List of Questions for Dr. Olt:
1. How did you get involved with liking chemistry growing up?
"My parents were both chemical engineers on an industrial campus in Romania. I was exposed to chemistry from an early age."
2. What were your favorite activities/ hobbies when you were in high school and college?
"I played a lot of sports growing up. Tennis, soccer, skiing, basketball, ping pong, anything involving my hands and feet. And reading".
3. What are your favorite activities/ hobbies now?
"I continued playing soccer until 10 years ago. Now I read, and enjoy watching movies. I enjoy Italian realism, Historical fiction, and syfy movies. The recent movies I enjoy are X-men, Lord of the Rings, and Dr. Strange."
4. What was your first job?
"My first job was a process engineer at an oil refinery"
5. What was your first "real" job?
"My first "real" job was my first job. I worked at the refinery and then after 3 years became senior researcher and taught evening classes."
6. How did that lead you to becoming a professor?
"Teaching the evening classes at an institute for 8 years, teaching organic, chemical engineering, and 17 years after post grad. I then moved on from research to only teaching"
7. What is the best way for college students to succeed?
"For college you must try to like what you study, and be grounded. Aware of your goals and how you are reaching those goals. You should go to class, exams and quizes, and change how you studied in high school."
8. What are some ways to find out what you want to do for a living?
"Talk to family, close friends, visit sites you think you may like to work, internship or co-op for at least one semester. It clears your mind for any doubts you have."
9. What non-academic skills are the most useful in a job?
"Communication and time management are important, along with having a good attitude."
10. How long have you lived in America?
"I have lived here for 25 years".
11. Why did you move here?
"I came here for grad studies at Clemson".
12. Where is your favorite place to visit/live?
"I love to travel, mainly in Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Romania(home)) and also around North America (Canada, San Francisco, California, New York, D.C) I haven't made it to Mexico yet."
13. What sport is your favorite?
"My favorite sport is tennis, especially when playing doubles. My favorite sports team is Barcelona."
14. What was your major?
"Chemical Engineering, and Chemistry"
15. If _______________ hadn't been your major, what would you liked to have done?
"I would have majored in history".
For my interview I chose Dr. Olt for several reasons. I knew that he was from a foreign country which interested me, and I also like hearing him talk in class as he makes some jokes during the course of the class period, and I like having professors that show their sense of humor. I was very impressed with the answers that he gave me. He really let me into his past, giving some stories about what he used to do. He really went in depth with saying how playing sports kept him sane, especially when he was in a transitioning period coming over to the U.S. It was very interesting learning about his past and how he became the person that he is now. One of the things that I learned from this is that the professors will enjoy doing things and talking with us just as much or as more than the students do. I also learned that they really care about communicating with us, or at least some of them do. I learned that this professor is very open, and eager to talk with his students, and we talked about soccer for several more minutes after the interview, and several more minutes about traveling. This has definitely opened my eyes to how the professors really care for talking with us. Really what I learned is what the professors are willing to do for us that we can't always see from just interactions through the classroom. This was an experience that definitely makes me view my professors in a different light.