What do some our alumni say about their education at HMC?

Mike Leung (’78)

Northrop Grumman

… it has been my experience that the physics background is extremely well suited to the ebbs and flows and constant changes in industry. Perhaps you can use that as a selling point to attract more majors. What I have found with myself and other PhD physicists at Northrop (former TRW), is that we are the most versatile of the many technical disciplines at work. I'll mention a few skills that the physics major imparts that perhaps aren't as strong in many engineering majors:

  • the physicists seem to have better critical thinking skills and quantitative skills
  • the physicists who were experimentalists in graduate school (or perhaps even during senior research) have a very broad knowledge and can step easily into several disciplines (e.g. I count myself very familiar with materials, vacuum techniques, cryogenic techniques, and influence of measurement equipment on experiments). This broad background is also a key advantage when it comes to troubleshooting and other problem solving
  • they seem to remember their college subject matters better; believe it or not it comes in handy sometimes. Maybe this comes from the grad school courses, I don't know

I first entered HMC intending to major in engineering. I switched to Physics because I found the subject matter and approach to teaching much more appealing.

Sept. 1, 2012

Valerie Nandor (’94)

The Wellington School
The career that I am looking toward right now is that of Prep. School teacher. I plan to obtain my Ph. D. in 2000. I think that in relation to my future job, the aspect of my education that impressed me the most is the quality of the teaching that goes on at Mudd.
Jan. 1, 1997

Ralph Castain (’76)

Eaton Corporation
Probably the most useful part of my education has been its broad nature, and that's where HMC has contributed the most. I have to pull in a wide variety of areas, and am continually surprised at the lack of breadth I find in those educated at the larger state universities. I guess HMC provides a wider education than you realize as you go through it.
Jan. 1, 1997

Ben Melhuish (’94)

I've felt for quite some time that an HMC physics major can do anything he or she wants. The mere fact of making it through the program attests to a certain amount of natural ability, but at least as important is the fact that much of what we learn is many methods of approaching problems. The flexibility and open-mindedness which results is of great value in (I believe) any career option, from physics to software engineering to investment banking. So, though physics doesn't apply directly to writing software, the training I got has helped indirectly in a great many ways, most of which I don't realize until I stop and think about it for a bit.
Jan. 1, 1997