Student profile: University of Washington senior Jackie Kobal
December 16, 2020
Jackie Kobal is a senior in the Bioresource Science and Engineering (BSE) program and looking forward to an engineering career with a strong sustainability focus.
Like many students today, she arrived on the UW campus thinking she wanted to pursue Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). As her first year unfolded, she realized that CSE was not the place for her. Jackie reviewed the engineering options offered at the UW and found the right combination of an ABET accredited program and a strong emphasis on sustainability in BSE.
The BSE program provided an opportunity for internships (Jackie spent a year at Cascades Tissue) where she says she learned things about herself and possible career choices that one would never get in the classroom. She has also worked in the BSE pilot laboratory which is right on campus. BSE prepares one well to enter industry or graduate school.
When asked about her "impression" of BSE, she emphasized how supportive other students and faculty are and the ease in which a new student can find a sense of community within the larger UW environment. The classwork emphasis on teamwork helped build confidence to deal with a variety of audiences in the working environment. There is a continuing theme of sustainability throughout the curriculum based on a strong technical and engineering foundation.
If she were speaking to a prospective student, Jackie would say "BSE's culture makes the faculty approachable yet challenging. The internships are an essential part of the learning and you leave with an understanding of the importance of communication."