Abigail Bowman, a rising senior at Michigan State University, discusses why Emerge with Rubin made her a stronger communicator as she prepares to work in project management for a large manufacturer.
One day soon, Abigail Bowman will be a project manager at a manufacturing plant and oversee the production of important goods.
And when she’s in the role, the mechanical engineering student at Michigan State University (MSU) will need to excel at math and science — and communication skills too.
That’s why Bowman, a rising senior, appreciates the writing techniques she gained in spring 2020 through Emerge, our signature online program for student professional development. Under the direction of Dr. Geoff Recktenwald in ME (mechanical engineering) 222, Bowman and 200+ other Spartans learned effective email etiquette for internal and external communications.
“It’s not too often we learn communication skills in our engineering courses,” said Bowman. “Whether you’re a member of the team or a manager, you need to learn how to communicate effectively and professionally.”
Listen to Bowman here:
Dr. Recktenwald and his colleague, Ron Averill, MSU associate professor and associate chair for the mechanical engineering undergraduate program, incorporated Emerge in fall 2019 and spring 2020 in ME222. Across both semesters, 500+ students used the Emerge online assignments to learn the power of strong writing in the engineering field. The topics included:
- Create an executive summary that recaps an in-class design project (learn more about the MSU executive summary exercise here)
- Write emails in short sections so the content reads quickly
- Learn to summarize a team meeting via email and delegate tasks in a clear way
- Understand the value of being detail oriented and incorporating data when possible
“Effective communication skills are a must for engineers, and Emerge proved to be a great way to develop these skills in our sophomore-level mechanics class,” said Dr. Recktenwald. “Students navigated the Emerge platform without issue, and we were able to make Emerge assignments a consistent feature of the course.”
Bowman plans to intern this summer with Tenneco, a global supplier of auto parts. Right away, the Michigan native will have the chance to prove she is a sharp engineer and polished communicator.
“The skills I learned in Emerge are useful for internships and jobs,” said Bowman. “Emerge prepared me for whatever comes next.”