June 29, 2017 | News and Stories Staff

This summer, we’re following the class of 2017: Calvin graduates who are journeying around the corner and across the globe. Jonathan Engle is working as a systems engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

  • Name: Jonathan Engle
  • Class: 2017
  • Hometown: Troy, Michigan
  • Major(s): Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Minor(s): Mathematics
  • Next step: Systems engineer, Northrop Grumman Corporation

What’s one thing you would want to tell someone starting his or her journey at Calvin?

Be open! Try new things and get involved in Calvin’s dynamic community in some way. Have an open mind coming in, and meet as many people from different backgrounds as you can.

What about Calvin specifically prepared you for this next step in your journey?

When I interviewed for engineering positions, companies were drawn to the diversity of experiences that I had as a Calvin student. While at Calvin, I had the fantastic opportunity to study abroad, gain real-world experience at a tier one automotive supplier, and conduct electrical engineering-related research at a prestigious university. This diversity of experiences coupled with a strong technical and liberal arts background really made me stand out from other applicants.

How has your time at Calvin changed you?

I came to college not really knowing what it meant to be an engineer in today’s technologically-dominated world, let alone a “Christian” engineer. Calvin has taught me that being a Christian is more than having a statement of beliefs and going to church every Sunday, or beginning the day with a quick prayer. The most important thing that makes me a Christian engineer is that I take this realization to heart: my degree is not for me.

Calvin also taught me that engineering is much more than a profession. It lets a curious mind see a glimpse of the divine—in that one can explore how the universe operates at the fundamental level—and then put this knowledge and discovery to use for the benefit of others. My faith molds my scientific interest to be rooted in the ‘who’—not just the ‘why’ or ‘how.’ This is the unique perspective that I learned while at Calvin, and it will forever shape who I am as a lifelong student and engineer.

What is your favorite space on campus, and why?

One of my favorite academic spaces on campus is the basement lobby of DeVries Hall. It was an excellent space to relax between classes—the space has a scanner/printer, a vending machine and cool lounge chairs. There are also a variety of plants, and it is quiet and flooded with lots of natural light. An excellent space for napping or studying!

A successful path

The success of Calvin grads goes beyond job titles, salaries, graduate degrees and employers as they pursue God's call on their lives. Still, the results are clear: Calvin grads get good jobs at places like Google, Pixar, National Geographic and Boeing, earn higher mid-career salaries than grads from other private colleges in Michigan (according to Payscale.com) and attend some of the best graduate schools in the country. Explore their stories.

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