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Engineering—The Best of All Worlds

June 15, 2016

About Me

Nick Lancellotti (pictured at right), from Seekonk, MA, is a second year Civil Engineering student pursuing a BS degree in the program with an intended minor in Communications. When he’s not analyzing structures or calculating moment equations, he’s usually in the Curry dance studios practicing choreography, giving tours around campus to prospective students and families, taking photos around Boston, or drawing in Sharpie on wood panels.

Engineering—The Best of All Worlds

I always sort of knew I was going to become an engineer. No, it wasn’t one of those childhood fascinations that followed me through high school. It’s a little more complicated than that. Starting from an early age, I developed an obsession for learning, like a sponge absorbing anything and everything it possibly could. My enjoyment didn’t so much stem from what I was learning as it did how I was learning. While the end result was a wonderful reward, the process, the journey, of acquiring new knowledge, was the cornerstone of my pre-college years. Of course, when both your parents are teachers (one in high school, the other in elementary school), this becomes a little easier to understand.

Unfortunately, this learning obsession made it extremely difficult to choose a major before transitioning into university life because I maintained an interest in so many topics. Throughout my junior and senior years of high school, I cycled between becoming an artist, lawyer, actor, surgeon, teacher…my mind couldn’t make itself up. There was so much to explore! How could I choose one when it meant sacrificing all the others? How could I balance a love of math, science, and technology with art, acting, and teaching? Faced with such a complex decision, the answer was actually quite simple: engineering.

Engineering is without a doubt the best of all worlds. Besides being a haven for science and technology, there are numerous outlets for creative expression and cross-disciplinary application. As a civil engineer, designing new structures and working closely with architects is a huge component of the industry and requires an artistic eye. Chances for public speaking at conferences or conventions, a parallel to acting, are also abundant. Mentoring younger engineering students as a GE 1000 student advisor has fulfilled my love of teaching. There are also opportunities for law and policy—the co-op company I will be working for in July, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, has a division that assists in litigation as expert witnesses for structural failures. It was this vast expanse of possibilities that attracted me to the engineering profession, specifically civil engineering.

Northeastern University recognizes it houses a diverse student body, and as such, has provided its students with a number of resources and opportunities to balance their seemingly conflicting and contrasting interests. Personally, I spend most of my extracurricular time with activities corresponding to my artistic and expressive side. My experiences as a Husky Ambassador tour guide, a NUStage actor, an Orientation Leader, and a Revolve Dance Crew member and public relations contact have ultimately influenced my decision to pursue a minor in Communications.

No matter your major, Northeastern is well equipped to ensure your success in whatever path, or paths, you choose to take. I feel lucky to be a part of a community that promotes and fosters academic diversity and encourages its students to take charge of their own education. You truly can have it all at Northeastern.