Experiential learning sets graduates apart

Kelly StroheckerThe University of Georgia is the largest public university in the nation to require each undergraduate student to engage in experiential learning prior to graduation.

Kelly Strohecker, an electrical and electronics engineering major from Savannah, earned her experiential learning credit through a CO-OP rotation with Jordan & Skala Engineers, working with the company for three rotations. She also did two additional internships with two different companies.

“I wanted to gain that additional work experience before I graduate and be a strong candidate for full-time positions after I graduate,” she said.

She pointed out that these experiences exposed her to things she’ll need to know outside the classroom, such as design skills, electrical building codes and how to use Revit (CAD software).

Senior electrical engineering major Kelly Strohecker uses a control unit to operate a robot arm that is part of a conveyor reject system as part of her senior design capstone project inside the Driftmier Engineering Center.

“Classes are helpful in understanding the theory behind a lot of what I need to know while working,” she said. “While on the job, it becomes a more realistic application of how that knowledge is being used.”

But there is one lesson that stands out for her.

“The biggest way experiential learning has helped me is by showing that I am capable of working for a real company,” she said.

In fact, her experience helped her obtain a full-time position as an application engineer with Schneider Electric, where she’ll help design switchgear and switchboards based on customer plans and specifications.

By Krista Richmond | Photos: Andrew Davis Tucker

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