Jadha Gunawan


Major: Mechanical Engineering

Class of: 2018

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Why did you choose mechanical engineering? 
I chose mechanical engineering because I have been wanting to do it ever since I was young. I have a passion for automotive and I hope to be able to go into this industry after I obtain my bachelor’s degree. Specifically, I would like to work for Tesla because growing up in Indonesia was tough at times due to its heavy pollution. By working for Tesla, I hope to bring the company more global and introduce countries like Indonesia to the benefits of switching to electrical energy.

Why did you choose Texas A&M University?
Texas A&M University holds a very special place in my heart because there is no other place this big that would make you feel like home this quickly. During the first week of classes my freshman year, I was already surrounded by many wonderful Aggies I called my “mentors”, and they were the ones who helped me get to where I am today. They showed me what to do and what not to do, and they guided me in the right path to success. Through them, I was able to start building such a great Aggie network that I know will continue to expand as I make the transition into working in the industry. This is a school that is special to me: the friendliness, the respect, and the loyalty we have for each other is truly something extraordinary. There is a saying here at Aggieland, “from the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it”, and that is exactly how it is to be a part of this family. So many wonderful traditions, but yet there aren’t many words to express my feelings for this university.

What was the best part of your experience in the Texas A&M MEEN department? 
Being relatively new to the MEEN department, I have been nothing but satisfied. There is nothing better than to say that I belong in the Texas A&M Mechanical Engineering Department. This department holds very many great individuals; some that I would like to point out are the great academic advisors. The MEEN advisors have helped me ever since I was a junior in high school, when I visited the university for the first time during a college visit. They have showed me exactly what to do, and they have helped me with my transfer into the department. Another great experience is getting to learn from the professors that have taught me. This department has great faculty members that are passionate about sharing their knowledge and making sure that we are all successful in our careers.

Why did you become a MEEN Ambassador? 
I believe that I would be able to guide prospective students in the right direction, mostly because I was a transfer student myself. I have gone through two change-of-major processes, and I am familiar with how the process is conducted. In addition, I have a passion for helping others achieve success in their career path. Before I was admitted into the department, I talked to a few ambassadors, and through this I feel that I would be able to help numerous people with the process and their success in transferring. 

What research, work, and/or study abroad experiences have you had? 
I have been doing research since June 2016, and I plan on continuing until the end of this upcoming semester. I currently work in the TAMU BioRobotics lab, researching surgical robotics devices and finding new ways to improve robotics in general using different materials. In addition, I work in the MEEN Advising Office as a Student Technician and I do numerous tasks such as assisting and directing students to the appropriate person, and compiling files and updating spreadsheets for each semester. Lastly, I will be going on a study abroad trip to Spain this upcoming summer, where I will be studying Solid Mechanics and Materials in Design.

If you could give one piece of advice to incoming MEEN students, what would it be?
As cliché as this may sound, never give up. As people get smarter and become more competitive, you can only improve yourself and work your hardest to become the best version of yourself. No matter what challenges you go through, it will all work out in the end because everything does happen for a reason. I have been through so many things dealing with things regarding international student, transferring into the MEEN department, working hard to achieve a competitive GPA, not living with my father because of his work in Indonesia, taking the lead in my family’s errands, and living in College Station and trying to survive college. Just know that there are many people out there who struggle worse than you could possibly imagine, and as sad as it is, don’t take this opportunity for granted. Being a part of the MEEN department at Texas A&M University is a privilege. You have worked hard to get to this point, so continue working hard and finish what you’ve started. Don’t let a class or two bring you down. It is okay to get a C, because what really matters is you graduating college with this degree and opening up new doors for the rest of your life. 

What organizations are you a part of or have you been a part of? Have you or do you currently hold an officer position? 
I am a staff member in Freshman Leadership Establishing Excellence (FLEX, a Freshman Leadership Organization) and my role is to provide a smooth transition for our freshmen and helping them build their Aggie Network. Secondly, I have been a part of Fish Camp and my role is similar to the role I have in FLEX. I have a passion for mentoring freshmen students and showing them what to do and what not to do.  Now as far as my major, I am a general member in Society of Automotive Engineers, and I plan on shadowing the seniors build their race car this upcoming semester. Formula SAE is something I hope to be a part of my senior year because I think that this organization will build many connections for the automotive industry and ensure success in my career.

Are you a transfer student? Did you participate in the entry to major process? 
Because I did not get into the College of Engineering initially, the school declared my major as physics. I quickly learned the requirements to transfer into the MEEN department, and let me tell you, it is not easy. The requirements to transfer into this department are definitely easier said than done. Especially my second semester in college, I had to take chemistry, physics 2 and calculus 2 at the same time, while dealing with 2 labs and still trying to figure out what college is. There were definitely countless hours of studying, but it was all worth it and I was able to finish with a strong GPA. After applying and not getting in my first time, I switched into the Industrial Engineering Department. Then finally, I got into the MEEN department my 4th semester. It was one big roller coaster ride, but I learned many things about myself along the way. To future transfer students, do not give up and put in your 100% effort. If you know you want to graduate as a mechanical engineer, give your all to make sure that it stays that way. Reach out for help, whether it’s A+ tutoring or one-on-one tutoring, do whatever it is to make sure that you have a GPA you would be proud of. Remember, it’s only 4 years of studying versus the rest of your life.