UTEP College of Engineering Students Adjust to Virtual Learning During Pandemic
Anahy Diaz | July 10, 2020
Students from the college of engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, share their experience adjusting to online school and work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students all around the country have had to adjust to the challenges and new lessons that learning and working from home have brought since universities transitioned to virtual operations for the remainder of the academic year.
UTEP students from the College of Engineering say the transition has been challenging but within those challenges, they have found room for growth.
“This transition has required me to adapt and shift my mindset of seeing home as my new classroom,” said Ashley Delgado, a junior majoring in electrical engineering.
Delgado was selected to participate in the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for Smart Cities in Guadalajara, Jalisco, which will now be conducted virtually. In an effort to stay on top of all of her academic work, Delgado says she has created a schedule with the goal of balancing activities and maintaining good habits.
“One piece of advice, is for students to develop a routine in order to be productive and develop a balance,” Delgado said. “Also, it is beneficial to use the online resources that the university provides and maintain good communication with professors.”
Stephanie Nevarez, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, recommends for fellow students to develop a schedule for themselves and try to follow the same routine they had before the online shift occurred.
“Trying to balance work, school and my personal life was a bit overwhelming when the transition first started,” Nevarez said. “The good thing was that professors were having live online classes, so my class times were still the same, it then made it easier to follow the same work schedule I had before.”
Nevarez says the transition has actually given her a better grasp of class material.
“I’ve come to learn that when I’m alone with no distractions, I’m able to understand the material more quickly, because I can take my time and work at my own pace, instead of just hurriedly writing it down and reviewing it when I’m home,” Nevarez said.
Student workers at the college are also managing their time wisely between remote work and virtual learning. Jonathan Argumedo, a junior majoring in computer science, contributes to the college’s success as a web developer.
“Time management has made my school and working days more productive and stress free,” Argumedo said. “I have managed to adapt to the situation by simply planning my day ahead of time. I feel that this new skill will help me finish my last year of college strongly.”
Argumedo applies this skill not only by prioritizing school assignments, but by also maintaining strong communication and productivity at work by remaining in constant contact with his supervisor through morning texts, daily reports and weekly meetings via Microsoft Teams and email.
“A good morning message is sent every morning to our inbox, this email basically lets us know when the other person is online and is clocking in to work,” Argumedo explained. “At the end of the day I send my boss a daily report, this report includes the task I worked on during the day. However, at the end of the week we do have a meeting, in this meeting we discuss the duties and the completed tasks that were accomplished throughout the week.”
Time management and communication are just two of the various skills Argumedo has been able to enhance throughout this new working environment, allowing him to pursue new tasks that contribute to his success as an emerging engineer.
“With this quarantine and the vast amount of extra time, I’ve managed to learn more about Web Development and other computer science related topics,” Argumedo said. “If you manage to plan your day and follow that plan, then you will succeed in the least stressful way possible.”