Chats With Change Makers: Ben Dopp

October 11, 2023
Graphic features headshots of student host Kavya and guest Change Maker Ben Dopp

On Thursday October 5th (aka: World Teacher Day) our Chats with Change Makers student host Kavya got to interview Ben Dopp, a 3d Printing Specialist at TE Connectivity.

Chats with Change Makers is designed to showcase real engineers, technologists, and technicians to students from grades 4-8 and make real world connections to the engineering profession, as well as reflect the diversity of the students who participate!

You can watch the full interview below, but here are some of our favorite bits!


Question: So from all the projects you’ve worked on, what is the most surprising piece of knowledge that you can think of that not many people may know about?

Answer: I think the the biggest surprise for me in particular was how important the connections between people really are. Especially in engineering, it takes a large team to accomplish any kind of goal, any kind of project. And I underestimated how important that was before I got into engineering.

That was the the biggest surprise for me. I mean, there’s a lot of technical things that are a surprise, but coming in, I didn’t anticipate how important it was interpersonal skills were.

Question: And in thinking of the students joining us today and in the future, what is one piece of advice that you would want to give to your younger self?

Answer: I would wanna go back and tell my younger self to have faith and go forth and do the things that I was good at and that I liked. There’s a lot of times you have people telling you what may be best for you or maybe what you should do or what you can do. Try and find what you like to do what you’re really good at. Right? I went into engineering and I have to find that I’m really good at 3D printing and it’s pretty fun. Obviously I could talk about it all day long, right?

Try and find that thing that you’re into that you don’t mind checking out on your spare time. Right? So, like if you’re really into woodworking or whatever it is, find the thing that makes it exciting for you and try and drive that way as much as possible. If there’s a university class that you can get AA degree in that or maybe go to a technical school or find the thing that, that you like and try and make that your job.


Question: I think that’s helpful and do you need a four year degree to work in engineering? This was a question that we got.

Answer: That’s a good one as well. So currently I don’t have a four year degree. I have a two year associate’s degree. Working through TE Connectivity they are actually helpful enough to help me pay for my ongoing training to get my bachelor’s degree. So you don’t necessarily need a engineering degree, a four year degree, excuse me. I do have an associate’s degree that got my foot in the door and then a lot of the things we do are just so hands on and so direct applications that learning the right way to work with people and how to, how your equipment works and just being diligent at trying to get better at what you’re doing, you can stand out with or without that degree.


Watch the full episode:

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