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Austin (Ozzy) Dow-Smith

Austin Dow-Smith Standing with his Grandmother in Alaska

Current Name:

Austin (Ozzy) Dow-Smith

Graduation Year:

2012, started at MSSM in 2009

Hometown/Sending School:

Wisdom Middle High School, St. Agatha, Maine

Where did you go after MSSM?

I first went to study at Wentworth Institute of Technology for Architecture but transferred to the University of Maine where I graduated December 2016 with my degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a Project Manager for an equipment supply company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Previously I spent time as a Design/Manufacturing Engineer as well as a Senior Design Engineer in Alabama, Arizona and many places in between!

What is one of your favorite memories from MSSM?

I honestly have far too many to just recount one. I think my favorite thing about MSSM in general is just the sense of community and camaraderie. The thing that really sticks with me is as a person who attended the MSSM summer camps a few summers and showing up to MSSM for the first time and already having friendships with fellow students from those summer camps. Then working at summer camps and hearing from kids I had in my family groups there who went to MSSM for school later that I had a part in them being interested in the school and bringing it full circle is something that I am always proud of.

Austin Dow-Smith standing with friends all wearing bow-ties

Many of my friends made at MSSM are still some of my great friends today, and even though we may not talk every day we can always pick back up where we left off. Some of these friends were even part of my recent wedding! (From left to right with the arrows: Shane Flanigan, Myself, William West, John Massey)

What class/teacher most sticks out in your mind?

Mr.McCartney for me is always the teacher that sticks out to me. Mr.McCartney inside of the classroom challenged me to think more creatively and pushed me to look at texts differently. Mr.McCartney and I still keep in touch, we even connected while I lived in Huntsville, AL and he was attending Space Camp. Having his mentorship while at MSSM and since is something I will always cherish and appreciate. I think MSSM as a whole really benefits from being a close knit community. and the relationships it fosters.

Pete Pedersen is another one who sticks out as someone who really challenged me to push myself and persevere even when things were not going as I hoped. At times I certainly struggled in Pete's classes not being what I would call as "naturally gifted" in math as many other MSSM students. Pete taught a methodical way and provided us with the "how" and "why" when it came to all things math and that helped me understand how to apply myself and persevere in times when I did not understand initially. These problem solving skills are ultimately what pushed my interest in Engineering and that mindset of problem solving and without Pete I certainly would not be where I am today.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your past self as you prepare for MSSM?

If I could go back in time I think really the biggest thing I would tell myself is to not get easily discouraged. MSSM when you first arrive can feel a bit daunting at first. The school provides you a higher level of education and in turn holds those expectations of its students as well which for me was something that took some time to adjust to.

I can remember at first I struggled with a few classes and wasn't used to getting grades less than an A or B which was discouraging. Once I began utilizing the school's resources I was able to get back up to speed and find my groove. Looking back I would tell myself to trust that process and try not to get discouraged because it would all work out.

What role did MSSM play in who or where you are now?

MSSM played a significant role in where I am at now. MSSM overall I would say continued my interest in understanding how things work and improved my ability to solve problems. It gave me an extremely sound understanding in science, math, and in the social sciences so that when I got into college I was more than prepared for whatever college threw my way. Without the education MSSM provided me I doubt that I would have been able to handle pursuing internships in my area of study while taking full course loads and working on the weekends as well. Being able to do that really prepared me for my career post college and skills and tools I learned at MSSM are still things I use on a regular basis. I think without the education and life lessons MSSM provided me it would have been much more difficult to be at the same place I am today and for that I am grateful.

Outside of the educational aspect, MSSM has provided me with many friends that I hold near and dear to my heart and people I still communicate with on a daily basis 10+ years after graduating.

What is the best book/movie/tv show you can recommend to your fellow alumni?

I don't have a great piece of media I can recommend but I will recommend to fellow alumni to try something new and always strive to find hobbies that bring you joy. I recently got into miniature gaming and painting. At first I was a bit intimidated by the painting aspect of the hobby but now it's something I love to do and a great way to spend my time away from screens and something I strive to improve at. I hope others can use this as an excuse to step outside their comfort zone and try something new!

First model Ozzy painted.

First model I painted

Recent painted model of Iron Man

Most recent model painted