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Student Spotlight: Steven Ates

Student Spotlight: Steven Ates

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Ocean Engineering

What interested you about your field of study and give a detailed but somewhat brief description of that course of study along with specific research interests? 

What interested me about this field of study was that it was related to the ocean and engineering. I have always loved the Gulf Coast and the beauty that the coast has to offer. I had always been good at math and science so I figured I would give this field of study a shot after changing my major from Marine Biology to Ocean Engineering. This field of study allows you to experience hands on things as well as getting out into the field to gain some experience of how the field is such as going onto the R/V Point Sur. This field is challenging and very engaging to those who wants to make a career out of this field of study.

What is/was the road to your degree path?  

The road to my degree path was rather long due to changing my major several times. When I first attended to USM in Hattiesburg, there wasn’t an Ocean Engineering Program. It wasn’t until my junior year in college that I heard about the new program, and I knew that was what I wanted to do. It was a tough journey to get this degree because it requires a lot of math and physics as well as a lot of focusing and work to achieve it. The road may seem to be very tiresome and full of struggles, but the professors in this field are willing to help in any way that they can ensure that you succeed in the courses and the field. 

Why USM?

I had always wanted to attend to USM because both of my parents attended to school there, and it was close to home on the Gulf Coast. I attended to the Hattiesburg campus for 4 years before transitioning to the Gulf Park campus. USM was the only college that I applied to so that says a lot about how much I wanted to attend to USM. I also wanted to attend there in the beginning because I wanted to do Marine Biology but that didn’t work out until I found Ocean Engineering.

What type of job do you hope to obtain in your field of study after you graduate?

I hope to get a job in the shipyard such as Ingalls or a job offshore related to the oil industry. I would much rather stay close to home working for some sort of contractor company that works with shipbuilding or with the government such as the navy or coast guard. 

If you are a recent graduate, do you have a job in your degree field?  What does that job entail?

I will be graduating in December!

Please share any other information that you feel would be helpful to other students or potential students about your degree.

Do not give up on your dreams just because some of the classes are hard, push through and overcome obstacles. The professors in this field are very willing to help you succeed and to achieve your goals so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help does not mean you are dumb, rather it shows the professors that you care about your progress and that you want a better grasp of the topic you are asking for help on. The time it takes to graduate does not matter as well, make sure you make your grades and give it 150%. More importantly, do not give up on yourself. 

Learn more about Ocean Engineering