My first year in graduate school, I sought out classroom experience, not for the funding, but for the thrill of teaching. I served as a teaching assistant for three semesters between the Fall of 2007 and the Fall of 2008. I was a teaching assistant for the undergraduate course Introduction to Structural Engineering under the instruction of Prof. Robert Dodds and Prof. Keith Hjelmstad. Each week I looked forward to the review sessions when I was the sole instructor in the room. I found the direct interaction with the students exciting and watching them grasp difficult concepts fulfilling. During my period as a teaching assistant, I was honored on the list of teachers ranked as excellent by the students.
This course provided the analysis background necessary for structural engineering. By serving as a TA for a structural analysis course for an extended period of time, I developed excellent analysis intuition. My knowledge of basic analysis tools has provided numerous benefits when trying to understand simple behavior. It is amazing what can be learned when the response is broken down to fundamental concepts.