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National Engineers Week: John Short

John Short
John Short

In celebration of National Engineers Week, UA Little Rock is highlighting some of the university’s most promising engineers and engineering students. 

John Short, Civil and Construction Engineering student

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I will be a senior in the fall of 2022. I am very excited about graduating. I am from the Central Arkansas area. I have enjoyed my time and the material that I am learning. My hobbies include being an avid archer and whitetail hunter. I like to fish, and in my spare time, I like to do carpentry (building custom furniture).

What made you choose UA Little Rock?

I received my first degree at UA Little Rock. I was a primary education teacher for about seven years, then decided to change careers. I returned to UA Little Rock because of location. I trusted that I would be given the opportunities to learn at a high level as well as possibly make connections with professionals in the local area. Erin Flowers was my first advisor I spoke with coming in to the program, and she did a very good job selling it to me as well.

What interests you the most about the engineering field?

I chose engineering from my interests and proficiencies in both math and physics. Also, I have enjoyed working on some small structures on my own time and thought that being on the design side of structures would be enjoyable work. I was able to determine this with the help from my very supportive wife.

What opportunities have you gotten through UA Little Rock’s Engineering program that you might not have gotten otherwise?

I was able to make a connection with the company Afco Steel at one of the virtual career fairs. I did a summer internship with them last year. It was a great opportunity and experience that might not have happened had I not attended UA Little Rock.

What engineering course has been the most challenging/rewarding for you? 

I believe statics then mechanics were equally challenging and rewarding for me. They were my first exposure to the introduction of how engineering courses will proceed for the remainder of my time in the program. The knowledge I gained from those courses has been used in other courses including some that I am currently enrolled in.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

Begin working as a civil engineer and gain the time/experience I need in order to get my PE. My goal is to be a working Professional Engineer as soon as possible.

Do you have any advice for prospective students who want to major in the field?

Try not to overthink the concepts that you learn. Sometimes they are more straight forward and simple than you might think. Stay off of the website aid (CHEGG) unless you need help. Even if you need help, use your instructors and peers. I am thankful for my peers and have made close friends in the process. My friends, Andrew Brown and Sam Swindle, have helped me when I get stuck, and I like to think that I have helped them as well. They also offer support in more ways than just school work.

Learn the material as it is being taught to you. And most importantly, practice! Each of the engineering textbooks that have been assigned offer several opportunities to practice on your own. Instructors will use these as homework but there are plenty of problems in the books to get enough practice to learn and feel confident. The information learned in this program can be complex, however, I would say that it is quite rewarding.