Dean Daniel Pack spoke with ETEM 1000 Engineering Management Seminar students on September 9, 2016, on how to succeed in their program and careers. “It’s helpful and encouraging for students to meet and interact with the Dean of the college and department heads at early levels of their four-year programs,” said Dr. Aldo McLean, assistant professor of Engineering Management and instructor of the course.
Asking the students questions and telling jokes, Dr. Pack’s talk was more dialogue than presentation. This is in line with the advice he gave students to talk to faculty members, professionals, and others. “We all have some stories to tell,” he said, “and you will be able to learn from listening to others.”
He began the discussion by talking about the college, and specifically, the resources available to students to help them succeed. The college is growing, he noted—as student numbers increase, so do faculty. “Our main goal,” he said, “is to help students succeed.” He mentioned the new Student Success Center director as an example, whose primary responsibility is to identify industry partners and help ensure that students have internship, co-op, or undergraduate research experience before graduating—and hopefully all three. He also informed students about an upcoming “Get on Board” day that will feature a variety of student organizations that exist within the college. He encouraged students to participate to learn about the many valuable resources available to them.
Dr. Pack concluded by offering a bit of advice on how to be HAPPY and successful—personally and professionally.
Healthy self-esteem: To succeed, he said, you must have confidence in your ability.
Attitude: “It’s 90% attitude and 10% sweat that makes you successful.”
Planning: The most common trait of successful CEOs, he noted, is the ability to see (or plan) far into the future. “I would encourage you to think ‘What’s my plan for life? What’s my strength? What are some areas that I need to be able to work on so that I can be well prepared to be a great manager, a great engineer?’” he said. And you should not only have a long-term plan, but a short-term plan as well—“Whatever you do today will make a difference this month, this year, and for your future.”
Perseverance: After offering Abraham Lincoln as an example (the loss of two sons and his failed attempts at becoming congressman and senator), Dr. Pack said, “When things are tough—and things will be tough when you’re getting your degree here—think about ways to persevere.”
You: “You are in control,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what capabilities you may have, if you don’t use them, if you don’t believe in yourself, your goals will never be realized.”
Dr. Pack joined UTC as dean of the College of Engineering & Computer Science in January of 2016. “I came because of the tremendous opportunities in Chattanooga,” he said. “A great potential [for] a great university in a great city.” Dr. Pack specializes in electrical engineering and received his graduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Purdue University. His research area is in UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), primarily working with the Department of Defense on drone research for the Army, Navy, and Air Force.