For Aeronautical Engineering Major Eric Kocsis, ’19, the idea of attending Clarkson first came from his mother. “It’s always a story that I hate sharing because I have to say my mother was right…again,” says Kocsis, from Connecticut. When he visited the Potsdam campus and saw the endless opportunities Clarkson had to offer, he was hooked. Kocsis, who is minoring in business and math, said his tour guide started off by sitting with him in Holcroft and telling Kocsis about his upcoming full time job with Boeing. “By the end of the tour I told my mom I didn’t care what it took, I was going to Clarkson.” 

While some students come into college undecided on their field, for Kocsis it was a no brainer. He grew up admiring all things aero.  “I have always been interested in the art of flight. When I was in preschool, my grandfather and I used to go to these fields near the school to watch people fly remote control planes before school,” says Kocsis. “From that moment on, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to somehow work in flight.” At first, Kocsis wanted to be a pilot. But once he got to high school and recognized his skill in math and science, he landed on Aeronautical Engineering. “This major is helping me fulfill my dream of working on aircraft and in the aero field,” says Kocsis. Kocsis says he loves the stress Clarkson puts on workings as a team, as well as hands-on elements to classes. 

Erik Kocsis'19
"...Clarkson thrives on group studying, group projects and a very strong feeling that everyone wants to see you succeed. The people you meet at Clarkson will 100% change your life forever."

Erik Kocsis ‘19

Kocsis was set to graduate in May of last year, but was given the opportunity to take part in a co-op with the Raymond Corporation, one of the biggest fork truck manufacturing companies in the world. It was an experience he couldn’t pass up, now Kocsis will be graduating this spring. While at Raymond, Kocsis worked in a Manufacturing Engineering role, and was able to work on multiple different projects. From working on a six million dollar fiber optic laser cutting system to implementing new disposal methods for cutting scrap to working on ergonomic and efficiency improvements across the plant, Kocsis was enthralled with the whole process. “This job showed me how enjoyable and fast paced manufacturing engineering was. And I really had a passion for it,” Kocsis says.  In fact, his work with Raymond helped Kocsis realize where he wants to end up after graduation. “To start, I would like to be anywhere with a manufacturing role,” Kocsis says. 

Though he was hesitant about attending Clarkson at first, Kocsis is now one of the University’s biggest fans. “One aspect I really appreciate about Clarkson is the small school size AND feel. You never just feel like another number at Clarkson, but like a real person,” says Kocsis.  He says Clarkson’s small size is helpful when it comes to one-on-one help with professors during office hours and the job opportunities presented to students, but more importantly, the overall university community feel. “Clarkson thrives on group studying, group projects and a very strong feeling that everyone wants to see you succeed,” says Kocsis. For Kocsis, one of his biggest advisors during his time at Clarkson is Assistant Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Professor Craig Merrett. “Professor Merrett has been a huge help, and almost like a mentor to me over the past year,” Kocsis says. During his time working at Raymond, Kocsis was also working closely with Merrett, researching and writing a manuscript on Forward Swept Wings. After more than six months of research, Kocsis submitted a paper to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics national Sci-Tech conference and was later asked to give a presentation on his findings. It was during this time of research that he learned invaluable knowledge from Merrett. “His insight, advice, and willingness to teach and help me over the past year has been tremendous,” says Kocsis.

With his time at Clarkson coming to a close, Kocsis feels there truly is no better place to attend college. “It’s going to be hard and there will be times where you are overwhelmed, but the end result is so worth it,” says Kocsis. “The people you meet at Clarkson will 100% change your life forever,” Kocsis says. “And there are a ton of great times to be had.”

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