Featured Interview: Brian Castro
Why did you choose to pursue an online education?
I decided to pursue an online education because I considered it to be the best alternative for working professionals that would like to further their education while maintaining an active professional career.
Why did you choose Engineering at Illinois?
I chose Engineering at Illinois because of the close proximity to my place of residence and workplace and its reputation on being a leader on my field of choice, Civil Engineering. The reputation of the Civil Engineering program at Illinois is excellent therefore I decided that if I were to advance my education, I wanted a world-class education. I can assure anyone that Engineering at Illinois provides a world-class education.
What were the most important factors you considered when choosing the right school and program?
The main factors were reputation, quality of the programs and flexibility (given my current work schedule). I strongly believe that Illinois has satisfied and exceeded my expectation on these areas.
As an online student, do you feel included as a member of the Engineering at Illinois community? If so, what has made you feel this way?
I feel included at the Engineering at Illinois community given that I use their campus facilities like Grainger Engineering Library and the Yeh Center at NCEL often. The Professors and instructors at Illinois have been very helpful and engaging during the course via alternate methods of communication such as email. Also, I have been able to partake in group project with classmates on my courses. This has helped me interact with my classmates from my online courses.
How has (or will) the investment you’ve made in this education benefited or paid off for you in the advancement of your career?
This investment will help me achieve my professional goals of becoming a registered professional engineer with a great understanding of the reasoning behind the design of facilities such as highways and airports. Graduate school has helped me understand better the reasoning behind the criteria that is used for design in my profession. My graduate education has also helped me understand and become aware of upcoming new methods/technologies that will be utilized by the industry in the near future.
How has your online education affected your earning potential?
Online education will help me advance in my career given that I have been learning important concepts that will help me become a specialist within my field. This will affect my earning potential.
How has your online learning experience helped to develop your skills and prepare you to become a leader in your field?
Online education has had an immediate impact on my skills given that my online education has helped me understand advanced concepts in my field and it has also helped me on how to explain those advanced concepts to some colleagues within my field.
What is the #1 reason why a prospective student should choose Engineering Online at Illinois?
Engineering Online at Illinois provides an accessible world-class education that will provide immediate impacts on your engineering skills sets. The instructors at Illinois do a great job at teaching real world scenarios that are used on professional practice.
What could be improved about the delivery or structure of our online programs?
The program has done some great improvements on the delivery of the lectures. Streaming on mobile devices should be next step for this program.
Do you have any advice for potential students considering an online engineering degree at Illinois?
If you want to further your education, and if you see that the program could affect your professional career or if you see that a certain online program could improve your understanding of your profession, then you should go for it and take a chance on Engineering at Illinois.