Connor Perkett, a President’s Scholar (PS) at Georgia Tech, is a second year undergraduate student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) on track to graduate in the spring of 2014. Perkett is a member of Lambda Sigma Honor Society, an honorary organization for sophomores dedicated to leadership and service. He is also a host for Connect with Tech, Georgia Tech’s recruitment program. Perkett, who was born in Connecticut and raised in Lake George, New York, was first drawn to Georgia Tech through the President’s Scholarship Program, which was designed for students who have been identified as being capable of making significant contributions, both in and out of the classroom.
ISyE: Tell me a little about yourself.
CP: I am a second year undergraduate student at ISyE and have loved every bit of it! The PS program really drew me to Tech because it is like a family- the connectedness and kindness of the program really shines through.
ISyE: What motivated you to come to Georgia Tech?
CP: Georgia Tech had a perfect balance of a work hard/play hard mentality that I couldn’t find at other schools. The classes are very rigorous and challenging, but the sports are always there to cheer on the Yellow Jackets! I also wanted to go to a place where I could find some diversity and try something new- something I didn’t have in upstate New York.
ISyE: What piqued your interest in becoming an industrial engineer?
CP: Throughout high school, I have always loved working with numbers and anything scientific. However, at the same time, I loved business and the decisions that are made in the business realm of companies. Therefore, ISyE was the best combination of the things I enjoy, and it is something that I can be happy about the rest of my life.
ISyE: Who is your favorite professor and why?
CP: I would definitely have to say John D. Cressler who is currently teaching COE 3002 for management and technology, as well as the Honors Program. He really cares about every student learning the material and gives that extra push. He wants to see every student succeed to the best of their ability.
ISyE: Favorite IE course so far and why?
CP: I have just started taking ISyE courses this semester, my first course being ISyE 2027. It is interesting thus far.
ISyE: What is something every student should do while at Georgia Tech?
CP: Study Abroad! Georgia Tech has an amazing study abroad program, and there is something for everyone’s taste. After my freshman year, I decided to go on the Oxford Study Abroad program which was definitely the greatest experience of my life. The places we traveled, the friends we made, and the fun we had surpass anything I have ever experienced before. The Office of International Education works with each student to give them the best experience they could ever imagine.
ISyE: What are your prospective career goals?
CP: I really want to concentrate in financial optimization and then find the perfect school to get my MBA. From there, I just want to find a job that will make me happy, which could include non-profits, managerial positions, business transactions, or something in the amusement park industry.
ISyE: What are some of your non-academic interests?
CP: I enjoy being on the Student Center Programs Council concert committee, which plans the homecoming concerts and other live performances throughout the year. I also enjoy sports, hiking, travelling, working with disabled children, playing percussion, listening to music, and exploring Atlanta.
ISyE: How do you spend your free time?
CP: I really enjoy trying new things with friends, whether it be different kinds of foods, exploring new places, or running distances I have never ran before. However, sitting down and taking a quick rest is always nice too!
ISyE: What was the last book you read for pleasure?
CP: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Objectivism at its best.
ISyE: What piece of technology could you not live without?
CP: Transistors- they are literally in everything.
ISyE: What music do you listen to?
CP: I love all kinds of music, but I really appreciate bands that can perform live. The experience of a live concert cannot match that of a disc.
ISyE: What is your favorite spot on campus?
CP: Bobby Dodd Stadium; there’s nothing like game day.
ISyE: Tell me about one of your accomplishments?
CP: My greatest accomplishment occurred in ninth grade. Unfortunately, I used to be a very obese child growing up, but in ninth grade I decided to change that. I was fed up being so out of shape. Throughout the next six months, by watching what I ate and going to the gym four times a week, I was able to work off sixty pounds. Ever since then, I have been able to maintain a proper weight/muscle ratio.
ISyE: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
CP: Wherever you go in your future, never forget where you’ve been and the people that have touched you.
ISyE: Is there any one person who has been an inspiration to you or someone that you consider your hero? Who and why?
CP: I would definitely have to say my parents. They have sacrificed so much to raise my family and make sure that all of us succeed. I will definitely model my family style off of them.
ISyE: Finish the sentence: Few people know that...
CP: I have eight brothers and sisters- five of which are adopted; three from China, and two from Guatemala.
Industrial and Systems Engineering