Senior Madeline Merckling prepares for competitive KU engineering program

Senior Madeline Merckling was accepted into the prestigious SELF program at the University of Kansas.

Abby Smith

Senior Madeline Merckling was accepted into the prestigious SELF program at the University of Kansas.

Abby Smith, Graphic Design Editor

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The Self Engineering Leadership Fellow Program at the University of Kansas is a highly competitive program for engineers attending KU. The process to be accepted into SELF is lengthy and exclusive, as only a select group of students can be welcomed into the program. Senior Madeline Merckling went through this extensive process to compete for acceptance in the program and her hard work eventually paid off when she got accepted.

“I was excited [when I found out],” Merckling said. “After going and actually being there for the interview day, I had really wanted to get into it so it was exciting.”

The process started by applying to the engineering school.

“First I had to get accepted into the engineering school, and then I had to write an essay to get accepted into the interview process, and then after the interview portion they let you know if you got in,” Merckling said.

According to Merckling, the interview was the most difficult part of the process. She had to spend a day at KU with other candidates for the SELF program as she was evaluated for the program. She also had to give a speech to her interviewers about how SELF will help her achieve her goals.

“It’ll [the SELF program] help prepare me for business and leadership type stuff,” Merckling said. “That’s what the program is meant for, preparing business leaders.”

In addition to preparing her, the SELF program will help open up opportunities for Merckling that could prove very beneficial for her career.

“It [the SELF program] also gives me a lot of opportunities for different internships and things like that,” Merckling said.

An example of these opportunities would be “meeting with people who are leaders at Google or really big engineering firms.”

Ultimately, Merckling is excited to start her engineering journey at KU.

“I like the idea of creating something that will better the world,” Merckling said.


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