Each year, 12 incoming Georgia Tech students are selected to be part of the A. James Clark Scholars Program, a scholarship for engineering students that covers the cost of room and board, tuition, and fees, in addition to providing enrichment and engagement opportunities. This year, Nebiyelleul Kiros from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) is one of the chosen scholars.
When applying to college, Georgia Tech was his first choice, and learning that he would receive the scholarship made the financial decision much easier for him. Initially he was undecided on a major, but he realized an industrial engineering degree would give him the flexibility to explore vast career possibilities upon graduation.
“I knew I wanted to study something versatile, because I didn’t know what I want to do for my career field yet,” said Kiros. “I liked how business focused ISyE is, and it seemed like the best engineering program for me.”
In addition to the scholarship, the Clark Scholars program includes socializing opportunities in addition to career and personal development. This semester, Kiros participated in workshops, dinners, fundraisers, and other activities such as an information session about studying abroad.
One particularly memorable event involved guest speaker Sandra Magnus, who is a Georgia Tech alumna and a former NASA astronaut. She talked about the challenges she faced often being the only woman on her team, shared what life was like on the International Space Station, and the perspective she gained from the experience.
Another one of Kiros’ favorite activities from the program was the Leadership Challenge Course, which includes the high ropes obstacle course located on Georgia Tech’s West Campus. While it was incredibly challenging and intimidating to complete, it was a natural bonding experience for the scholars.
Throughout the semester, Kiros has gotten to know all the members of his cohort and enjoys meeting up with them outside of the program events. “They are some of the closest friends I have,” he said.
He is also grateful for the opportunity to meet with Raheem Beyah, dean of the College of Engineering, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Laurence J. Jacobs. Furthermore, David Torello, the director of the Clark Scholar program, regularly talks one-on-one with the students. “The program is really about us – trying to help give us the best possible experience,” he explained.
Outside of the program, he has been exploring student clubs and organizations. Kiros – whose parents are from Ethiopia – has enjoyed attending meetings with the African Student Association and experiencing the annual Taste of Africa. He also joined the campus film club, Buzz Studios, and is considering pursuing a film minor because of his long-standing interest in filmmaking.
Academically, he has adjusted well to the rigor of his classes and has enjoyed his experience so far, including his first ISyE class. He’s interested in joining more clubs, getting involved in sports, and potentially studying abroad. “I look forward to the future and learning more about ISyE,” said Kiros.
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering