As a Freshman, I started out with the “Undeclared Engineering” major and initially thought Mechanical Engineering sounded too boring or conventional for me. I eventually realized that Mechanical Engineering (ME) is neither one of those things, and in a way, being in one of the biggest and most popular departments in Viterbi has been great: I still meet new people in my major every semester and I’m a Junior! We also get to share a lot of classes with Aerospace and Astronautical Engineers, too.
Early on I learned that an ME degree has one of the broadest applications for real-life work, which is cool because I never get bored with the material– one day we’ll talk about how the principles we learn in Dynamics can apply to a pendulum, and the next day we learn about how studying Turbulent Jets applies to fire plumes in a factory. I still don’t know what I want to do, but with ME I figure I can do it all. All the cool companies (in my opinion!) from Boeing to Disney to Mercedes, need Mechanical Engineers!
One reason I love Mechanical Engineering is because I love physics… I sort-of dislike biology and more-than-sort-of hate Chemistry (no offense Chemical Engineers, it’s just not for me), but with Mechanical we get to take three semesters of physics, the best subject ever.
There have been some amazing classes (Physics, Strength of Materials, and Thermodynamics), some less-interesting (but still worth getting through) like Materials Science and Calculus III, and some that were more challenging than expected (ahem, AME 341: Mechoptronics).
All-in-all, I love Mechanical Engineering, but still glad that I entered as Undeclared Engineering (ENGR) so that I had enough time to discover it!