Student testimonials

Impact of Annual Giving – 2012

Alumni annual gifts are used in a multitude of ways to benefit Faculty of Engineering students. Two recent recipients express their thanks below as they explain how donor support is helping them meet their goals.

Felicia Parr, a Mechanical Engineering Major, says that internships and extra-curricular activities funded by alumni gifts have helped her realize where her true interests lie.

Clarifying career goals (Photo: Owen Egan)

Felicia interned this past summer with Bombardier Aerospace in Montreal. The placement was arranged through the McGill Engineering Student Centre (MESC), a Faculty-run service that receives a healthy part of its budget from annual donations.

“Besides expanding my understanding of engineering,” Felicia says that “working alongside so many extremely intelligent, driven people at Bombardier has really been inspiring.

“I’m impressed by a lot of the students I know at McGill, by their work habits and their goals, but listening about the experiences my Bombardier colleagues have had has done an awful lot to clarify my own career goals.”

In addition to tackling a Minor in Management, this dynamic McGill Engineering student helped lead a team that raised $22,000 in sponsorship funds for extracurricular design team competitions that are also partly funded through alumni gifts. “The knowledge, the skills and the confidence that project gave me are not strengths you necessarily pick up in course work,” Felicia says, “so I really appreciated the opportunity to get involved.

“I learned skills that will serve me for the rest of my life.” As for her stint at Bombardier, Felicia says the experience has solidified her burning interest in aerospace engineering. Her internship involved analysis of aircraft performance in terms of takeoff, mission, systems and avionics, weight and operating costs. She also helped to identify sales opportunities and develop argumentation to demonstrate to potential customers which products best meet their needs.

Applying concepts in the field (Photo: Owen Egan)

Adam Mansuri is co-captain of McGill Engineering’s Formula SAE motorsport team. The group, in its various incarnations, has been winning awards at major international student competitions for years.

Although considered extracurricular, Adam says the impact the project has had on his education is massive.

The Holmdel, New Jersey native says that Formula SAE has given him the opportunity to participate in and oversee a real engineering project from start to finish — “from basic design principles and vehicle tuning and development to team management.

“That’s the kind of thing companies look for when they hire people,” he says. “The practical experience you pick up with the SAE team lets employers know that you are ready to hit the ground running.”

What Adam likes most about his involvement in this alumni-sponsored activity is the way it has enabled him and his teammates to apply classroom concepts to real world engineering.

“All of us are better able to make the connection now between the computer screen and real life. The effect it’s had on the way we perceive engineering is incredible.”

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