Jake Tobin

Student, BS, Manufacturing Engineering Technology
2001 - 2003, 2005 - 2007

As I prepared for college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. After considering several programs and reviewing catalogs, I decided on Manufacturing Engineering Technology at WSU. I started taking early college classes during my senior year of high school and discovered I had selected a program that was right for me. I enjoyed the classes in the program, from the early CAD and machining principles classes, all the way through senior project. Time spent in the classroom, backed by labs and supported by professors and fellow students, helped me gain a valuable education.

It was during my first job out of college that I realized just how valuable – and practical – that education was. While working as a manufacturing engineer, one of the machinists in the department challenged me to an engineer test. He wouldn’t tell me what the test was or when it would be, only that the engineer before me had failed, and that he would tell me when the test was complete whether I had passed or failed. 

Several weeks went by, and no matter how much I asked, the machinist wouldn’t give me even the slightest clue as to what the engineer test might be. One day we were reviewing a discrepant part together. He told me that one of the features had been cut under spec. He handed me the part and a micrometer and asked me to verify. I did a quick measurement, handed the part and the micrometer back to him, and he quickly replied that I passed. “Passed what?” I asked. The engineer test that I had waited so long to test was simply reading a micrometer – something I learned in my first year in college, practiced through multiple courses, and was able to quickly and easily apply in industry.

Countless experiences like this have proven the value of my education at WSU. The hands-on, one-on-one learning offered have served me well, and helped me contribute and compete in various industries and disciplines.