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Q&A With Connor Mahoney

Connor MahoneyCAC Spotlight on Salutatorian & Engineering Student

Senior Connor Mahoney will pursue mechanical engineering at the country’s top engineering school this fall. In addition to being named CAC’s co-salutatorian, Mahoney is a Rose-Hulman Merit Scholar and Air Force ROTC Scholarship recipient. Mahoney sat down with the E-Mustang staff to discuss his transition from England to America, career plans and his advice for CAC’s upcoming seniors.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m from England originally, but I’ve lived in America most of life. My dad’s job brought us to North Carolina the first time, then we moved back to England, then to Arkansas. I’m very into engineering and creating things. Outside of that, I like to play soccer and just hanging out with friends.

What was the transition from England to America like?

I thought Arkansas was going to be full of rednecks and country bumpkins! I’m used to restarting now, but it was really easy coming here – I felt accepted, and the people have been really nice. That made it a lot easier.

How did you choose The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for college?

I got a little pamphlet in the mail about it one day. I looked online and found out it was the number one engineering school in the country. A lot of people hadn’t heard of it, but I applied on a whim and got accepted. I had my acceptance letter in my hand for about two seconds before my mother ripped it out. I laughed at her first, but I was also really happy.

Tell us about the program you’ll be involved in.

It’s a private institute, so I won’t have as many side classes, and the classes will be pretty focused on engineering. I will be doing a lot of math – I’ll actually finish calculus in the first year. I’ll be majoring in mechanical engineering, but the school also offers a certificate program in aeronautics that I’m going to try to get at the same time. It’s all very math, computer and engineering oriented.

How did you originally become interested in engineering, and where do you hope it will take you?

My dad was in the Air Force, so I was always looking at planes and wanting to fly. I started wearing glasses in fourth grade, and usually pilots don’t wear glasses, so I started getting more interested in the design of planes. Hopefully someday I’ll get to lead a group of people who design new things like planes or cars.

Who’s influenced you the most during your time at this school?

Mrs. Holland, Mrs. Noble and Ms. Leverett – I can go to them for anything I need help with. They always push me to make sure I’m living up to my full potential, which is really nice. The people are one of things I’ll miss most about CAC.

Favorite CAC memory?

Causing havoc during the snow day before junior/senior last year. I went over to a friend’s house that night and just had a blast.

What advice would you give younger students?

That senior year isn’t as easy as you think it will be. It will be hard and things get stressful toward the end when senioritis kicks in. But things do fall into place. When it comes time to graduate, everything is there, and everything is ready for you to move on.