Eric Schott - Electrical Engineering Student and Band Member

Eric schott
  • Name: Eric Schott

  • Education: Sophomore Electrical Engineering Student at Southern Methodist University Hometown: Austin, TX
  • Target Audience: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School

Eric Schott is a sophomore electrical engineering student at Southern Methodist University (SMU), and he's also a member of the SMU Mustang Band. He shows how STEM and music can go hand-in-hand!

Why did you choose your major? Did you always know this is what you wanted to do? 
I’ve always been a fan of math and science, and I love the idea of creating things for other people to use. I thought I wanted to be a musician because I really enjoyed doing that, but now I can do both!

What is your main role in band?
I'm a member, but I'm not incredibly involved because there are not that many leadership positions. I'll definitely be involved next year because upperclassmen are leaving, so I'll act as a mentor to new members. 

What does your average day look like? (Class, practice, games, etc.)image
I have class and homework. Band’s more of an escape from exact quantitative things that I do during school. 

Do you apply what you learn in the classroom on the field/court?
I apply my time management skills because I have to make sure I'm prepared!

What's been your biggest sacrifice trying to do it all (school, sports, family, etc.)? 
I'm not sacrificing anything. I'm actually gaining a new friend group and a stress relief mechanism. I'm actually giving anything up because I'm doing the things I enjoy doing!

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I will hopefully be working for a tech company or starting my own business in consulting for verification, and hopefully I'll be playing all of the instruments that I play now on the side. I play tuba, baratone, clarinet, guitar, bass, piano, drums, ukulele, and banjo, and I can sing! Soon, I’ll be learning the double bass!

Do you have any suggestions for how kids can balance STEM interests and music interests? Any courses you can recommend students to take before college?
Stick with what you’re passionate about because whatever you end up doing, the most important thing is that you’re happy doing it, but you never have to go all-in on one of them. They balance pretty nicely! If you want to do a STEM major, then math classes are great to have under your belt. If your school offers intro to engineering classes, then definitely take those. I was able to do 3D printing in high school, and that was helpful to get the design process down.

What was your favorite class growing up? 
The one that I wouldn’t be able to grow-up without is band because it heavily influenced my life, my friend group, how I spent my free time, and how I viewed engineering.

Are you a first generation college student?

When did you start playing your instrument(s)? 
I started playing clarinet in 6th grade, but I started playing guitar when 7 years old!

What's a fun fact about you?
I flew a plane once!