How to Make the Most of a Bradley Education

“I always tell people on my tours, the opportunities at Bradley are given to you. You just have to reach out and take them.”

Speaking with junior Jordan Tatgenhorst is like sailing through a chain of lived experiences from across campus and beyond. Pair that with the mechanical engineering major’s penchant for cracking jokes and it’s no surprise she represents Bradley on tours for prospective students and their families. After all, by the time she was in their shoes, she was already planning her first addition to the university.

“When I was visiting Bradley, I wanted to join a chess club,” Tatgenhorst said. “They didn't have one. I thought, ‘oh well, I guess I'm just going to have to make one.’ I didn't know if anyone was going to join, but it was a good learning experience, and I made a lot of friends.”

Having left the chess club presidency to pursue other outlets, the impact of Tatgenhorst’s work remains in the form of a strong student organization. Far from done leaving her mark, Tatgenhorst found even more camaraderie joining the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

“I think probably the best part of the Bradley experience so far was living in my sorority house my sophomore year,” Tatgenhorst said. “I made a lot of really close friends that I will stay connected with after college.”

Beyond studying and eating together, Tatgenhorst was able to grow in the engineering field with people who care about her accomplishments. That growth, fostered by her participation in the Society of Automotive Engineers, resulted in her summer internship and part-time job at Komatsu.

“It was a great experience, a great first internship, because they were all very supportive, and they set me up for success. There was never a time where I felt I couldn't ask a question.”

Hungry for even more engineering experience, Tatgenhorst left Komatsu to pursue other interests. Her dedication to that pursuit impressed aerospace and defense giant Northrop Grumman into offering her an internship this summer in its Missions Sector at Rolling Meadows, Ill.

“They were really impressed with how I wanted to try new things,” she said. “They said, ‘We know if you're in this position, you’ll put yourself out there and seek more opportunities than what's presented to you.’”

Until then, Tatgenhorst continues her work as a STAR, SAE member and sorority sister.

Jenevieve Rowley-Davis