James says that through his co-op experiences he gained an appreciation for the soft skills (personal qualities) that are necessary for an engineer to be successful. “Each engineering student has about the same set of technical skills” he said. “In order to be successful in engineering and in the real world, it is the soft skills that will set you apart.”
James participates in several extracurricular activities. He is a five-year volunteer at the Kidz Corner Kaw Valley Relay for Life, a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), has served as the president, chair and conference planner for the Chem-E-Car Competition, and is a TA for CEAS Engineering Education.
James says that managing his extracurricular activities, social life, and course work has been challenging at times, but keeping everything in balance is always his goal. He has advice on how to keep this balance. “Prioritize your day,” he said. “Understand that there are 24 hours in everyday and utilize each hour to its full potential – whether that be watching T.V. or finishing off the last bit of studying or exercising.”
James, who is a diehard Cleveland (Indians, Browns, and Cavs) sports fan “for better or worse,” advises fellow students to enjoy the complete college experience. “Take the time to experience on-campus groups, downtown and Newport, and especially any unique experiences that interest you,” he said. “Whether that experience is studying abroad in Russia or becoming a Resident Assistant in your dorm, each is once in a lifetime.”
After graduation James will work for Dow Chemical in Freeport, TX as a Production Engineer.