Jessie Nichols


How did NMSU prepare you:
Education and problem solving skills:
A degree from the program resulted in 6 job offers upon graduation and continuous full time employment since then, a testament to the program.

Networking and character:
Transitioning with a few Carlsbad High School peers helped the college transition process and making new friends with students/staff from other regions expanded my    network; I remain in contact with many friendships grown while at NMSU. The dorm, class, and lab environment developed a better sense on team building and how to work    with others.

Many employers hire NMSU engineering students midway through the program; My 7 month paid internship at Cummins Diesel offered insight into industry’s evolution from 2D to 3D design and the industry experience gained undoubtedly increase jobs offered at graduation.

Time Management & Responsibility:
Coming from a low-income household, working while attending NMSU was necessary to minimize student loan debt. The reasonable tuition at NMSU ensured I didn’t have to work a 40 hour work week while being a full time student. Managing classes, study, work, & budget required many adjustments. Having Access to inexpensive dorm and meal plan options early on, along with on campus student services, greatly helped the transition… essentially into adulthood.

Your career and life outside your career are largely influenced by relationships which is influenced by your communication skills with others. It may be outside of your comfort zone, but find opportunities to improve communication skills… network, and build comradery with others.

Minimize student debt and pay off debt acquired early after graduation, it will be more challenging to do so once mortgages and family enters the picture

Give back something to society… Think of the difference of those who have helped you along the way. This doesn’t need to be financial…a little of your time goes along way and is most rewarding!

Responsibilites and Success:
Responsibilities include leading multidiscipline design and development efforts throughout my career at Raytheon and LANL, lately in the area of systems engineering. Have been fortunate to work with subject matter experts in many areas including mechanical/electrical/software/optics engineering, material scientists, physicists, and production agencies. A broad systems understanding and policy awareness has led to increased interactions with senior management within and external to LANL, to include Washington DC policy makers at the national level. Have been fortunate to receive 25 honors and awards, including:

Five National Nuclear Security Administration Defense Programs Excellence Awards from NNSA Deputy Administrator(s)…One of NNSA’s most prestigious award

“Oscar of Invention” R&D 100 Award by the nationally prominent R&D 100 awards committee for valveless laser processing technology

A United States Patent, # 7,047,801 for the design of a Guidance Assembly Test Station

Raytheon Excellence Award from the president of Raytheon, the most prestigious award offered by the company

Clubs, Competitions, and Extracurriculars:
Employed as an Engineering Assistant at (then) NMSU’s Advanced Manufacturing Center