Graduate, M.S. in Systems Engineering
Jacob Herrera grew up in El Paso and earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2013 from UTEP. He is currently a Manager of Signal Maintenance for the Union Pacific Railroad, based in Las Vegas, NV.
Jacob has previously worked as an electrical designer in El Paso and as a field engineer in Houston. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys playing golf and traveling home to visit his family in El Paso.
Why he enrolled in the program:
As I have been going through my career, I noticed that organization and structure is essential (to my work). I started to research systems engineering and liked what it offered. (Systems engineering creates a structure) that allows for proper implementation of concepts and roles. I wanted to be challenged and apply systems engineering towards my current career.
His experience with online learning:
(This was my) first experience with online learning. Prior to starting the online program, I had very little experience in online courses. During my bachelor’s studies, Blackboard was utilized minimally. In the master's degree program, much of the learning is conducted with Blackboard, using video conferencing and group meetings. I hope to continue to learn more skills that will grow my professional career. (I believe this degree will) provide me with tools that will help me take a systematic approach towards methods, research, and the development of system engineering processes.
On his support system:
I have the support I need in the online program. The Blackboard system is reliable to a certain degree. One suggestion would be to improve the video conference capability and the app for the iPhone. It is nice to log in via phone to check course content, due dates, and grades.
What he would say to prospective online students:
As a working professional, it is important to ensure proper time is allocated towards the course teachings. You will be challenged but it is rewarding when the content is taught. I would suggest doing additional research in the course you are in. Take time to learn what is being taught and if possible, work to apply it in the professional career world.
On whether he would enroll in this program again if he had to do things over:
I would enroll again. I look back and see how much more I have grown professionally. I am more organized, and the (program has helped me apply the course content) to my current career.