University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Engineer, handling hardware components on the motherboard.
yourself to academic work. Do a job related coop, and get as
much experience as they could along the way."
"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."