Student Success Story

Charles Bohannan

University of New Orleans
A headshot of Charles Bohannan

I attend the University of New Orleans pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I am 21-year-old rising senior, born in Austin, Texas. I grew up predominately in the small city of Kyle, Texas about 20 minutes out from Austin.

The factors that played a role in me choosing the University of New Orleans was the atmosphere and culture of the city of New Orleans. When I met my teammates, coaches, and other people there, it immediately felt like a home away from home and the people there were tight knit and like a family.

I chose engineering because I have a passion for learning about math and science. I feel as though engineering is the biggest way I can make an impact whether in the community or around the world using math and science. I really like creating things, solving problems, and seeing what I have designed, built, or fixed has a lasting impact on others. I feel like everyone will always need an engineer, as their job is to solve problems and to make life easier for everyone in their daily life.

What have been your favorite aspects about your school and program? My favorite aspect about my school has been the amazing people that I have met throughout the years. Each person I have been able to meet and become great friends with at UNO has really made it a great experience for me. The professors have been great as well as other people who have helped me get to where I want to go. The staff is also very supportive of us at the basketball games and are constantly checking in to see how we are performing on the court. My favorite aspect about the engineering program is the comradery between all of us engineering majors. We know the struggles it takes to get through our program and especially after this pandemic, which really showed us how much students were willing to help other students. Our professors were also trying to accommodate as best as possible. I like how even after people graduate, everyone has their own funny stories of how they got through things and then people help each other out even beyond school with internships and networking connections. Engineering is hard and the courses definitely drive you crazy with the late nights, but once you find your groove with your studying, the people, and organizations, it’s all worth it and maybe not even as hard as people might think.
Why do/did you enjoy attending school in New Orleans? It is close enough to everything to where I can go have fun with my teammates and friends, but also be able to focus on my studies for school. Especially for college, I think New Orleans is a great place to be as it has most things I want to be able to do from a great engineering program, to fun places to go out with my friends, to being able to mature and seeing everything from the good parts of the city to the not so great. I have been able to grow a lot in New Orleans from where I started out.
Have you been connected to quality internship or job opportunities through your school and program? Were they valuable learning experiences for you? Yes, Mrs. Celyn Boykin, the Director of Career Services helped me tremendously and is a huge reason why I am working at Microsoft right now. Their office has many incredible resources that have helped me get in position to be successful and showcase myself to possible employers, like interview preparation, LinkedIn, using Handshake for job and internship searches, career fairs, networking and recruiting events with employers, career prep workshops and just coaching me through the whole process for success. Also, the Assistant Dean in Engineering, Professor Kim Jovanovich religiously floods the engineering students’ emails with potential internship and job opportunities that he finds, gets from Career Services, or from employers that reach out to him. Each experience was a valuable learning experience whether I got the interview and was not hired or I got the interview and the job, as you can take a little away from each one.
What would you tell a prospective student that is considering your school or program about your academic and New Orleans experience? I would tell that student that New Orleans is an amazing place to be for college with a great culture and people and you would have a lot of fun there. Do not let that get in the way of your studies as the University of New Orleans is a great school and your experience there is what you make it. UNO has a beautiful campus in a beautiful location on the lakefront with great people to meet and the potential for an even greater career that you can work towards in whatever major suits you. It is quiet enough to be able to really focus when you need to, but close enough to everything where you can still catch all the fun with your friends without being in the middle of downtown. Come into it with an open mind and hopefully you will really enjoy your time there like I have.