 with a major in Mechanical Engineering, a concentration in Manufacturing Systems, and a minor in Multidisciplinary Design.