My name is Dustn Perez, and I graduated from Texas Tech University, Dec. 2015, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to attending TTU, I spent four years enlisted in United States Marine Corp as a Civil Affairs Noncommissioned Officer. After the Marine Corp, I started school at Palomar College, located in San Marcos, CA. After a year I transferred to South Plains College, and another year later I transferred again to TTU. I’ll be starting grad school at West Texas A&M University this fall to continue my studies in mechanical engineering.
Earning the Terry Scholarship was an important event in my life. It came at a time when I was doubting my intelligence, questioning if I was smart enough to do well at TTU. The Terry Foundation restored my confidence in myself through their resounding, unquestioning belief in their scholars. From that point forward I truly believed that I could actually finish my studies, and just maybe, one day, become a real life engineer. It’s hard to express how appreciative, thankful I am of the Terry Foundation.
Currently, I’m a tool design engineer at CNS Pantex, located in Amarillo, TX. I can honestly say that I enjoy the work that I do. No design or analysis that I have worked on has been the same, so I don’t lose interest. I hope you all can find careers that can make work feel a lot less like actual work.
The best piece of information that I have to offer is, simply put, to hold on to the knowledge that you gain while in school. There were many individuals that told me I wouldn’t use what I learned in school, and the real training begins on the job. While there is truth in that statement, I can say that I use what I learned at TTU every day at work. Of course, I don’t use everything, and some areas of study I haven’t touched since school. The question to answer is: where will you end up after graduation? Most don’t have an answer for this question, so it’s best to be prepared for all areas. I’m sure you all work hard, but I just want to stress the importance of retaining the knowledge you’ve worked for. You won’t regret it.
Also, don’t sell back the textbooks that pertain to your degree plan. I have a whole shelf full of engineering books in my office that I find myself often referencing.
Good luck in your future endeavors,