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Indiana Dreams Bring Success for California’s Marcel Snijder

April 29, 2014

Snijder Horizontal Profile (Custom)

Worthy Decision: Marcel Snijder, a senior mechanical engineering student, came to Rose-Hulman from Claremont, California, for the personal academic attention and opportunities to be involved in many student activities – and graduate within four years. (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Marcel Snijder grew up in Claremont, California, and learned about Rose-Hulman from its No. 1 status in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide rankings.

“I visited here and Rose-Hulman made a big impression on me,” Snijder says.

Ultimately, Snijder chose Rose-Hulman because of advantages over other California options.

“Rose-Hulman had so many positives: free parking, free printing, and free equipment,” Snijder says. “Rose-Hulman wasn’t that much more expensive than the California schools when you take into account the cost of living.”

Another plus for Rose-Hulman was the fact that Snijder has been able to earn his undergraduate degree within four years.

“I could even re-take some classes and still graduate in four years. At the California public schools, I’d have an extra year because I couldn’t get in my classes,” he adds.

At Rose-Hulman, Snijder was project manager for the Engineers Without Borders student chapter’s latrine project in the village of Batey Santa Rosa in the Dominican Republic. He and other students collaborated with local residents on feasible, sustainable designs that used local materials in projects that address the village’s critical needs.

“My work with Engineers Without Borders in the Dominican Republic has been the most personally enriching experience of my life,” he says. “Any glimpse into the lives of other people is impactful, but what made our Dominican Republic experience a lasting impact is the relationships we developed with the very people we were there to help.

Snijder Working (Custom)

Global Challenges: Marcel Snijder was project manager for the Engineers Without Borders student chapter’s project that brought several latrines to the village of Batey Santa Rosa in the Dominican Republic. He made several trips to help villagers complete the project. (Photo by John Gardner)

“Seeing that our clients wanted our projects to succeed just as much as we did, and were willing to work alongside us all day long without pay, made it all worth it,” he continues. “My experience with Engineers Without Borders opened a lot of doors for internships and full-time jobs. At 19 years old, I already had project management experience with an international construction project. These were experiences that simply can’t be compared to any experience inside a classroom or with another club at Rose-Hulman.”

Snijder concluded, “I had to face challenges every day, not only during the trips, but in the months I spent planning them…An experience like that just can’t be compared to anything else I’ve ever done. The success of our project in the Dominican Republic is the proudest accomplishment of my life so far.”

Snijder has also been a member of the conference championship track and field team, and Triangle Fraternity, and has had his own show on the campus radio station. A graduating mechanical engineering student, he has accepted a job with Schlumberger in San Antonio, Texas, as a product engineer for drill bits—part of the nearly 77 percent current job placement rate for the Rose-Hulman’s Class of 2014.

“Rose-Hulman was worth it for me because of the personal attention I got in the classroom,” Snijder states, adding that his sister went to the University of California-Berkeley and had a math class with more students than his Rose-Hulman graduating class.

“Here, the average class size is 20 students,” he says. “All the professors know your first name. They hand out their home phone numbers and invite you over for lunch. They are so personable.”