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EE Overview 

Arnold Motley

Systems Engineer
IBM Corporation
Raleigh, NC

B.S. - University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Hardware Planner Engineer, handling hardware components on the motherboard.
"Don't limit yourself to academic work. Do a job related coop, and get as much experience as they could along the way."

Motley: "I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, when I joined on at IBM. There's a big diversity here, a lot of different minorities, men, women, young, old, I mean you cover the entire gambit here and I was happy to see that when I got here. It made my transition from college to employment a lot easier."

When Arnold Motley of IBM was a kid, what piqued his interest in engineering was Star Trek. He still loves science fiction and is fascinated by the unknown. "Just finding out things new. I love to learn; I love to sit down and read. Even now, after I've been in this field, I'm constantly reading, trying to keep up on the new things. He also takes advantage of conferences and courses and belongs to professional associations." From a practical standpoint, Motley believes an engineer needs more than a knowledge of his field. Strong analytical and communications skills come in handy. The engineer may have to debug a board he has never seen before or give a presentation or a status report on a project. Motley suggests that students don't limit themselves to academic work. "If they could do coop at all job related to definitely do that. And get as much experience as they could along the way." In his own case, Motley's years in the Navy proved to be an invaluable experience. "A lot of things you get in school are theory, and theory might teach you a certain way. It's supposed to react a certain way or operate a certain way, and, I'd say 80% of the time, it doesn't operate that way. In the Navy, I was actually able to see what it actually did out in the field versus what the book said it was supposed to do." His advice to minority students interested in engineering? Motley is very clear: "Don't let anyone try to talk you out of it. If it's something that you're really interested in, go for it 110%, and follow it through. It will be worth it in the end."


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