"Flexible" isn't a word that accurately describes the engineering programs at most colleges and universities, but, as Alexander Gromadzki '12 can tell you, it describes Lehigh's prestigious curriculum perfectly. Gromadzki came to Bethlehem from Switzerland to study chemical engineering at Lehigh's renowned P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (RCEAS).
"I knew that I wanted to study chemical engineering and I first got interested in Lehigh because of the strength and reputation of its program," he explains. "But I did not anticipate wanting to add a minor in economics. Because of the flexibility that my program offers, it was not a problem to start the minor and I enjoy the opportunity to work in the College of Business and Economics."
Gromadzki discovered his minor during the summer before his sophomore year, when he interned as a broker and sales trader at an investment company in Switzerland. Last summer, he worked in one of the top universities in Europe, doing research in chemical engineering. Both opportunities were arranged by Lehigh professors and allowed him to apply his education to real-world problems.
“I first got interested in Lehigh because of the strength and reputation of its chemical engineering program.”
All RCEAS students take an introductory course, "Engineering 5," in their first year. In the class, which has been Gromadzki's favorite so far, students work on a variety of projects that involve different fields of engineering. "I found it very useful not only to give you an idea of what other engineering degrees are like, but also to help you decided what engineering path you want to follow," he says.
As busy as he is in the classroom, Gromadzki is also active in student life at Lehigh. He plays intramural basketball, volleyball and dodge ball, and he is a member of the Association of International Students, which helps him keep in touch with other students from abroad. He is also the president of the Class of 2012.
Most exciting, Gromadzki is a member of one of Lehigh's fraternities, an option that's not available at colleges in Switzerland. "As an international student, I never imagined I would get to join a fraternity," he says. "This is an experience like no other and I have really enjoyed it so far. I get to participate in a lot of community service events because I am a class officer and the philanthropy chair of my frat."
Gromadzki isn't sure what he'll do after graduate, though he is thinking seriously about graduate school. One thing is sure: "Because of the challenge and reputation of its chemical engineering program, Lehigh has definitely given me the right tools to move forward."
On the Record
Living in Switzerland, how did you first hear of Lehigh? I first heard of Lehigh at a college fair at my high school in Switzerland. Laura Severin, the Director of International Recruitment, told me about all Lehigh has to offer. I was astounded to find that Lehigh had everything I was looking for and so I applied and, thankfully, got accepted.
What do you like about Chemical Engineering? Since it is a small major, I have been able to create some real strong friendships with the other Chem Engineers and that is something which I think is great.