Degrees Help Alumnus Succeed in Engineering Career Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Meet Arthur Chileshe
Job title: Distribution Designer
Employer: Duquesne Light Company
Degrees earned: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology and Master of Science in Engineering Management, Point Park University
Graduation years: 2007 and 2010
Hometown: Lusaka, Zambia
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Interests/Hobbies: Soccer, tennis, golf, keeping up with latest technologies, reading, current affairs, traveling, good food and wine
What inspired you to study engineering?
I was one of those kids who opened up every toy I owned just to figure out how it worked. I was always curious to understand how things worked and how to make them better. I knew from an early age that I would be a science major when I grew up, but I wasn't sure exactly which type of science. As I grew older, I started to develop an interest in physics and computers, and electrical engineering technology was the major that I felt would be the best of both worlds.
Why did you choose Point Park for both your bachelor's and master's degrees?
One of the things that attracted me to Point Park was its small average class size. As an engineering technology major, I got to spend a lot of time in the lab, and having that personal attention from professors turned out to be extremely important for my success. Thanks to a soccer scholarship and a graduate assistantship in the School of Arts and Sciences, Point Park also helped me pay for my education, which also influenced my decision.
How did you land your current job with Duquesne Light Company?
I have a friend, also from Point Park University, who was already working for Duquesne Light and recommended that I apply. After applying online, I was asked to take a test before being interviewed. As you can guess, I passed it, and the rest of the interview process went smoothly.
What were some of your favorite experiences at Point Park?
Funny enough, one of my best experiences during my undergraduate studies was when my classmates and I would be in the labs until 9 or 10 p.m. at night trying to figure out how to solve a problem. We had great relationships with our professors who took the time to explain difficult concepts to us but also made the classes fun. I also had a lot of great moments playing soccer for Point Park. As a graduate student, I enjoyed the Master of Science in engineering management program, which introduced me to the project management side of engineering and truly rounded out my education. I liked working for the School of Arts and Sciences as a graduate assistant as well. I got to work with a great team and made lifelong friends there too.
How has Point Park helped you reach your goals?
First, Point Park made it affordable for me to attend college through a soccer scholarship. That scholarship was what triggered everything for me, giving me access to an education which I didn't think I could afford initially. Secondly, through Point Park's hands-on approach and challenging classes, the undergraduate program equipped me with the most crucial engineering skills needed to succeed in this career. Lastly, the master's program prepared me for the real-life challenges that I would face as an engineer, including managing large-scale projects. That is what I do in my current job and I thoroughly enjoy it. These projects can be very challenging but greatly rewarding at the same time.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Going through a college education as an international student has its challenges. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Keith Paylo, dean of student affairs, for all his help during my undergraduate studies. I would also like to thank the "crew" of the School of Arts and Sciences whom I worked with during my graduate assistantship. Last, but not least, I would like to thank Professors Don Keller, Wayne Grassel, Walter Zalot and Aike Okolo and many others for having made a significant impact on my education and my career.