Surviving Spring Invitational (SPIN)

This post is contributed by Natalie Burges, a chemical engineering major from Katy, Texas. She participated in Spring Invitational as an incoming student and will be serving as an orientation leader for the 2015 session. 

Thousands of high achieving students will flood to LSU for Spring Invitational (SPIN) in just a few weeks. We are so proud to host the top incoming students for this exceptional orientation opportunity. The College of Engineering consistently has the highest attendance at the annual event and the large mass of students can often be overwhelming. Luckily you are not alone, and despite the occasional herding, you will be treated as an individual preparing to take the next step in your education rather than a number in the crowd. Nevertheless, here are some helpful hints to help you survive.

1. Come in with an open mind.

LSU is a very diverse campus. You will meet people that come from different backgrounds and have different opinions and thoughts than you. Embrace them. Whether you are from a small town and a graduating class of 25 or a big city with a graduating class of 800, there will be people you can relate to and others you can learn from. Take in the experience and learn to accept people’s differences. LSU is a very welcoming community and it has a lot to offer so do not be afraid to break out of your bubble and walk in someone else’s shoes.

2. Get to know the people around you as well as your orientation leaders.

A large amount of the SPIN students will reside in the College of Engineering. With that being said, the engineering orientation groups can be rather large. Do not let this intimidate you. You don’t have to be best friends with 30 new people when you leave, but open up and talk to the people around you. Get to know them, where they’re from, and why they chose to come to the greatest university in the nation. Campus overwhelms several students but this is your chance to make a connection with your peers that you will see in class and you will see walking through the quad. Believe me, campus is much more welcoming and feels more like home when you see familiar faces. Also, your orientation leaders are great tools to have. They are thrilled to have you there no matter how tired you might be throughout the days of SPIN and they are there solely to help you so take advantage of it. Your orientation leaders can serve as great mentors not only through SPIN but also throughout your college experience.

3. Be ready to take in a lot of very important information.

Oh boy, get ready. Your mind will be filled with crucial information about becoming an LSU Tiger. The sessions may seem long sometimes but I promise that you will want to know this information. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself once you get to college and all the information that your orientation leaders present will be great tools to stay on top of everything and confidently handle your freshman year. You are welcomed to bring a pen and/or highlighter to note information that you might find helpful. When I came through SPIN as an incoming student, I was constantly engaged in the information sessions for two reasons. One, I was terrified of not knowing what to do once I was away from home and responsible for my life, education, and success. Two, because my mom needed to know absolutely everything or I would never hear the end of it. So even if it is to please your parents, pay attention to the information provided at SPIN.

4. Wear comfortable attire.

I made this mistake on the first day of SPIN as a participating student. I tried to look cute, you know, make a good first impression on my peers. Wrong. Dress comfortably because the days are long and can become exhausting. Wear good walking shoes and something you’re comfortable walking, standing, and sitting in. Be ready for anything with this Louisiana weather. Check the weather in the morning and pack appropriately. I would also recommend bringing a jacket in your bag because some buildings on campus can be chilly.

Natalie Burges

Natalie Burges

5. Enjoy every second of becoming an LSU Tiger!

Lastly, have fun! You are going to be an LSU Tiger! The most amazing times of your life are ahead of you and this is just the beginning. Take in the beautiful oaks as you walk across campus, listen to the bell tower ring, visit Mike the Tiger, and embrace the passion that circulates around LSU. You are officially at the greatest place on earth, a place that you will soon call home.

Welcome to Tiger Nation and Geaux Tigers!

 – By Natalie Burges
Chemical Engineering
SPIN Orientation Leader


Are you a family member attending SPIN? Don’t think we forget about you! Here are a few tips from a former Parent Orientation Leader:

1. Be prepared to learn.

My favorite part of SPIN is that it is a collaborative effort across campus. Students and administrators from every department on campus will be there to welcome you to our tiger family. Be prepared to learn a lot of information about the resources that LSU has to make your student successful not only academically, but also professionally.

2. Be prepared to ask questions.

With all of the information that you will be receiving, comes plenty of questions. SPIN is a phenomenal time for you to ask any questions that you may already have, or think of during the program. One of the best resources for you will be your Parent/ Family Orientation Leader. These student leaders have been training for months to make sure that they are well equipped to answer your questions. I highly encourage you to not only ask them about the resources at LSU, but also what their experience is like as an LSU student. I guarantee you they will be more than happy to share their love and passion for LSU.

3. Be prepared to see what it means to be an LSU Tiger.

One of the unique things about SPIN is that this is a normal class week and work week for our students. Spring Invitational is our largest orientation program and it takes place during the school year. As a parent, you have the opportunity to see our campus and students in their natural environment. Our students are not only welcoming you to LSU, but they are going to class and participating in extra-curricular activities just as they would any other week.

