UCR Graduate, Charles Ezell

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For imaging specialist and online master’s in engineering graduate Charles Ezell, a better future meant more flexibility in his day and better pay. That’s what led him to the University of California Riverside. Now a graduate, he achieved his goals and more — shifting his career to a new role as a result of acquiring specialized bioengineering skills.

In the Q&A below, Charles credits his success to his management and bioengineering concentration courses, his more sophisticated presentation skills and the faculty who helped prepare him to move forward in his engineering career.

Do you have any insights you want to share with students who are considering earning their Master’s in Engineering degree online from UCR?

I would tell them it is a great school. UCR prepared me for the career I am in right now. When I started the program, I was working as a nuclear medicine technologist, but I always wanted to get into the industry side of bioengineering. Now I am an imaging specialist for a radioactive molecular imaging company.

My experience in the program has helped me accomplish my goal to continue with my aspirations. Because of UCR, I do less work for more pay. I am able to work from home now. I used to work 12 hours a day. I wasn’t sure I belonged in the program at first, but after talking to other cohorts and my student support coach, I was encouraged and saw that I could do it.

Could you describe your experiences with UCR faculty and instructors through the online engineering program?

Dr. Rodgers’ instruction provided me with the mathematical framework to understand and solve biological problems. His course on Biotransport Phenomena solidified my interest in drug discovery and set the foundation for my capstone project on the A2A adenosine receptor and its role in coronary vasodilation.

Dr. Fryer’s instruction gave me a very solid foundation in Engineering Management. His real-world experience/expertise, coupled with his common sense approach to business and innovation, made his lectures a pleasure to view. I also appreciated Dr. Fryer’s willingness to speak to us individually via Skype. It added a personal touch, which is difficult to achieve in distance learning.

Do you have advice for students enrolled in the online Master’s in Engineering program?

Make sure you have your goals mapped out, so you know what you want out of the program. Bioengineering is so vast, you have to focus on what specifically you want to do. Request the right faculty advisor with experience in your area of interest.

Did you learn anything during the online engineering degree program that you have been able to apply to your current position?

Absolutely! I had to study a lot of journal articles for references and resources and put together PowerPoint presentations in the program, which prepared me for the application process for my new job. The new job required five interviews. On the fifth interview, I made a PowerPoint presentation to the top executives of the company. I got the job, and UCR prepared me.

Would you recommend this program to someone seeking a master’s degree in Engineering? Why?

Yes, because if you do not have the principles of engineering down, the instruction definitely helps you, along with some self-motivation. By really wanting that expertise, you can get it.