Online ISE student eager to apply new systems concepts to current position

By Karen Hunley

Published: Apr 27, 2021 8:55:00 AM

Ashleigh Longo Ashleigh Longo

Ashleigh Longo, Master of Industrial and Systems Engineering online student

Q: When did you start and when do you expect to finish?

A: I started in spring 2021 and expect to finish in spring 2024.

Q: What have you been up to since undergrad?

A: Since graduating from Louisiana Tech, I have moved to Fort Worth, Texas. I work as a systems engineer on the F-35 program.

Q: What made you decide to join this graduate online program?

A: I chose to pursue a degree in mathematics as my undergraduate degree, but for most of my elective courses, I chose industrial engineering classes. I found the industrial engineering classes to be interesting because the subject matter covered places or tasks that I use regularly but provoked thoughts about why tasks are more efficient the way we do them. Soon after beginning my career as a systems engineer, I learned about the processes that systems engineers follow. I began doing research myself about the systems engineering processes and why they are helpful. After talking to a friend enrolled in an Auburn University online engineering master’s degree program, I researched different graduate programs and found one that covered my interests of industrial engineering and my daily tasks as a systems engineer.

Q:  What has been your personal experience so far with the 100% online format?

A: So far, the 100% online format of the classes has been wonderful. My professors are just as attentive to my emails as if I were in class in person on a regular basis. Because the lectures are recorded, I am able to watch the lectures after work in the evenings and re-watch lectures whenever I have free time. I had a preconceived notion when I started that because I was an online student in a different state, my ability to contact professors and faculty would suffer. However, my experience thus far has been that faculty and professors are eager to engage with me via email.

Q: Would you have gone back for your master’s if not for the fully online format?

A: I knew that I wanted to pursue a master’s degree; however, I was more concerned about starting my career. I likely would have considered going back for my master’s degree in person at a university near me, but not likely for the same degree program. The online format master’s program has exceeded all of my needs and expectations. Because I am working full time while earning my master’s, the flexibility that an online degree has is necessary for me to be successful in maintaining my personal, professional, and educational schedules.

Q: How do you expect this graduate degree to enhance your professional life? 

A: I expect this graduate degree to expand my knowledge and understanding of engineering disciplines. I hope to apply this knowledge to my future tasks professionally. I know that many engineers are not interested in pursuing a higher degree, so I hope my perseverance in earning a higher degree and bettering myself in the process helps me stand out among my peers. I also hope that the concepts learned in the various courses can be applied to my career so that I can improve upon current processes I use on a daily basis.

Q: What would you tell someone who was thinking about applying for an Auburn Engineering Online program?

A: I would tell anyone thinking about applying that this program is great. The professors are attentive to the online students and always there to help. The online format allows for flexibility, so online students can continue to pursue their careers full time. This program was a great choice for my master’s in industrial and systems engineering and could be a great option for anyone interested in continuing their education, especially those unable to take classes in person.

Media Contact: Karen Hunley, kam0003@auburn.edu, 334.844.2224

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