Applying yourself
By Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
September 27, 2018

By John “Brady” Winkler, Senior in ABE

Semester after semester, year after year, we are told the importance of school and learning, but what good is this knowledge if you refuse to use it?  My professors, the faculty, and even my parents have continually stressed this, but I don’t think I truly understood what it meant until I had the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned at this great institution.

This summer I had the privilege to intern as a process engineer within the research and development department at McCain Foods in Appleton, Wisconsin.  This was an absolutely incredible professional experience, and it solidified my belief in and love for this university and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Without the resources and guidance provided by my professors and other faculty, I would not have had this opportunity to thrive.

However, this is not what I am stressing with this post. We have all of the tools for success here at the University of Illinois, but it means nothing if we do not embrace and utilize them. As students and professionals we must never become complacent. We cannot just be happy with getting good grades because what good is a technical or personal skill if we cannot expand on it and delve into the beauty and complexity of an industry?  Getting a job and hands-on industry experience is truly what it’s all about. I have found this hands-on experience is crucial in setting your career goals and expanding your learning outside of the classroom. I am excited to continue this senior year, and I am excited to dive head first into the real world knowing that I have been prepared to be successful.