4. Be prepared to watch your student transition to a young adult.

This is probably one of the most challenging parts of SPIN for parents. Just as you are learning a lot of information at SPIN, so is your student and it is now your student’s responsibility to implement what he/she is learning. As a parent/family member, it is important to remember this. As your student transitions to the University, it is crucial that you remain supportive of their independence and continue to provide them with the resources that they need to succeed. Visit LSU Parent & Family Programs for more information about the Family Association, Family Weekend, and other Family programs to help you become the best resource for your student.

– By Andrew Hall
Recruiting Associate
LSU College of Engineering

Opting In for the Engineering Co-Op

Shane Harrington at an LSU football game.

Shane Harrington

My name is Shane Harrington and I am a junior chemical engineering student. I recently chose to accept a co-op with MAVERICK Technologies for the spring semester. I know that taking a co-op is always a tough decision for many engineering students. Leaving school to work in a whole new town while you watch your friends continue on through their academics is not an easy decision to make. The reason I accepted the co-op is because I felt that experience means a lot to employers, and to obtain a job in the industry upon graduation you need a great resume that sets you apart. What better way to gain practical experience than working with industry professionals for six months?

After the first three weeks working for MAVERICK in Pensacola, Fl I knew that my decision was the right one. I have learned more in three weeks than I could have ever imagined possible. I wish I was a sponge so that I could just absorb all the knowledge thrown my way. Working with a team of experienced engineers to solve real world problems has been extremely rewarding. Also taking what I have learned in my courses and applying that to real situations is a crazy feeling on its own.

I obtained this co-op by attending the career fair at LSU. I talked to several recruiters and then went through the interview process. If I had one piece of advice to give to a fellow student it would be to utilize the resources that LSU gives you and take advantage the great opportunities that are thrown you way. In the grand scheme of things, one extra year of college is nothing if it means a successful life and career after you graduate.

Geaux Tigers!

 By Shane Harrington
Chemical Engineering


The College of Engineering is proud to partner with the LSU Olinde Career Center to provide job opportunities for our students. We encourage all of our Engineering students to check out the resources that the LSU Olinde Career Center provides, including their upcoming career expos!

College of Engineering Networking Reception
February 11, 2015
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Student Union Ballroom
This Pre-Expo Networking Reception allows employers participating in the Expo to visit with Engineering students in a more intimate setting than the Expo provides.

All Majors Career Expo
February 12, 2015
10:30am to 3:30pm
Location: PMAC
This event will be a one-day all majors career expo. The Engineering Expo will take place on the PMAC arena floor.

Traveling through the World of Admissions: A Guide for High School Seniors

My name is Andrew Hall and I am the Recruiting Associate for the College of Engineering at LSU. In this role, I get to interact with prospective students as they make decisions about college. My favorite part of my job is traveling to high schools and college fairs across the country to speak with prospective students. Much like planning a trip requires a lot of preparation, so does preparing for the college admissions process! Below are some practical ways that I plan for travel, which can also help you plan your next steps in the admissions process.

1. Plan your destination: Before I take any trip, I have to decide a location and conduct extensive research on the area.  As a senior, this is the first step in your college admissions process. One of the best places to start is the University’s admission site. Typically these sites have landing pages to other Departments, like the College of Engineering. Once you have done your research and visited campus, you may want to consider applying. Applying early is highly encouraged, but if you have not submitted your application, no worries. The deadline to apply for the Fall 2015 semester without incurring a late fee is April 15, 2015. You can access the LSU Application for Admissions here.

LSU Quad: Photo courtesy of LSU

LSU Quad: Photo courtesy of LSU

2. Plan where you are going to stay: Now that you have in mind where you want to go, you need to figure out where you want to stay. Although it is not required for students to live on campus, it is highly recommended. Residential life provides several on-campus living options, including a residential college program. The ERC (Engineering Residential College) provides a unique living and learning environment for our first year engineering students. Students who choose to live in a residential college take classes in their Hall and are also exposed to events that are put on by industry professionals. The residential college is also a fantastic way to meet other students in your program.

The LSU "ERC" or North Hall

The LSU “ERC” or North Hall

Additionally, residential life also offers traditional residential halls, which are not major specific. The traditional halls offer a diverse range of living accommodations and no matter which hall select, you will have the opportunity to live near some amazing campus resources. If you are interested in living on campus, I highly encourage you to complete a housing application as soon as possible.

3. Secure your spot: Just like any other trip, you need to secure your spot at LSU! A $250 enrollment deposit, which indicates an intent to enroll at LSU, is required by all entering freshman and is due by May 1, 2015. The enrollment deposit is not an additional expense, but rather a pre-payment that is deducted from your fall tuition costs. To pay your enrollment deposit, log in to myLSU. Select Student Services from the menu list, then Application Status.

