Ron Skoletsky 1990

Skoletsky__Tufnell_ParkName: Ron Skoletsky

Major and year of graduation: BS EE ’90 and MS ECE ’92

Life post graduation: After graduating WPI, I worked for Hewlett-Packard in their workstation hardware division in Chelsmford, MA for 3 years before transferring to their consulting organization in California. Over the following 10 years I worked in pre-sales technical consulting, knowledge management, and final sales support and marketing. I struck out on my own, moving to Portland, Oregon, to start my own business with my wife – The Little Gym – a children’s gymnastics program. After that crazy 7 year detour, I’m back now working in the IT area for a local Managed Services Provider.

Why do you believe it is valuable to complete IQP abroad?

Many students won’t have the opportunity to travel abroad until later in life. The IQP provides a flexibly structured program to allow students to travel safely and experience other cultures while having a project advisor to help with any challenges and the prior term to prepare.

What is the most valuable takeaway from your IQP in London?

The confidence you build in knowing that you can travel to another country, thousands of miles away from your family and US-based support structures, and be successful and independent.

Why would you recommend the London Project Center to students applying abroad for IQP?

Since everyone there speaks your native tongue, it’s probably one of the easiest countries to get comfortable in, yet you can still experience the benefits of doing an IQP in a foreign country — exploring a place you’ve never been to, experiencing different customs, and navigating living with minimal supervision for 7 weeks and having to meet work-like deadlines.

How did completing your IQP in London open new doors for you academically and professionally?

I don’t think the IQP opened any specific doors for me. However, it’s always good to have something unique on your resume to help with conversations during job interviews. I had never traveled very far from my home-base of New England, so having the experience of doing my IQP in London, and traveling the continent for a short time afterwards, helped build my confidence in traveling the country for work and the several work trips I ended up making back to Europe in the following years.

What was your favorite aspect of your IQP experience in London?

Going dancing on Friday nights with our WPI group at the Camden Palace disco in Camden Town, London, and then playing snooker and “fruit machines” afterwards before trying to find a bus back to our flat in Tufnell Park.

What was the most interesting place in London you visited?

Three of us rented a car along with Professor John van Alstyne (van A), and spent the weekend outside of London. We drove through the countryside visiting Bath, Torquay and other sites. I remember van A breaking into a run on top of a grassy covered flat-topped hill. It was quite the scene.