The root of a STEM career: Introducing Chandler Burke

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Future Engineer Scholarship Winner_Chandler BurkeAs I sit down to write my introduction, I realize that I’m really excited to have this opportunity. Truthfully, I’ve never blogged before. It’s not that I’m shy or nervous or anything. It’s just that I’ve always been lagging behind in social networking. Of all my friends I have been the last to get a phone, and certainly the last to sign onto Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Snapchat.

But through this blog I will relate my experiences at Rice University and hopefully encourage students to sincerely consider a major and career in an engineering and technical field.

By this time, you’re probably wondering who I am, so here it goes. My name is Chandler Burke, and I’ve just finished my first year at Rice University as an Electrical Engineering major. My long-term goals are to earn my PhD and perform research as either a college professor or for a company in a Research & Development capacity.

As Electrical Engineering teaches one skills that are applicable in a wide variety of fields, I have multiple options for specialization such as MRI imaging of the brain to more “standard” electrical engineering applications such as designing circuits, improving computer hardware, signal processing, system design or even device physics.

For this blog, I plan to simply share my experiences and observations. I’m not one to pass on too much advice—most people seem to know what they want, and advice from a random stranger isn’t going to do convince you to change your life, nor should it. Heck, my parents would argue that I hardly even listen to them, so if that’s the case why should I expect you to listen to me?

(To my Mom and Dad: You are the best parents in the world.  If I listened to all of your advice, I wouldn’t make any mistakes and thus would be missing out on a significant part of the human experience.  I’m sorry, but y’all are just too perfect.)

What I will do is explain my experiences at Rice and at my technical internships. As this is a blog, and I do have my own opinions on various subjects, I will not limit myself to simply “STEM” topics. In fact, since many people seem to have this stereotype that STEM majors are one-dimensional “nerds,” I will make it a point to include other topics in my posts from time to time.  While I would be lying to you if I said that Rice is easy, I still have time for other things. As such, since I myself do not limit myself to only STEM activities, I do not want to limit this blog to strictly STEM topics either. As great as STEM is, I am not uniquely defined by my work. So, from time to time, I will share other parts of my college experience and other, myriad, seemingly random topics that — if nothing else — are worthy of a blog post.

So there you have it, you now know who I am, what I’m doing and what I plan to do. See you in two weeks!

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Chandler Burke is the Adecco Engineering & Technical 2014 Future Engineers Scholarship recipient. He is a rising sophomore and engineering student at Rice University where he also plays trumpet in the MOB, the Rice Owl Marching Band.

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