December 08, 2023
Michelle Atkinson decided to become an engineer after beginning her career as a registered nurse. She saw how electricity and technology were affecting the nursing field, and decided to go back to school to continue learning and asking questions about how technology is impacting the world.
She chose Mizzou because of its academic reputation in addition to the campus and surrounding community, and throughout her time here has gotten involved in Alpha Omega Epsilon, an engineering sorority, and as a member and executive board member of Eta Kappa Nu, an Electrical Engineering honor society.
Atkinson has accepted a position as an electrical engineer at Black & Veatch in their Power – High Voltage Substation division. Continue reading for a Q&A with Atkinson about her Mizzou experience.
What made you interested in your major?
I chose electrical engineering because I have always found electricity fascinating! I was able to see how the future of energy and technology sectors were impacted by electrical engineering and I wanted to be on the forefront of this field.
In my first professional career as an RN, I researched the topic of robotic nurses and learned how robots are being utilized to assist nurses in the healthcare industry. My curiosity in furthering the creation and development of new technologies to impact people’s lives is what pushed me to go back to school.
What’s your favorite thing about electrical engineering?
My favorite things about my degree plan of electrical engineering would be my labs, classes, and capstone. I enjoyed my labs and capstone because they were all hands-on, which allowed me to learn how to build circuitry on software and on breadboards. Even though a majority of my courses were demanding, I always enjoyed the challenge before me, and this allowed me to learn a vast amount of information during my time at Mizzou.
What’s your favorite Mizzou Engineering memory?
My favorite memories would have to be in my classes and in my engineering sorority. Due to the smaller class sizes, I got to know my fellow classmates on a personal level. It was nice to always have someone to talk to about schoolwork or exams. My engineering sorority AOE allowed me to meet some of my closest friends throughout my time at Mizzou, for which I am so grateful.
How has Mizzou Engineering helped you achieve your goals?
Mizzou has helped me achieve my goals by preparing me for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE) and also helping me obtain a full-time job. While studying for the FE, I felt confident due to Mizzou having adequately prepared me by covering most of the material on the exam while I was a student here. I was very happy that I passed! Mizzou Engineering has also helped me achieve my career goals by having several career fairs and career preparation events. With the various topics that are covered in my degree plan, I figured out what topics I found most interesting and what I could readily see myself doing in my future career.
What would you tell someone who’s interested in coming to Mizzou?
If someone is interested in attending Mizzou I would definitely recommend it! The campus and town might feel really big at first, but there are so many groups to join to meet new people.