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Student testimonial: Marquise Johnson

By Karen Hunley

Published: Nov 19, 2021 8:55:00 AM

Marquise Johnson Marquise Johnson

Marquise Johnson, Master of Engineering online student

Q:When did you start graduate school and when do you expect to finish?
A: I began the program fall 2019 and plan to finish spring 2022.

Q: Where did you earn your bachelor’s degree and what is it in?
I earned my bachelor’s degree in general engineering, specialization in aerospace, from University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Q: What have you been up to since then?
A: I worked at Boeing as a design engineer on the 787 aircraft, and then in November 2020 transitioned to a systems engineer role for the SLS Space Craft.

Q: What made you decide to join this graduate online program?
A: When I began the program, I lived in Seattle as a design engineer, and I joined the program to further my skills in designing. I wanted to take Computer-Aided Design of Digital Circuits, but the course was not offered during fall 2019 when I started. So I took Artificial Intelligence and Lean Manufacturing. Lean Manufacturing was the first systems engineering course I had ever taken, and I fell in love. I loved the process, I loved the big-picture thinking required and the complexity of the challenges that needed to be solved. Since then, I have taken six more classes and changed positions to a model-based systems engineer. I absolutely love my day-to-day job now, and I am excited to go to work every day. I wouldn’t have been able to discover this passion if it weren’t for this program and its amazing professors.

Q: What has been your personal experience so far with the 100 percent online format?
A: The online format has fit my changing life perfectly. When I began the program, I lived in Seattle as a design engineer, and I now work as a systems engineer in Huntsville, Alabama. If I were in a more traditional program, I would have needed to go through the stress of transferring programs and all types of other hassles. 

Q: Would you have gone back for your master’s if not for the fully online format?
A: No, I would not have gone back if the format was not 100% online.

Q: How do you expect this graduate degree to enhance your professional life? 
A: Firstly, Auburn is an academically respected school and an engineering master’s degree increases your earning potential. Coupled with that, the knowledge that I have gained, I use on a daily basis. For example, the systems engineering class that I currently take is doing wonders for my fundamental understanding of systems engineering. I am able to see how my daily work contributes to a larger machine, and I am able to think further into the future and have more in-depth conversations with upper management about paths forward. I am also being considered for a promotion in my systems engineering role, and I contribute that directly to the knowledge I have acquired during this program.

Q: What would you tell someone who was thinking about applying for an Auburn Engineering Online program?
A: I would tell that person to do research on the specific classes of the program and see if there are two to three classes that excite them. If the answer is yes, then apply. If not, keep researching until they find at least two classes that excite them.


Media Contact: Karen Hunley,, 334.844.2224

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