Below, students in ECE share their experiences and thoughts on a variety of topics relating to graduate and undergraduate study. Click on the header to get their perspective.
Perspective: Writing a killer personal statement
"When I realized the Rice ECE department had the exact program I was looking for, I knew it was important to spend a lot of time on my Personal Statement. I can’t remember the exact hours, but I worked on it every day after work for several weeks and revised it more times than I would like to admit to. So, my first piece of advice is to get started on it early."
-Jill, ECE graduate student
Perspective: Obtaining an M.E.E. to advance a career
"Post-Rice I returned back to India. When my resume went open in the market, I was hit by a deluge of interview calls from different multinational companies. The impact of having a master’s degree from Rice is very high. I joined Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in Hyderabad and I’m currently working there as a design engineer. The technical expertise and the soft skills, which I gained at Rice, are the key factors allowing me to shine in my present job."
-Vinay '16, M.E.E. graduate
Perspective: Obtaining an M.E.E. while working full-time
"Challenging as it was, attaining an M.E.E. degree part-time while designing, developing and testing electronics full-time has been one of the most enriching learning experiences of my life. As a habitual front-seater in the class, I would engage in lengthy discussions with my professors on the topic of the day, not because I knew this would be part of the upcoming exam but because of my genuine curiosity of how I would use this knowledge to better the products I am building....my learning goal had now changed from focusing on topics that would be part of the exam for “an A grade,” to focusing on applying the knowledge to real-life applications."
-Saadiah '17, M.E.E. graduate
Perspective: Finding a Ph.D. Advisor
"One of the first overwhelming tasks any new Ph.D. candidate faces is that of choosing an advisor. Not only is it exciting but it plays a crucial role in our graduate life as well. Few graduate students are gifted with the clear understanding of the kind of research they want to do but there are a lot of us who do not have a clue initially. Here at Rice ECE, we do not need to make up our minds before starting school."
-Amruta, ECE graduate student
Perspective: Study abroad through ECE
"As the summer went by, I watched it become everything I had hoped for and more. I contributed to meaningful, interesting, and challenging research, and I traveled to six new countries and learned about the rich history and culture in each one. The whole summer was a whirlwind experience that helped me open my eyes to all the people, places, and cultures that exist in this amazing world and helped shape the way I view the world around me. I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything."
-Vinay, ECE undergraduate
Perspective: The importance of applying for fellowships
"As a Ph.D. student, funding options are different. If you are going for a STEM Ph.D., there is a high probability that your advisor/PI will fund your Ph.D. from her/his grants. You may ask, if I have a stipend and my tuition paid for, why would I want to apply for fellowships?"
-CJ Barberan, ECE graduate student
Perspective: Studying the Japanese language in Tokyo
"With the help of the Bybee Travel Award, I was able to embark on a life-changing journey to Japan this summer. I first arrived in Tokyo where I spent six weeks studying Japanese through Rice in Japan, an intensive language immersion program. During my stay, I had the privilege of living with a host family who helped me gain a better understanding of both the Japanese language and culture. "
-Steven, ECE undergraduate
Perspective: Performing research abroad as an undergraduate
"Traveling to Switzerland this summer was one of the most incredible events in my life. My research at ETH was beyond fulfilling and the friends I made were always cheerful and engaging. I will miss Prof. Gambardella’s dynamic group and the Swiss chocolate dearly, but feel privileged to have been part of a cutting-edge research team. I will never forget the wonderful memories and life-long friends I made during this trip."
-Cameron, ECE undergraduate
Perspective: Art and education abroad
"I was drawn to the field of electrical engineering because (among other other things) one professor described it as “practically magic.” I am fascinated in the intersection between electrical engineering, design and the arts. This summer I had the honor to travel to London on a Bybee Travel Fellowship for the opportunity to attend professional workshops, go on backstage tours of professional theaters and opera houses, attend West End shows and explore small fringe theater offerings."
-Robyn, ECE undergraduate
Perspective: Rice University, a celebration of diversity
"On my first day at Rice, I was sitting in a room full of graduate students from around 80 different countries and we all wished each other “Good morning” in our own languages. It’s been 3 years since then but the welcoming environment that I experienced on my very first day has not changed at all. Be it a thesis defense or a town hall meeting, I have seen an open and welcoming discussion between faculty members and students and new ideas are always appreciated. Being a small-sized university compared to many other universities in the country, it is easier to interact with people from different departments."
-Pratiksha, ECE graduate student
Perspective: Building your online presence
"When you make your website, it represents you, and that comes across to people who visit it. They get a sense of who you are, and therefore you want to put your best self out there."
-Joe, ECE graduate student
Perspective: Research Abroad through Nakatani RIES
"I am extremely excited to be working in the Matsuda Laboratory this summer, part of Kyoto University’s Institute for Advanced Energy. The Matsuda Lab specializes in optics at the nanoscale, and, according to Professor Kono, is one of the world’s finest labs in nanoscale material optics. I’m excited to learn as much as I can about optics and materials this summer and bring all that I can back to my young group at Rice."
-Alex, ECE undergraduate