Keeping an Eye on the Goal

Sarah Thomas first heard about Illinois Institute of Technology through a soccer identification camp. When researching the school, she was attracted to its small class sizes and Illinois Tech’s reputation for setting students up for future success.

She says meeting the “incredibly welcoming” women’s soccer team members helped her finalize her decision, and playing on the team has been as good of an experience as she had hoped.

Sarah is one of the goalkeepers, and she recalls one practice where the goalkeepers started a game of Spikeball while waiting for their part of the practice to start.

“It was a lot of fun and just goofing off and having fun together,” she says. “That lightheartedness and fun is the reason I love playing on this team.”

On the academic side, Sarah says that while she enrolled, unsure about what area of engineering she wanted to pursue, her adviser was able to help her figure out what would best suit her interests. With a love for math, she ended up in electrical engineering.

“Though the coursework for my major is rigorous, of course, there are an incredible amount of resources for me to use,” she says. “The courses have all been interesting and generally seem to directly correlate to what I may be doing in the workforce.”

Sarah spent summer 2023 as a special systems intern at Mortenson, a construction and real estate company where she had the unique opportunity to try out a management role.

“It took me out of my comfort zone and taught me to communicate with people from many different backgrounds and whose responsibilities were different from each other. I had to grow more confidence in myself and grow more comfortable with communicating in a professional setting,” she says. 

Her job was to coordinate and communicate with teams that were installing various building management systems, conducting inspections to make sure everything was installed correctly, making sure everyone was up-to-date on design changes, and making sure materials were available.

After being immersed in the day-to-day experience, Sarah says she really enjoyed the environment and hopes to work on the other side as an electrical designer in the construction industry.

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