It seems silly to call Caleb Harrison '22 a busy bee, but it certainly describes his work ethic. Caleb is a go-getter, and his effort is paying off this Saturday as he walks across the stage to receive his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering diploma.
Caleb was on the fast track from day one of his first year when he arrived at St. Ambrose with 33 dual credits from Spoon River High School in his hometown of Fairview, Ill. - a town of 500 where Caleb jokingly said, "throw a dart in a cornfield, and that's Fairview."
When asked why he had so many incoming credits, Caleb said, "I think taking some gen eds ahead of time is very valuable if you can make it fit, but I probably took too many as some did not transfer over."
Regardless, those credits allowed him to graduate a semester early - an accomplishment he is very happy with because Caleb likes to say, "I can't stand doing nothing. I need to be busy."
While most students will be excitedly prepping for the graduation ceremonies or celebrating, Caleb proves he is serious about not slowing down, as he has a full-time job secured with Deere & Company starting December 16. Yes, the day before graduation, he will be working the third shift as a Line Support Manufacturing Engineer, supporting making Deere's soybean pickers. It is a position he has already been working as a part-time student this past semester.
"I love it! I started working for Deere as a part-time student in my first year," Caleb said. "I got lucky. I applied to a student job posting and worked that position for a little over two years."
This past summer, Caleb had the opportunity to work a paid summer internship with Deere & Company in Greeneville, Tenn., where he focused on supply management. It was a position that showed him he is perhaps less interested in that area of engineering. "Yeah, that position taught me what I don't want to do for a career," Caleb laughed.
One of Caleb's mentors and supervisors, Bill Sims, a Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor at John Deere Harvester Works, noted the skills Caleb has attained from his student work experiences and the St. Ambrose curriculum.
"Caleb has had more of a natural tie to the industrial engineering portion of his role at John Deere," Sims said. "I think Caleb has developed from a personal standpoint as he has to work and communicate with a wide variety of people on a daily basis. This skill is one which will enable a smooth transition into the workforce."
Caleb also credits St. Ambrose's faculty for preparing him to move seamlessly onto this next phase. "I want to stress how great Dr. Michael Opar and Dr. Mohammad Rahdar are. They are the best teachers I have ever had, and I have had my father as a classroom teacher, so that's a high standard to beat."
"I started working for Deere & Company as a part-time student in my first year. I got lucky. I applied to a student job posting and worked that position for a little over two years."