If you ask Max Swahn what attracted him to engineering, he’ll tell that the subject is a natural fit for his talents. “During high school, math and science were my favorite subjects,” says Max. “I’ve always felt like I’ve had a mechanical mindset. Working on my car and tinkering with things, in general, is something I’ve always enjoyed.” Max is set to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, Swanson School of Engineering in April 2018. Over the past four years, he has focused on Industrial Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Management. While Max has enjoyed his time in school, he is excited to apply his skills in the real world and grow professionally.
Engineering is one of the most challenging disciplines to learn and excel at. However, Max Swahn is quick to point out that it’s also one of the most rewarding. “With engineering, I’m always learning something new and applying the technical skills I learn,” Max says. “I love using analytical thinking to solve problems.” The most difficult challenge may be the time commitment. In order to achieve grades that he can be proud of, Max has had to sacrifice some of his hobbies and apply that time to studying. Yet Max doesn’t mind the sacrifice. “It’s worth it in the end. I’ve learned a lot of lessons about responsibility, and I enjoy engineering so much that I don’t mind devoting myself to my studies.”
Starting in the summer of 2017, Max Swahn got the opportunity to work as a researcher at Nanoproduct Lab with Dr. Bedewy and Dr. Sanchez. The research focuses on light-induced sequential self-folding or origami manufacturing. So far, Max’s research has taught him a lot, and it’s given him a taste of the type of work he’ll do after graduation. (Watch a video of Max’s work here.)
One of the most valuable lessons that Max Swahn has learned so far is just how important your work ethic is. “When it comes to engineering, most people don’t understand that problem solving and analytical ability can come in time, but it takes dedication and commitment to attain those skills and apply them successfully.” In addition to Max’s dedication to his studies, he also participates in a number of extracurricular activities.He serves as the Pitt Chapter Treasurer of the Institute of Industrial and Systems; he acts as the Business Operations Manager of the Pitt Barbell Club, and he is an active member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations
Working with the Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations (SCNO) at Pitt, Max created a master database in Excel for the Bright Kids Uganda Foundation containing information on contacts, volunteers, donors, and board members. In addition, Max reduced information sources from 23 to 1 improving data access, donor retention and client time management for the organization. Max also acted as Vice President Of Recruitment and Development as which he recruited and interviewed over 70 applicants for the Fall 2017 semester and accepted 12 to participate in the program at the University of Pittsburgh.
Bodybuilding.com Campus Ambassador
Max Swahn is also a fitness buff. In his spare time he works as a Campus Ambassador for Bodybuilding.com. In the role, he promotes new products targeting consumers through sampling, marketing, and activities. In the position, he ranked in the top 10% of all ambassadors nationwide based on points productivity.