International Student Finds Kent State Engineering Program Too Good to Pass Up
When Kent State student Franck Steve Guepjop Fotso was in high school in Cameroon, Africa, he and his family looked at colleges in the U.S. that had great engineering programs but found them to be quite expensive.
That all changed when Guepjop Fotso ran across information about Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE). The university had an impressive engineering curriculum, which catered to his career aspirations and had a robust program for international students, all at an affordable price that would fit into his family's budget.
Guepjop Fotso, now in his senior year as a mechatronics engineering major at Kent State, found that the knowledge and skills he has acquired in CAE placed him in perfect alignment with a co-op position at Rovisys Automation and Information Technology in Aurora.
He started his co-op in spring 2022 in Northeast Ohio and continues to work at Rovisys in Columbus while he attends classes at Kent State.
“Fall semester (2022) was very busy, even though I only had one class,” Guepjop Fotso said. “Even though my class did not take a lot of my time, I still had projects to do while I’m working at the same time. I’m also in two different student organizations.”
Guepjop Fotso said he is gaining valuable on-the-job training such as how to work with Programmable Logic Controllers, or PLCs, which are industrial computers used to control various electro-mechanical processes in manufacturing and other automation environments.
And he has honed more basic, practical time management skills to effectively juggle work with classwork and his participation as secretary of the Kent African Student Association.
Guepjop Fotso’s visa will allow him to do practical work in the U.S. for three years after graduation, then enroll in a graduate program. His plan is to earn his master’s degree at Kent State as well.
He decided to study engineering because he recognized that he had an aptitude for it in high school.
“I was good at critical thinking,” he remembers. “I always loved physics and math. I always got lost in the aspect of constructing my own store, of creating something new, in all of the aspects of engineering. I just knew I wanted to be an engineer.”
But he was conflicted about the type of engineering to study. Should he study mechanical engineering or electrical engineering? That is when his cousin told him about mechatronics, he researched the topic and pursued it at Kent State.
“I realized that mechatronics is all about a combination of different aspects of engineering,” Guepjop Fotso said. “I really love it.”
For more information about CAE, go to https://www.kent.edu/cae.