Hi everyone! My name is Alex Thompson. That’s me in the featured image above (not the deer, the guy holding the deer) in Wisconsin last year. I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but mostly grew up in Colorado Springs.
I am currently a Mechanical Engineering student approaching the end of my concurrent BS/MS track. I will graduate with both degrees in May! That’s both exciting and a little scary. Anyway, here is a brief synopses of my skill set and personal aspirations. Enjoy!
Well, I like to think I am good at all of the common skills that most Mechanical Engineers have. I can sketch pretty well, and are improving that skill every day thanks to this class. I can design and assemble virtual prototypes in Solidworks. Some days I can code pretty cool things using MatLab, Simulink, and Simscape. I also use Excel and Powerpoint on a daily basis at my work.
I’m pretty handy with the basic tools like a power drill, ban-saw, etc. but it has been awhile since I have used a mill or lathe. I used to know how to use the laser cutters too, but it’s been a while since I’ve used the one in the ITLL too. Perhaps my most interesting skill is soldering more than just a common circuit board. Don’t get me wrong, I can solder a circuit pretty well. But I also used to be the Prototype Engineer for a company where I soldered all of our products (which were basically copper sheets with mesh lining) together. It was more of an art than a science. I also got pretty good at photography and Photoshop last year. Finally, I like to think I am a perfectionist (thus fairly patient). This means I pay great attention to detail and often spend more time than necessary to make sure something turns out just the way I envision it.
As stated above, I am about to graduate with my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering, with emphasis in Renewable and Sustainable Energy. In the near future, I plan on using those degrees at an Architectural Engineering firm or some car manufacturer or something where I can possibly try to make a difference. I do not want to see the globe change to the point where Boulder becomes as arid as Phoenix, Arizona. If I can work somewhere like that, I believe I would make my parent truly proud. And I could make a good sum of money doing it.
However, I also want to enjoy my job. Whether that’s in industry or not, I want to be happy to go to work. I have been extremely lucky at all of my jobs throughout college where I am never bummed that I have to work. Throughout college I have been working my way up the ladder at the University of Colorado Club Sports Department and the Athletic Department. As long as I wasn’t forced to work during a Green Bay Packers game, I always looked forward to working. It helps that it was a break from engineering, but it has still been a huge leadership and management opportunity which has helped me grow as a person. I need to continue to love my job. Thus, I do not see myself staying in industry all my life. I see myself retiring from industry and becoming a high school or college teacher of physics or calculus. I know it doesn’t pay well, but I think that is what I would truly love to do.
That is, unless I get another job in the world of athletics. There are a few positions I would love to hold. First, I would love to be a part of CU Hockey when they go NCAA Division 1. I do not think I would have the skill to coach at such a level, but I would absolutely love to assistant coach, manage, or direct such a team. Or I would like to be a part of the team that develops Pac-12 hockey and brings NCAA hockey back to the likes of college basketball in terms of television time. I have a vision of “Hockey Night on Campus” airing on ESPN and ESPN 2 Friday and Saturday nights starring the classic Wisconsin Badgers vs Minnesota Golden Gophers and the rising rivalries like Colorado Buffaloes vs. Arizona State Sun Devils. And of course, I would die to be a leading member of the Green Bay Packers and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Titletown. But for now, I am applying all over to put my Mechanical Engineering degree to good use.
Of course I have a lot of aspirations outside of my career as well, such as potentially retiring on a lake in the North Woods of Wisconsin with my beautiful family so I can hunt and fish all week (and turn the lake into a skating rink in the winter), then go to Green Bay on Sundays. Anyway, I think this is enough information for those of you reading this blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little story here. Good luck with your projects and hope you have a great day!