Ethan Siegler

Boca Raton, Florida

Academic Interests:

Extracurricular Activities:

What were some of your favorite activities prior to arriving at University of Rochester?

When I was in high school, I did everything: played 6 different varsity level sports and spent 2 years being a 4-sport athlete, participated in Model UN, founded and ran my high school’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics club, played in a bagpipe band (which I have continued in Rochester), and yet I still had time to hang out and go on adventures with friends.

What was your favorite class in high school and why?

I had favorite teachers, not classes. The classes they taught were AP Chemistry, any history class with Mr Freidman, a string of fantastic English classes with teachers who had intense interest in both their subjects and students. . . . You could say I had a good high school experience.

What do you think best prepared you for life at University of Rochester?

In high school, I did so much because it always seemed like I had free time. In retrospect, I realize that I had free time because I had good time management skills and I cultivated good time management skills because I did so much. What prepared me the most for college was this time management combined with my experience running the robotics club. In running the club, I was the person who had to make sure everything got done, regardless of whose job it was. By being in this situation, I learned how to work with people both when I had to be active and persistent as well as when I had to be passive and patient. It also taught me how to interact with administrators, parents, and (perhaps most importantly) peers.

When you applied for admission, what accomplishments did you hope would be recognized by the Admissions Office?

I really wanted a college to be able to know me. Since I did so much and since I valued each activity I did, I wanted a college to appreciate everything. Most importantly (and since everything can’t be the most important thing), I wanted colleges to realize what I could bring to the table and what I could draw upon based on my experiences.

What challenges did you face prior to enrolling at University of Rochester?

I was never a spoiled kid, but I also didn’t have any major road bumps or challenges in high school. It wasn’t a cakewalk, but there was nothing that I feel would constitute a sufficient excuse for any blips, bad grades, or other potentially negative factors.

Why did you choose the University of Rochester?

When I was applying to schools, my dad kept telling me that Rochester was a good place to go (he graduated with the class of ’79). He kept telling me it was a great place for this reason and that reason and wouldn’t stop. I applied to the U of R just to make him stop. When I got accepted, I flew to Rochester, got out of the taxi, met a fantastic host, saw the school, and against all of my prior intentions, I liked the place. Having never considered Rochester my number one when I first set out on the college search and having spent 3 years here so far, I think I made the right choice.

What is your favorite…?

UR tradition?
The Mech E Roast and picnics.

UR professor?
Dangerous question. To avoid offending whichever of my professors is looking at this at the moment, I’ll be diplomatic and choose someone who isn’t a professor. John Miller, Sr. Laboratory Engineer, because under his somewhat brusque exterior is one of the nicest most helpful people you’d ever hope to find in a machine shop (and to whom I owe several drill bits and various, now broken, tools).

UR class?
The machine shop class. I love to build stuff and using the skills I learned in this class I’ve built a bed side table, a mini golf windmill, parts for the Solar Splash boat, a gift for my grandfather, and many more “widgets.”

Place to eat on campus?
Wherever I find the equipment to cook for myself. I make yummy food if I do say so.

Thing to do in the city of Rochester?
I play in a bagpipe band that’s not affiliated with the university. Every week I practice and I also march or play with the band when we have shows. The band is great, the people are great, the experience is great, and most of all, it’s a time where I’m able to disengage my brain, relax, and just play some Scottish music. It’s a very pleasant respite (unless they’re out of tune).

“Thing” about University of Rochester?
Sledding. I’m not one of the kids from the south who has never seen snow, but before coming to Rochester, the last time I lived with snow was when I was 5. When it snows, I become 5. Also, who doesn’t love sledding?

What unique opportunities have you taken advantage of at UR so far?

I’ve learned so much through my machine shop class, information that I can use whenever I’m designing things, building a shelf for my sister, repairing anything, or even just looking at objects in the real world. If you get the chance, take this class.

Also, U of R’s relationship with ORT Braude College of Engineering in Israel allowed me to spend a summer studying abroad doing robotics research. I met fantastic people, I can put it on my résumé, and I got to study abroad in Israel as an engineer.

What are your future plans UR and beyond?

As I write this, I’m employed as an intern at NextEra Energy, an energy company in South Florida. I’ll probably have a good chance of working there full time next year when I graduate. I’m not sure if this is my future, if another job or grad school will become my future, or even what job I’ll end up doing when I eventually take one, but I’m not worried. I’m confident I’ll have options.

When you graduate, what will you miss most about University of Rochester?

There’s a lot I appreciate at the U of R and a lot of it are the simple things. What I’ll miss most could be anything from having a full gym, pool, and track less than 3 minutes from my door, being able to live with 5 friends in one suite, being able to meet random people every day or hang out with close friends, or something even more ‘routine.’ What I’ll probably miss most is a combination of all of these. I’ll probably miss ‘college’ the most.