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Connecting with the World

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SCU: "Nowhere else I would rather be"

Eric Pelfrey ’09, like a lot of other mechanical engineering students, was looking for an internship at the Career Fair at the end of his sophomore year. He works as a student assistant in SCU’s Career Center, so he knew how many great opportunities were out there. In fact, he was ready to sign on with one company for the summer when another came along and asked what they could do to get him. Northrop Grumman Marine Systems in Sunnyvale offered him an 11-week internship in their Advanced Systems Engineering department on a contract for the Missile Defense Agency.

“One of the biggest advantages of my internship was the networking opportunities that came along with it. I was able to work alongside the smartest people I have ever met,” he says. Even better, he adds, “I was invited to come back this summer to work with them again.” He’ll be there for only nine weeks this time, working in a different department, one that designs turbines for nuclear submarines, followed by a month-long trip to Spain with friends.

Outside of classes, Pelfrey is a regular on immersion trips. “One of the best experiences I have had at Santa Clara has been going to Mexico with almost a hundred other SCU students to build houses during part of my Thanksgiving break." Though not many engineering students participate in these programs, he says, “it’s something they can do, they just don’t hear about it. I made time for it because I enjoyed it so much. This trip has completely opened my eyes to the needs and relevance of people in other countries, and has made me appreciate even more the opportunities that I have been given.”

He is in no hurry to plan his future exactly. “It is so hard to say what my career goals are.  Santa Clara has opened up so many opportunities that I am overwhelmed with different ideas of where my future could go.” He may take advantage of Santa Clara’s five-year bachelor’s/master’s program in engineering, or work for a few years and go back to school for an MBA, or even start his own company, something he’s always dreamed of doing.

Eric Pelfrey '09, mechanical engineering major

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