Sarah Cook landed a job with a world-class company developing cutting-edge technology – all before graduating from the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/College of Engineering in May 2012.
Cook, 29, who received a bachelor’s in Biosystems Engineering, is using skills she learned at UA to develop new generation harvesters for John Deere. As a hydraulics engineer in research and development, she is based in East Moline, Ill., and is teaming up with John Deere counterparts in Brazil.
The hands-on experience she received at CALS and the College of Engineering prepared her for the professional world, Cook said. Her senior design project, in which she led a team of students in developing a portable aquaponics system, helped her to build leadership and teamwork skills that are critical in the workplace.
“Everyone has to work together on the job, coordinating between departments," Cook said. “You are not just working in your own little bubble.”
When Cook and her husband moved to Tucson, where she became a member of the 162nd Fighter Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard, she knew she wanted to further her education. Cook explored engineering programs at UA, and her choice was clear after meeting with Don Slack, professor of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering at CALS.