4. Acquire the necessary documents: When you travel, you always need to make sure that you have the necessary documentation ready. Whether it is a passport, proper tax documents, or even flight itineraries, you always want to be prepared for your trip. As an incoming student there are several important items that you must complete before you can enroll at LSU.

  • If you would like to apply for need-based financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. You may apply for FAFSA after January 1,2015 and it is recommended to do so as soon as possible. LSU’s code is 002010 for FAFSA. For more information regarding FAFSA, visit our Financial Aid website.
  • Another important thing to do is register for new student orientation. Orientation is a wonderful way to get acclimated with the University and it is required for all incoming students. We also offer orientation sessions for parents and family members of our new Tigers! The deadline to register for orientation is May 1, 2015.

    LSU Ambassadors - Engineering Orientation Leaders

    LSU Ambassadors – Engineering Orientation Leaders

  • Lastly, be sure that LSU has received all of your documents! To do so, you will need to submit final transcripts from all schools attended. A list of transcripts needed and received can be found in “Documents Received” on your myLSU account. Select Student Services, then Application Status in the main menu.

5. Enjoy the travel and planning process: College will go by very fast, and so will your senior year. Although it can seem stressful at times, remember to enjoy the time leading up to your trip. Enjoy the last few months of high school, because before you know it your big trip will be here!

I hope this outline helps you navigate through the admissions process, and if you ever need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact anyone in our office!

Terrica Jamison
Assistant Recruiting Manager
Email:terricaj@lsu.edu

Andrew Hall
Recruiting Associate
Email:ahall38@lsu.edu

Engineering Student Ambassadors
Email:lsuengamb@lsu.edu

10 Tips to Help you Prepare for Finals Week

Updated 11/30/2016

Finals week is quickly approaching at LSU, and it’s essential that you plan ahead to not only survive in your classes, but to thrive academically, physically and mentally. Check out these tips to help you prepare for finals week.

1. Plan ahead.
Double-check the times and dates of your finals. Ask your professors whether the exam will be cumulative so you can plan your studying ahead of time. Create a study schedule, write it down and stick to it! It’s never too early to begin tackling those formulas and concepts.

Plan ahead.

Plan ahead.

2. Eat healthy.
It can be really easy to drink energy drinks and eat junk food while studying. Try to avoid sugary and fatty snacks and replace them with fresh fruit, vegetables and water. You’ll feel better and have more energy.

3. Get sleep.
We’ve all heard that you can only pick two of these things in college: good grades, a social life and sleep. This is a blatant lie. It is possible to get a good eight hours of sleep each night while still maintaining good grades and good friendships. Start studying now so you won’t have to pull all-nighters during dead week. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle those exams.

Get sleep.

Get sleep.

4. Get help from the LSU Center for Academic Success.
Did you know that the Center for Academic Success offers free tutoring for dozens of classes, including math, chemistry and physics? The best part is that tutoring at CAS is free, and no appointment is necessary. Check out the CAS website to learn which tutoring sessions are available.

5. Learn to reduce stress from the LSU Center for Academic Success.
No one said college would be easy. In fact, many students feel symptoms of stress and anxiety while in school. You should know that you are not alone with your emotions, and that there are ways to battle stress. Check out ways to assess, manage and reduce stress from the Center for Academic Success. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed, LSU Mental Health Services is a helpful and confidential resource for all students.

6. Get help with your writing from CxC.
Whether you’re writing a book report, English essay or engineering research report, LSU’s Communication Across the Curriculum (CxC) can give you feedback and help with all your writing. Schedule an appointment with a CxC writing coach now in order to learn how to improve your papers.

Get help with your writing.

Get help with your writing.

7. Study at the library, reserve a room.
Do you struggle with finding a table to study at the library? Worry no more by reserving a study room at Middleton. You can use these rooms to practice presentations, collaborate for group study or study quietly with friends. Middleton is now open 24/5, so you can stay late at the library if need be.

8. Get help with research from a librarian.
Are you searching for a source for your research to no avail? All of LSU’s librarians are here to serve you, and help you will all your research needs. You can consult librarians with a one-on-one appointment or via email, phone or even text.

9. Go to the Student Health Center at the first signs of sickness.
When temperatures drop, students get sick. Be it a cough, fever or aches, the Student Health Center can help you. Schedule an appointment with a doctor at the first sign of sickness to avoid fighting illness along with your studies. If the Student Health Center is all booked, you can still see a nurse without an appointment.

10. Stay active.
Working out is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress and get your mind moving. Make it a habit to get active multiple times a day in order to stay healthy. The UREC offers cardio machines, weight machines, basketball courts, tennis courts and GroupX Fitness classes that feature yoga, zumba, kickboxing and more.

Stay active. (Photo courtesy of LSU Daily Reveille)

Stay active.
(Photo courtesy of LSU Daily Reveille)

– Contributed by Danielle Kelley
LSU College of Engineering communications intern