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Megan Frantz Makes Her Move
Megan Frantz Makes Her Move

She knew one person in the city of Portland and for a resourceful young woman that was enough to pack up her New York City apartment and head for the West Coast. 

Megan Frantz landed in Portland on a self-described whim about four years ago with a desire to try something new and her undergraduate degree from New York University. After she worked as a barista for about a year after she arrived in Portland, Megan decided return to graduate school for an application of her mathematics degree. She visited the Portland State campus just a week before the start of the Fall Term and, after speaking with Dr. Duncan in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program (ECE), she learned about the Bridge Program.

ECE’s Bridge Program offers a way for students who are interested in going to graduate school for electrical or computer engineering, but who have a bachelor’s degree in a different field. Megan’s in-depth undergraduate education in mathematics, for example, prepared her for the math components of the ECE master’s program, but she also needed a broader foundation in physics, programming, and engineering. 

After she was enrolled in the Bridge Program, Megan refused to let the grass grow under her feet. “I went hard into studying,” she said. In addition to hitting the books, Megan made a point of networking on- and off-campus, developing a rapport with professors, working ECE internships, and meeting potential employers within the industry that she would soon work in. 

These connections would add to the foundation of her master’s program and on into a rewarding internship at the University’s world-class Northwest Electromagnetics and Acoustics Research Laboratory (the NEAR-Lab). This experience was possible, Megan said, in part due to the collaborative nature of the graduate program and the overall sense of community. “There’s generally a feeling that people will study with and help each other succeed,” she said. “No one’s edging anyone else out.”

Her internship with the NEAR-Lab provided groundwork in coding and was instrumental in her securing an internship with Skyworks Solutions that would turn into a job that she loves: doing software engineering and algorithm development. “I think tech is fun because you’re making products that people use,” she said. “I love research.”

As she looks forward to her June graduation, and reflected on her time at Portland State, Megan said that her time at the University was unique because “PSU gives you the support you need and an opportunity to rise to the top.” 

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