North Haven High School recently hosted a prospective UConn student event, where UConn faculty and previous and current students were able to share their university experiences with high school students preparing to begin their undergraduate education. UConn Alumnus Doug Shidler (Electrical Engineering ’83) was one of the speakers, telling the assembled students about his career path and giving them tips that could be useful as they enter the workforce.
“I talked about my transition from UConn to Sikorsky. I went into my time in the electrical engineering department, then talked about my work in the Black Hawk Helicopter Programs at Sikorsky. I related a couple of personal anecdotes from my time there,” Shidler said.
Shidler worked for Sikorsky for 33 years before retiring in November to start his own business, DC Shidler Consulting, LLC. He said that his new company will focus on consulting to the aviation industry, particularly military aviation.
Shidler said that he encouraged the students to gain real world experience whenever possible; he didn’t take part in an internship when he was a student, but learned about their value after the fact.
“I encouraged the students to take full advantage of industry internships. It’s a great way to find out if a field is what you want to pursue,” he said.
For Shidler, this event was part of an ongoing effort to promote STEM careers for young people.
“I’ve spent a fair amount of time working with high school and college students. It’s about encouraging kids and young adults to pursue science and technology careers,” he said.
Shidler said that he hopes to continue promoting UConn to potential students.
“This was the first prospective UConn student event. It was sort of a test bed. It’s definitely something I’d like to pursue in the future,” he said.