Unique Features

Seattle University's Senior Design Program

A Graduate's Perspective
by Lisa Berman

Sarah Mansa and Kiran Dhanoa, both Seattle University graduates, feel that the Senior Design Project and experiences have been integral to their success as engineers and their ability to compete in the job market. The Senior Design Project is a unique facet of the Seattle University experience, which not only prepares students for the realities of working as an engineer, but also provides opportunities for students to network with many different companies and employers. Students not only learn the technical aspects of a career in engineering, but also gain communication and leadership skills which are essential to the real-world workplace. Seattle University students graduate with both an engineering degree and a distinctive set of skills which set them apart from graduates of other universities. Our graduates recognize the value of this type of education, and employers do as well. Sarah Mansa and Kiran Dhanoa can attest to the benefits of participating in the Senior Design Project.

Sarah Mansa graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. She is currently employed by the Boeing Company as a member of the Research and Development department, focusing on the area of Electromagnetics. Sarah feels that her Senior Design experience greatly impacted her ability to obtain her position at Boeing. Sarah gained valuable networking opportunities when she worked on her Senior Design project with employees from the Boeing Company. She was also able to meet and network with employees from companies involved in the Senior Design projects of her fellow classmates.

In addition to making connections with employers, Sarah obtained important teamwork and project management skills, which are indispensable in the real world of engineering. Sarah feels that acting as a project manager in the Senior Design project allowed her to develop and sharpen her leadership abilities. In Sarah's view, a person working as an engineer spends half of his or her time completing technical, engineering specific tasks and the other half working collaboratively with colleagues. Seattle University gave her the skills and knowledge needed to excel as an engineer and obtain a desirable position in a competitive market.

Kiran Dhanoa graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering. She is currently employed by Philips Medical Systems as a software development engineer. Kiran feels that her education at Seattle University, and her experiences in the Senior Design project in particular, helped to differentiate her from her peers at other universities and, therefore, made her more competitive in the job market. She agrees that the Senior Design project is a wonderful opportunity to network with employers, and even sees it as the first step in the job seeking process.

Kiran believes that the Senior Design experience teaches students how to work collaboratively and communicate with all different types of people, which is essential for success as an engineer. It also gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the areas of proposal writing, project managing, budgeting, and presenting, which are key skills for the workplace. Kiran was able to take these vital skills obtained through her Senior Design experience and apply them directly to her current job and position.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Seattle University strives to prepare its students for a career as an engineer by providing rich, real world learning experiences such as the Senior Design Project. Students leave the department with both technical knowledge and the ability to work effectively with others in a corporate setting. Our graduates feel more prepared to enter the workplace, and their employers value the hands-on experiences they have had. The department's goal is to educate students on many levels and in many areas to help our graduates become versatile, skilled problem solvers who can make significant contributions to their companies and are able to pursue careers that inspire them. Sarah Mansa and Kiran Dhanoa are just two examples of that goal coming to fruition.