Penn State Engineering Ambassador Nick Caggiano width=
Nick Caggiano

Chemical Engineering
Class of 2017

Hometown: Media, PA

High School: Penncrest High School

Extracurricular Activities: Penn State Blue Band, THON, Concert Band

Internship/Co-op/Research Experience: Research Intern at Axalta Coating Systems

Why did you choose to come to Penn State? When I was deciding where to go to college, I looked at what opportunities were available both outside and inside the classroom. Penn State not only has a top ranked engineering program, but it has tons of activities you can get involved with outside of class. That was a major factor in my decision. I play the saxophone, and I knew I wanted to be in a collegiate marching band. The Blue Band is one of the most respected in the nation. The band, College of Engineering, Schreyer Honors College, and the overall sense of community made Penn State an easy choice.

What has been your best memory as an engineering student? My internship with Axalta has been my best memory as an engineer. Getting the call with the offer was proof that all my hard work paid off. Over the summer I saw how what I learned in class was actually applied in industry, and I got to make a meaningful impact by working on a project that was important to the business. At the end, I presented my findings to everyone at the site. It made me proud that other scientists and engineers were interested in my findings because it was relevant to their own projects.

What advice would you give a first-year engineer? Find an activity or organization that you are passionate about and get involved! Classes can be stressful at times, and you need an outlet where you can put everything else aside and do something else you enjoy. Find an organization you can call home--there are plenty of choices at Penn State.

What do you plan to do after graduation? I'm not quite sure yet, but I would like to work in industry before going to graduate school, most likely for an MBA or law degree.

What has been your best experience outside of engineering at Penn State? The summer after my freshman year I studied abroad in Italy. I had always wanted to go there to learn more about my family's heritage, so when I found a Penn State program in Florence I knew I had to go. Being immersed in Italian culture was an amazing experience. I traveled all over the country, started learning the language, and visited some of my Italian relatives for the first time. I can't wait to go back to visit again!