Michelle Holzemer: Engineering an excellent educational experience

Apr 19, 2018
Michelle Holzemer: Engineering an excellent educational experience
Senior Michelle Holzemer will begin her new job with Northrop Grumman in the systems engineering field.

Senior Michelle Holzemer knew she was taking a risk when she joined the inaugural class at Florida Poly and committed to attend a university that hadn’t yet finished construction on its signature academic building and wasn’t yet accredited.

In the four years since then, Holzemer has come a long way – and says the risk has been well worth it. The university has come a long way as well, having opened several new buildings, grown its enrollment to nearly 1,500 students and earned accreditation.

On May 4, Holzemer will walk across the stage at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida, and will graduate from Florida Poly summa cum laude, with a degree in electrical engineering. Not long after, she’ll begin her new position at a job with Northrop Grumman in the company’s three-year rotational development program, where she’ll receive diverse experience to prepare her for a career as a systems engineer.

The Jacksonville, Florida, native says one of the things that has most prepared her for the workforce during her last four years at Florida Poly has been her ability to personalize her education.

Being at a smaller university with a focus on real-world technology projects has given her the ability to cultivate personal relationships with her professors, gain hands-on experience and maintain an excellent academic standing.

These skills, she says, are what helped her land an internship at Harris Corporation last summer. Harris Corporation develops high-tech solutions for government and commercial customers in more than 100 countries in communications systems, electronic systems and space and intelligence systems. During her internship with the Melbourne, Florida, based company, Holzemer developed and printed circuit boards and tested their parts at sub-zero temperatures.

Now, just days away from earning a college degree, Holzemer is confident that joining the inaugural class at Florida Poly in 2014 was the right choice for her.

“We looked at so many schools, but I knew I didn’t want to have huge classes,” says Holzemer. “Florida Poly was the perfect fit because I knew I’d get a really personalized learning experience.”

Editor’s Note: This story is one of a series of stories featuring several of Florida Poly’s Class of 2018 graduates.