From experiences in high school Project Lead The Way classes and a passion for math and science, Courtney Wenzel knew that mechanical engineering was the right path for her, and MSOE was the place where she could take it and grow further.
MSOE’s reputation, small class sizes and location close to her home of New Berlin, WI are what drew her in. She also liked that right away upon entering the university freshman year, she would start taking classes in her major.
During all four years at MSOE, Wenzel was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula Hybrid team. SAE designs, builds, tests and races formula hybrid vehicles.
“It was a great opportunity to work with a team of driven engineering students like myself and I had a ton of fun designing, building and competing with our car. The best memory with the team was when we became the first team to complete the 44-lap endurance race and won the international competition.”
This experience was a fun way for her to be involved on campus, but it also helped her build up experience and collaborate on cross-functional teams, which is key in her current position as Engineer I in the residential zero-turn team at AriensCo.
Not only has Wenzel’s education at MSOE helped her at AriensCo. today, it also gave her the confidence and set her up for success at Stanford University, where she pursued a master’s degree.
“Upon graduation from MSOE, I went to Stanford for my Master’s in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on design methodology and product realization. I competed with the Stanford Solar Car team and had an internship at Tesla. I was able to keep up with the intense course load and balance it with my extra curriculars because of my time at MSOE. It really set me up well to succeed at Stanford.”
As she reflected upon her time at MSOE, Wenzel noted that getting involved helped her become successful and recommends that current students do the same.
“Get involved in extra curriculars, specifically student design teams. Also, don’t be afraid to go to the career fairs as an underclassman. Everyone in your program will graduate with the same degree, so you need to do something to stand out from the crowd. Extra-curriculars and internships show that you can apply what you learned in class outside of the classroom.”
In her free time, the MSOE alumna enjoys playing board games with her friends in the Fox Valley area and watching sports.