Get to know your alumni! Our first feature is a standout graduate, Matt Wolfe.
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him
Grad Year: 2016
Focus: B.S. Electrical Engineering, M.S Engineering Management
Pet Projects: I dabble in real estate investing, I own a duplex that I’m fixing up. Always looking for the next purchase!
Company and Role: I manage marketing at Path Robotics
What inspired or led you to study Electrical/Computer Engineering? I’ve always been fascinated with figuring out how things work. As a kid, I remember visiting COSI and they had this exhibit where you could disassemble a computer. That was probably the first moment where I knew I was meant for engineering. I loved seeing how the pieces fit together. That curiosity for figuring out how things work led to First Robotics Lego League in middle school and then full-fledged First Robotics in high school.
What is one thing you love about your job/career choice? My career has been a winding path since graduating. I got into engineering because I enjoyed figuring out how things worked. At first, I thought that was moving pieces, machinery and electricity. I started at Ford Motor Company as an ADAS engineer, working on vision systems for adaptive cruise control. It took me a while and many different positions, to figure out that I was really interested in figuring out how people work. The turning point was my involvement in championing customer-centered design through a program called Ford Catalyst. The purpose of customer-centered design is to dive deep into your customer’s needs and discover what problems they are facing. This was essentially backwards engineering a person. It was fascinating. Why do we do the things we do? Not just at a surface level, that’s just the cover of the story, but diving deep into how our brains process events. Right around this time I was given the opportunity to join the Lincoln marketing team and the puzzle pieces aligned. What I love about my career choice is that it marries my two interests together. I work in marketing exclusively for tech companies. At my current job at Path Robotics, we’ve made the first truly autonomous robotic welding system. It’s incredible! Being an engineer in marketing was a natural fit. I approach marketing at a systems level, just like an engineer approaches a problem. You identify or define the problem, come up with measurables, implement and analyze and then improve and control. I also blend the customer side in by diving deep into my target audience. Last but not least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about data, a good marketer can take a huge amount of data and process it into insights and action items.
What is your favorite memory at Ohio State, engineering related or not? My favorite memory at Ohio State was when our IEEE student chapter hosted a regional conference on campus. Several of my closest friends and I had joined IEEE and attended a regional conference, we loved it so much that we decided we needed to bring it to Ohio State. We did and we had an absolute blast! We had competitions set up all around campus, ranging from presentations to a microcontroller mouse maze challenge. I remember the moment where we had a dozen teams running a dozen events for over 200 students and it was all going (relatively) smoothly. I’ve never been more proud of a team!
What advice do you have for Ohio State students and new grads? Chase your passions. Life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t love. Be proud of yourself and who you are. Most importantly, find balance in everything you do.