“College is what you make of it.” That’s the philosophy that Megan Marshall ‘23 (Mechanical Engineering) has followed throughout her time at the University of Indianapolis. And she has certainly made her college experience memorable.
Megan was first inspired to study mechanical engineering by her father, who is a mechanical engineer himself. However, Megan wanted to forge her own path and originally looked into programs in health care, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy. Turns out, those career paths just “didn’t have enough math” for Megan, leading her back to mechanical engineering and, ultimately, to the R.B. Annis School of Engineering at UIndy.
“UIndy was definitely in my top two choices for college,” said Megan. “I ultimately ended up coming here for a couple of different reasons. I received more substantial scholarships from UIndy than from any of the other schools I was looking at.”
Megan was awarded the R.B. Annis Engineering Scholarship from UIndy during her senior year of high school.
“Also, I really loved the campus,” continued Megan. “I was never someone to look at the super big universities, where I would be in a lecture hall with hundreds and where I wouldn’t know my professors. I ask a lot of questions, so I wanted to be able to have those one-on-one interactions. And the campus itself is nice and quiet, even though we’re close to downtown. I don’t feel like it’s as noisy or as busy, as it would be at like IUPUI where you’re directly in town.”
As a freshman, Megan lived in the Engineering Living-Learning Community (LLC) in Cory Bretz. There she built a community with other engineering majors that would support her throughout her college career. Even now, while many of the students have moved out of the LLC, they still find time to connect on campus.
“I really like Thursday nights,” said Megan. “We’ve been doing kind of open-house nights, where we’ll have food, the professors will stay to help with homework and projects, and we’ll have events for our societies like the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). It’s a nice night where people in the School of Engineering just hang out. It’s a good atmosphere.”
Megan also serves as a Peer Mentor as part of a new program the School of Engineering launched this year. Peer Mentors are paired with freshmen engineering students to help make their transition to UIndy and college life more comfortable.
The R.B. Annis School of Engineering gave Megan and her fellow engineering students the opportunity to build community within the classroom. Through the unique DesignSpine curriculum, engineering students from all seven majors collaborate on year-long projects, such as creating a product to present at the annual Business Pitch Competition or designing a robot for the National Robotics Challenge.
“The DesignSpine curriculum helps us stand out from other engineering schools and other engineering students by having us work on projects with students from other engineering majors,” said Megan. “I have two general engineers on my National Robotics team this year. Last year, for the Business Pitch Competition, I worked with two computer engineers. We also have projects where we work with outside clients like Citizens Energy, Fastenal, Carrier, and Milwaukee Tool. That’s what makes us stand out; we receive a good education, we’re learning the same things as other engineering graduates, but we gain real, hands-on experience with clients working on projects for the real world.”
Outside of her classes, Megan is also heavily involved on campus. She works as a Greyhound Ambassador in the Office of Admissions, where she gives tours to prospective students and their families. She is also a Presidential Ambassador, and serves as a representative for the University at various student and community events, such as Family Weekend. Outside of UIndy, Megan enjoys playing, coaching, and officiating girls club volleyball.
“Whenever I give tours, I tell people that college is really what you make of it,” added Megan. “I think that’s what I’ve tried to do, is make the best of it and do as much as I can to help impact others. If you want to come to college and you want to have a smaller friend group and only do a couple of things, that’s totally possible. If you want to come to college and get to know a lot of people and be involved in everything, you can do that too.”
Megan crafted her college experience in such a way that allowed her to not only build a community with the School of Engineering, but across the UIndy campus as a whole. This ability to collaborate with others is surely one of the many reasons that, upon graduation, Megan has accepted an offer with Roche. This comes after a successful summer internship as a part of the Roche Academy and her part time work throughout the school year.
To those students looking to take full advantage of their college experience as well, Megan offers the following advice:
“It can be challenging and, as I tell my freshmen peer mentees, that’s okay. Be open to being challenged and keep pushing through. It’ll be worth it in the end.”