Mechanical Engineering Technology
Class of 2002
“MSOE really gave me the foundation I needed to do well in my job.”
Marcus Poppler ’02 is a Project Engineer in the engineering department at Taylor Dynamometer, the leading manufacturer of engine dynamometers located in Milwaukee.
Marcus earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology from MSOE with a specialty in fluid power. Marcus shares some insight on his experience at MSOE and how it prepared him for his career.
“MSOE’s engineering program has a great reputation for producing exceptional graduates. But more than that, many employers know how difficult it is to get an engineering degree from MSOE,” said Marcus. “In addition, because the course work is so difficult, the education I received at MSOE really gave me the foundation I needed to do well in my job.”
Staying in touch with his fellow alumni has helped Marcus’ career—and helped him land his current job. “One of my colleagues from MSOE was calling on Taylor Dynamometer in his job, so he knew they were getting into hydraulics and recommended they talk to me. Because of his recommendation, I got an interview and eventually the job. I wouldn’t be at Taylor without the MSOE network.”
Marcus’ Secrets to Success
Keep all of your college textbooks.
“This was one of the best decisions I made. They have made a great resource library for me. At least once a month, I pull out one of my textbooks to look up information on anything from technical writing, electrical machines, hydraulic or other topics.”
Take courses outside of your major.
“Even though my major was mechanical engineering technology, MSOE required that approximately 25% of my credits were in the electrical engineering field. At the time, I didn’t necessarily understand its importance. But now I know that they were helping me focus on systems rather than just the mechanical elements. This was very beneficial because I perform a great deal of electrical design work. I’d also say that the courses I took for my minor in fluid power were helpful. My background in fluid power enabled me to get my current job with Taylor Dynamometer, as well as my previous position with a manufacturer in the hydraulic industry.”
Take a foreign language.
“The workplace is becoming more global, so having the ability to speak a second language will give you an advantage. But more than that, it is a sign of courtesy and respect to have the ability to speak to another person in their native language. I’ve had the opportunity as part of my job to travel to several other countries and met people who spoke three and four different languages. I really admired those people and wish I shared that ability.”
Hone your practical skills.
“Take every advantage to hone your practical skills – CAD, rapid prototyping and trade skills – while in college because you will rely heavily on them in the workplace. I wish that I was faster at CAD now because I’d be more effective in my profession. The curriculum at MSOE offered some opportunities to work on CAD, but there were other opportunities in which I didn’t take advantage. If I had it to do over, I would spend more time mastering CAD and other skills.”
Get real work experience.
“At Taylor, we offer internship programs that provide engineering students the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. You will work with other engineers on important projects that will end up in the marketplace. A number of the interns have been hired full time by Taylor, so it also offers an opportunity to prove your capabilities.”