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Gen Ed Reflection Essay

Logan Highland

Gen Ed Electives

F 14 ECON 321 3.00 B-

F 11 PSYCH 101 3.00 B

S 14 ECON 101 3.00 B+

S 14 CL ST 275 3.00 B

15 CL ST 273 3.00 B

Reflection

GE1: What are your current short/long term goals? You may include your ideal career in engineering or
your preferred working environment.

My short-term goals are that I wish to graduate this spring with over a 3.0 cumulative GPA and have a
fulltime job when I graduate. Initially I would like to work somewhere close to my hometown, so I can pay
off any debts and live at home for the first couple years. For this time in my life, I dont have a lot of
requirements for the job I am looking for, other than something that will help me build real world
experience in Software Engineering to put on my resume. After the first couple years though, I will start
looking for a job that may turn into a career.

For my ideal career that I will be looking for at this point, I would like to live somewhere in the southwest,
such as Arizona or California. I would like to get a career in front end UI/UX development, that allows
some room for creativity while also not falling into the graphic design category. I would prefer a relaxed
work environment and a smaller name company over the hectic life of working at a major name in the
software engineering field, although I would not be against that. I would also be interested in looking for
a company that might be interested in helping me attend grad school to get my Master of Engineering.

GE2: What have you learned in your general education electives, which allow you to formulate and
evaluate engineering solutions in problem solving and innovation beyond the technical aspects in
problem solving? How do general education classes help you to think about an engineering problem?

The multiple economics courses that I have taken at Iowa State have really allowed me to evaluate the
solutions I come up with and determine if they will work in the real world of finances and business
strategies. It also has helped me when I am trying to choose between a couple different options, as one
of the main things that I learned in those classes was about the opportunity costs of decisions and how
everything has pros and cons to it. So when deciding between multiple things to focus on when trying to
solve an engineering problem, it helps to understand what you are getting and what you are giving up
when focusing on a certain area.

I think general education classes help you when trying to solve an engineering problem by helping you to
look outside the box. Taking them are a nice reminder that there are other ways to do things than just an
engineer can come up with. There are many different ways to solve the same problem and taking other
classes that arent engineering focused is a good way to see the way other people solve problems.

GE3: Relate what you have learned in general education classes to seeing beyond the engineering solution
in problem solving and innovation. What are some other dimensions to consider and what impact do
they have in an economic, global or societal context?

Like I said before, one of the main benefit in being in non-engineering courses is that you learn to try
solutions that may not normally occur in engineering solutions. Thinking outside the box is beneficial
and helps more in the real world than just using the same problem-solving process over and over. Some
of the general education classes that I have taken have had context outside of engineering. I took a
classical studies class that studied Athens which gave me more perspective on economies of other
countries, and a econ class that studied discrimination in the workplace. Taking these classes showed
me a lot of things outside of what I learn in my engineering classes and have helped me become a more
well-rounded student overall.