Class of 2009
“I wanted to define who I was and MSOE allowed me to do that.”
Jeffrey Chan, originally from Portland, Ore., concentrated on building and design construction in high school. He knew he wanted to learn about electrical systems and do something with structures, but at the time, he had no idea that architectural engineering was an option. He then attended MSOE’s Focus on the Possibilities summer program and had his defining moment.
“I thought I wanted to major in either mechanical engineering or civil engineering,” said Jeffrey. “I had no idea about architectural engineering, and it was the major that would address the exact thing I wanted to study. I had found my college.”
Being a first generation student and far from home, Jeffrey used MSOE’s Student Support Services to stay focused on his studies and achieve the educational goals he and his parents had set. His family’s advice was to “lead by example.”
Jeffrey thanks people like Betty Albrecht, director of Student Support Services, and others in her department for his success. “They were a huge help! I received tons of support, even when I didn’t realize I needed it.”
Along the way, he had to make some tough choices. One in particular was delaying his graduation by a year so he could take advantage of the Disney Internship Program. He spent a year engaging with the design team and learned important things to being successful. “Be passionate. Be open to ideas. Love to learn, and think about the end user.” He has carried these four things with him throughout his career.
Jeffrey is lucky enough to continue his real love – theme parks. He currently is employed as an electrical designer at Glumac, an MEP firm which has contract work with Walt Disney Imagineering. One of his professional achievements is having designed electrical systems for Disney’s California Adventure Cars Land. “I was part of a team that designed everything from the electrical systems for the ride controls to the facility sockets to plug in a lamp. Being a part of that project was an amazing experience and has opened up additional theme park opportunities.” He also worked on the Shanghai Disney Resort project here Glendale, Calif.
When asked what advice he would give to a future student, Jeffrey had no problem coming up with an answer. “This is your future. Follow your passion and follow it full force. In short, step out of your own way and be open to new possibilities. MSOE will give you the tools to be successful but it will be up to you to use them.”