Alum Interview with PJ Sobota

By Sonny Chauhan

During winter break, I met up with Tech alum PJ Sobota, who is currently a student at Stevens Institute of Technology.

What made you choose Stevens?
Well, I chose Stevens because I received a big scholarship which made the school financially feasible. I also was accepted into the scholars and master’s program which gave me the ability to receive my master’s in 4/5 years.

Do you miss your friends from Tech?
As far as the whole friends scenario goes, the bonds you create in high school feel so much stronger than the ones you make in college. Stevens doesn’t really satisfy the social aspect I expected it to, which makes me miss my high school friends and staff that much more.

How is the education in college compared to the education in high school?
Due to the fact that I went to a specialized high school like Staten Island Tech, I feel that the difficulty of the classes are along the same lines thus far. I do however favor the teachers and teaching styles that were present in my high school because the teachers are more personable.

What made you choose engineering?
By far my favorite subject in school was physics. As soon as I started taking the course I was just amazed at how interesting and intuitive it was for me. That alone pointed me in the direction of applied sciences. After taking calculus, I pretty much solidified the fact that engineering was my major of choice.

In high school, the schedules are clear cut and packed together. In college, the classes are spaced throughout the week. Which situation was easier for you and why?
The college scheduling was so beneficial for me. I do not like staying up late doing work so getting work done between my classes throughout the day was so helpful in managing my time.

Were there any teachers who inspired you at Tech and how?
Well overall, I can’t think of teachers in Tech who didn’t inspire me. Every teacher in Tech is so knowledgeable in their specific subject area. Some particular teachers which come to my mind are:
Ms. Fusaro always knew how to present the teaching to us in a way that allowed us to understand and didn’t mind slowing down to get the message across.
Mr. Olsen was one of the teachers who really pushed me towards engineering. He could answer any question you have in just seconds. I aspire to have the physics knowledge that he has one day.
Mr. Chester is not just a calculus teacher. He is also a professor at St Johns and a DJ. He was recently promoted to a dean’s position. He has so much on his plate and always keeps his compsure. His dry humor really connects to me too.
Ms. Labora is probably the hardest working teacher in the building. From making huge review packets to making models and in class experiments she always went the extra mile. She always inspired me to do the same.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in college?
I participate in club basketball, football, soccer, also play some other sports when I have time. I do some fishing in the morning before classes. Another activity that I just started again was working out.

Did your experience in football at Tech inspire you in any way?
Well it’s a common saying that football is a microcosm of life and as a football player, I have to say it’s the truth. It makes me realize that life is one big emotional roller coaster and also makes me realize that you have to take every day at a time and win that day.

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