When Corey Kreidler first arrived at CSM, what he looked forward to most was to take classes in subjects not offered at his high school. A graduate of Half Moon Bay High School, Corey had earned a high grade point average, but as with so many college freshmen, he was uncertain about a major. “I wanted to make sure I would take the right path so I decided to attend CSM which would give me time to learn about different subjects and not have the pressure of focusing on a major right away.”
Among the classes Corey took were psychology, business and engineering. It was a conversation he had with his engineering professor, Laura Demsetz, that put him on track to become an engineering major. She also reinforced the importance of learning about other subjects to enhance his engineering education. In preparation for his major, Corey was required to take science and math each semester, but he was also able to take a variety of humanities and social science courses which he believes made him a well-rounded student.
“CSM was like a launching pad for me. Since I wasn’t ready out of high school to move from home and attend a university, CSM gave me the flexibility to figure out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to transfer.” According to Corey, one of the major benefits of attending CSM was the quality of the faculty and staff. “I had classes taught by many excellent faculty members, and outside the classroom, the faculty and staff were very approachable and always willing to help me.”
In addition to the academic foundation he received during his two years at CSM, Corey picked up some additional skills that he hadn’t counted on. By participating in the college’s service learning program, CSM Connects, he found a way to create balance within his rigorous academic schedule. He gained experience in working as a member of a team and communicating effectively with a diverse group of people. Through his service learning projects, Corey was presented with activities that fostered more right-brain, “big picture” thinking. These were skills that he would find helpful as an engineering major and in his career.
Following two years at CSM, Corey transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as an engineering major. While at Cal Poly, Corey began to focus on environmental issues and made the decision to specialize in environmental engineering. As a result, he participated in a student organization that promoted sustainability; this led to his coordinating the first annual Cal Poly Green Career Fair, now a major event at the University, where he was able to apply the skills he honed at CSM.
In 2010, Corey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental engineering from Cal Poly and is now a registered engineer-in-training with the State of California. Since graduating, he has concentrated on nontraditional engineering opportunities that allow him to combine his formal education in engineering and liberal studies with his experience from college activities to propel him in his career. He has served as an intern for a biofuels engineering company and, more currently, has partnered with several startups, most of which focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.