In order to be more attractive to employers when applying for internships and jobs, it is important to have a diversified education portfolio. At Lehigh, there are copious opportunities to diverge our education and learn about other disciplines. As an engineer, there are a plethora of minors available within the engineering school and also in the business and A&S schools. To receive a minor at Lehigh, you need to take around 15 credits in a single major to earn a minor. For example, if you took enough Spanish courses (around 5) you would receive a minor. With respect to chemical engineering, the most commonly associated minors are in Polymer Science, biology-related fields, and bioengineering. There really isn’t a limit to earning minors, if I was really interesting in mechanical engineering, I could take enough classes from the MechE department to receive the minor. Students who come in with a significant amount of AP credit have a little more leeway in exploring other fields. Instead of pursuing more classes in technical and science electives, I decided to apply for the Business Minor Program.
The application for the Business Minor was pretty simple, I actually applied for the program last year and was accepted, but couldn’t begin until next year (junior) because of scheduling issues. For the application, I needed to submit my resume and then a short essay outlining why I wanted to enter the program and how I would use what I learn. I think the program offers a great opportunity to learn about business applications and learn strategies to apply to a career as an engineer. I believe having a basis in business knowledge will significantly help me as an engineer because it provides another way to think about problems and then develop solutions.
The setup for the minor is very accommodating and allows for flexibility to fit easily into my schedule. For the next four semester, I will have to take a single class (3 credits) each semester and a 1 credit night seminar in each fall session. The night seminar only takes place the first three or four weeks of the semester. The normal 3 credit class is just like any other class, and they offer several sections so it is easy to fit into our schedules. There is a handout outlining what will be covered in the courses. Basically, it seems like the classes will provide an overview of business strategies, including marketing, finance, and product development. These are all very important concepts that an engineer must consider when working on a project. The document also outlines several opportunities to analyze actual business plans and study cases about real business ventures and business strategies. This sounds like a great opportunity to fain first-hand experience in the plans used by corporations. I am absolutely looking forward to starting the business min0r and hope to use the things I learn in an eventual career.