NC State and the Goodnight Scholars Program prepared alumnus Carl Jenkins ’17 for the global workforce. Wait until you see where he’s been in only three years!
Goodnight Scholars Program: Where has life taken you since graduating from NC State?
Carl Jenkins ’17: My current title is GIS engineer with Siemens Energy Management. It’s really a diverse group of people! Siemens is a German company, but my direct boss is French and my engineering manager is from England. My current role allows me to work on the business side of [engineering] more because it’s a bit more market oriented, so I really like that. I think it’s a good place for me, for now.
What does your day to day look like?
GIS is basically the gear that we sell to customers. I’m responsible for getting customer requests from the sales lead, then I come up with the technical solution after reading the request specifications. I also direct drawings being made by our co-op students, so that’s pretty cool. I also sometimes have to accompany people as a technical reference. I got to go to Japan last year, as well as train in Germany, Rochester, and California! The travel is really nice and something I really enjoy.
What from your undergraduate background do you use most in the field?
A lot of project management from my senior design. Some of the things that I did during senior design actually carried over to my job. You always have to be organized and know how to be able to study information, take out the key details, and things like that. So undergraduate coursework did help! Some of the skills that you learn in undergrad and how to process information are always going to be important for whatever you do in your organization. Technical writing, how to formally present yourself in an email, or giving a sales pitch — it’s always important. Even learning to network professionally with the Goodnight Scholars Program through the different professional programs that they had while working on your elevator speech. I am so glad I was exposed to it.
I definitely think it’s important to find something that you’re passionate about outside of your coursework…
What is a piece of advice you have for current college students and Goodnight Scholars?
I definitely think it’s important to find something that you’re passionate about outside of your coursework to keep you steady, to keep you grounded. Doing something that you don’t necessarily have to do, but that gives you joy or gives you some type of cathartic release, I think is really important. So whether that is exercising, or music, or even if it’s just researching or reading about a completely different topic — I think that’s really important. Once you’re out of the college environment, I think it’s really important to have habits that can help you. Maybe find a way to make that passion benefit you in the long run, whether setting up a little business or putting your music online; something that is a continuation of following your passion outside of school.
What was your fondest memory from undergrad?
I am going to go with the Boston trip! The entire way to Boston, I played the song I’m Shipping Up To Boston on repeat on the bus ride to the airport. I remember in the morning everybody was just like, “Stop with the song!” and I was like, “Nope, we’re shipping up to Boston!” It was just a great time to connect with scholars you didn’t necessarily see because it was a selection of people from different cohorts. We walked around Faneuil Hall, some people went to Harvard — It was super, super fun. And then it was really fun playing board games at the hostel and connecting with the other scholars. It was just a great experience!
Photography credit: Josh Guter/Goodnight Scholars Program