Class of 2006
“When I graduated, my experience abroad differentiated me in the marketplace. With my background at MSOE and Lübeck, I was able to find a career I love and work throughout the United States and Europe.”
Many people love to travel. Ben Wolfgram ’06 and his fiance Leah don’t just love to travel, they live for it. Starting in March 2011, they took an 18-month sabbatical from their careers, visiting 30 countries in more than six continents: South and Central America, Southeast Asia, the Indochina Peninsula, China and Europe. They documented their adventures on their website, twowithoutaclue.com.
Ben’s love of travel started on a missionary trip he took with his grandmother as a teenager. When he attended MSOE, he spent a year studying abroad in Lübeck, Germany. “The exchange program set my personal and professional life on a new trajectory. The curriculum developed for the exchange program was masterfully developed by MSOE and Lübeck, so when I returned to MSOE my senior year, I was in step with my fellow classmates. When I graduated, my experience abroad differentiated me in the marketplace. With my background at MSOE and Lübeck, I was able to find a career I love and work throughout the United States and Europe.”
After graduating in 2006, Ben spent five years working in the automation field that allowed him to work in the U.S. and abroad. After returning from his 18-month adventure, he started his own automation engineering group called WE Automation, serving as president. He credits MSOE with helping to prepare him for his career. “The depth of knowledge and experience in a lab-based environment I received while attending MSOE was unparalleled. In addition, the small, close-knit classroom setting allowed me to develop professional relationships with MSOE professors.”
Ben encourages MSOE students to consider studying abroad. “I absolutely would recommend the exchange experience to any MSOE student. If you do participate in an exchange program, learn the language. I use German EVERY day – I didn’t expect that.”
He also warns students to be prepared for the unexpected. “As an engineer, I like things to be predictable. Reality tells me life isn’t predictable. The biggest moments in my life have all been unexpected. Prepare yourself by opening your mind to new ideas, partaking in the world around you, and working hard. When an unexpected opportunity presents itself, you’ll be ready.”