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Student Spotlight – Richard Connor

Richard Connor


  •  Raleigh, NC

High School Graduation Year:

  •  2020


  • BS, Paper Science and Engineering, 2024
  • BS, Chemical Engineering, 2024
  • Business Administration Minor

Work Experience:

  •  IP, Port Wentworth , GA Summer 2021 and Summer 2022
  • Wolfspeed, Durham, NC Summer 2023

Why did you choose Paper Science and Engineering (PSE)?

  • Going into NC State, I knew I wanted to be a chemical engineer because of all the job opportunities that would be available to me after graduation. I learned of the PSE program through an NC State open house and was excited to see that I would be able to study what I call “sustainable applied chemical engineering” in addition to all the regular chemical engineering courses. All the trends show that the world is moving towards more sustainable manufacturing, and I believe that the paper industry is well positioned to take advantage of this growing business sector and we will see not only economic benefits within the industry but also environmental benefits that everyone can enjoy.

What is your favorite thing about Paper Science and Engineering?

  • I really love the community within the paper science program. I have had the chance to get to know many of my colleagues through our very active intramural teams.

What is your favorite thing about NC State?

  • The campus is very walkable! It’s easy to get from class to class without having to worry too much about traffic.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman? 

  • College is not just about learning from a class perspective. Take as many opportunities as you can to try new things! Internships are 3 month “tryouts” for jobs with no commitments, so look at all sorts of different industries to see what fits best. Go to that interesting sounding club meeting. Take that spontaneous road trip to Linville Gorge (seriously it’s awesome). As you hear a lot, you’re only in college once.

What has been your greatest challenge?

  • My biggest challenge has definitely been trying to balance everything I do in college. There are so many things that I want to do and experiences I want to have but there’s not enough time in the day.

What is your favorite extra-cirriculare activity?

  • My favorite activity is definitely skateboarding. I did not have a car up until 2nd semester of Freshman year, so I relied on my skateboard to get me around all through high school. I remember skating miles around Raleigh to work and because of that I got very good at it. I still skate to class every day!