March 1, 2014
As graduation nears, college seniors across the country scramble to apply for jobs that will launch their careers. For senior electrical engineering major Rebecca Rougeau, this is not the case. She has had one in mind since she was in the sixth grade.
When she was 11 years old, Rougeau’s father read an article in The Wall Street Journal that said an engineering degree would lead to a successful future. That was when he started encouraging his children to consider becoming engineers.
Because of these words of wisdom, she will become the third Rougeau to graduate with an engineering degree from Mississippi State University. Her sister earned a bachelor’s in biological engineering, and her brother preceded her through the electrical engineering program.
“When I was a junior in high school, my brother and sister were checking out colleges, and I got to see their experiences,” Rougeau said. “Mississippi State’s campus is amazing, and everyone was really friendly when we came to visit, so it wasn’t a tough choice for me.”
Last semester, Rougeau received confirmation that she made the right decision. In November 2013, she accepted a job at Chevron as a facilities engineer. Following graduation, the Florida native will move to Houston, Texas, to begin her career.
To some, Rougeau may seem lucky. However, this success did not happen over night. In fact, her college career has been dedicated to ensuring she becomes the well-rounded engineer that companies seek.
Rougeau serves as the leader of the robotics team in the senior design class. The robot must complete certain tasks without any outside interaction. The team competed last March in the Southeast Conference IEEE Region 3 Student Hardware Competition in Lexington, Ky., and placed first among more than 40 teams.
Rougeau is also an ambassador in the electrical and computer engineering department. As an ambassador, she gives tours and shares stories to help potential students and their families learn about the department.
Having exceled in her studies, Rougeau has received several academic honors throughout her time at MSU. After interning at Mississippi Power last summer, she received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Powered Engineering Scholarship because of her work ethic and willingness to learn. She also served as MSU’s recruitment chair for Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society.
In fall 2013, Rougeau was inducted into the MSU Society of Scholars. This society recognizes students who excel in their majors, but also complete coursework in the arts, sciences and humanities. She is earning a double minor in mathematics and business administration, which led to this recognition.
“I think business administration will be useful because I don’t want to stay completely technical in my career,” Rougeau said. “I’d like to get into the management side of things.”
While she has achieved her goal of landing a job in the oil industry, Rougeau is looking forward to traveling and getting her professional engineering license. She also plans to continue working at Chevron in hopes of becoming a manager.
It has been a busy four years, but looking back, Rougeau said that she realizes that her hard work has paid off.
“Sometimes engineering can be really hard,” Rougeau said, “but when you put your best effort in, you feel really good about yourself and what you’ve accomplished.”
By: Erin Boozer