Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Robin Thomas

Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Warren, PA
High School: Warren Area High School

Why you chose Pitt:

I chose Pitt because of the opportunities and diversity found all throughout the engineering school, the rest of the campus, and the city. Pitt offers a variety of clubs, organizations, and events to take part in. But if that is not enough, there is always something to do in the city. There are a ton of music festivals/concerts, museums, expos, and restaurants to explore; I am never bored! As a minority, I feel very accepted on campus and within the city. I feel comfortable voicing my opinion, participating in new things, and not having to worry about being considered “different.”


Advice to a First Year Engineering Student:

Go! To! Office! Hours! Odds are you are going to learn something you have never seen before. Go to the professors and ask them for their help. They are experts and are willing to cater to your needs. Those hours are specifically set aside for you to get their full, undivided attention. Also, make friends with your professors. They are there to teach you but they are also human. They love meeting new people and getting to know you and your life. Don’t get into a routine—keep changing it up. Try a new restaurant, sit in on a meeting of a club you thought about joining (especially clubs through the engineering school), and/or visit an art museum downtown. College is your experience and it is only going to be as good as you make it. Encourage your friends to join you in these new experiences as well. Seriously get some sleep. All-nighters before an exam may seem like a good idea, but I promise you it is better to attack an exam with what you know and a full night’s sleep versus staying up all night cramming and then getting everything confused in your head during the test.


Extracurricular involvement and Future Goals:

In addition to being an Engineering Ambassador, I am a brother of the engineering professional co-ed fraternity Theta Tau and an undergraduate teaching undergraduates (UTU) for general chemistry. I also went on a study abroad trip to South Africa on a Panther Program called Engineering Design for Social Change. Throughout my time at Pitt, I will also be a Co-op Engineer for the Sherwin-Williams Company. After college, I hope to start working full-time (hopefully with Sherwin-Williams!) or attend graduate school.