How I Did It: Israel Ilufoye, Mechanical Design Engineer

Israel Ilufoye is a mechanical design engineer with W.L. Gore & Associates, a Fortune 100 company ranked one of the best companies to work for.

A 2013 graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Ilufoye majored in mechanical engineering.

Ilufoye is originally from Nigeria, arriving in the United States when he was 10. Since then, he has lived and gone to school in Baltimore.

Although he is considering studying for either an M.B.A. or a master’s in mechanical engineering, Ilufoye was hired straight out of college for the full-time position he now enjoys. “I had an opportunity to intern here, and the internship transitioned into a full-time position.” In that regard, Ilufoye’s experience is similar to that of another engineer profiled on the BE Smart website, Rhoman Hardy, an electrical engineer.

Ilufoye says his education, internship at Gore, and other undergraduate experiences prepared him well for his position.

“My education provided a strong theoretical base. I also had an internship with a medical device startup, and I got a chance to do undergraduate research at Georgia Tech working with graduate students on a device used in microprocessors.”

All those experiences, Ilufoye says, helped him to develop skill sets that helped him easily transition to the position he now holds.

His first dream, however, was to be a pilot. That dream got derailed by the high costs associated with learning to fly; job prospects, too, seemed less likely. Ilufoye switched gears and pursued engineering instead, but he thinks flying will still play a role in his future.

For those interested in pursuing engineering professionally, Ilufoye offers the following advice:

  • “Start with the end in mind. Engineering provides a certain level of skill, a certain basic knowledge.”
  • “By successfully completing your studies, you will develop a work ethic because the curriculum is rigorous and complicated. But that work ethic is easily transferable to other industries.”
  • “Engineering education is complex and theoretical. It is a discipline.”
  • “Keep your mind on what you’d like to do in the future, and choose a discipline that will help you do that.”