The stereotype of an engineer is often a nerdy geek who spends days and nights hunched over a computer—tapping away at a keyboard and scribbling formulas in nearly illegible handwriting.
Society often pictures these masters of math and science as socially awkward beings far more comfortable working with a calculator than holding a conversation with another human.
Chemical engineering student George Schlinck is anything but this common (albeit cartoonish) portrayal of a collegiate engineering student.
The outgoing sophomore not only had the onstage role of a cancer stricken father in the Manhattan College Players’ fall production of “The Shadow Box,” he also helped compose the score for the drama. That is in addition to his work as a performing member of both the Pep Band and Manhattan College Singers, finding the time to serve as an orientation leader, and his regular involvement with the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
“The way I look at it, the time kind of finds me,” Schlinck said.
He admits that it sometimes can get overwhelming to manage that many extracurricular activities on top of his busy academic work. Yet when it comes to figuring out how to get everything done, he seems to borrow a page from a popular swoosh-marked athletic company’s advertising campaign.
“I don’t really have a problem just sitting down to get through what I got to do,” he said.
Perhaps another reason Schlinck is able to balance his schoolwork with the time and preparation required for performing is that he has had a good bit of practice. Schlinck began playing the trombone way back in the fifth grade.
“That’s where everything music for me really started,” he said.
From there, he eventually became a member of his high school’s pit orchestra, then going on to add acting and singing to his repertoire. His passion for being on stage did not wane when he made the transition to life at college, earning him the respect of his peers.
“George adds a lot to Players,” fellow sophomore and member Katelyn Rose Conroy said. “He has so much talent and creativity and gives his all to whatever he is doing.”
In addition to his more formal involvement with the performing arts groups at MC, Schlinck has also been a regular at the Coffee Houses, strumming his guitar in front of yet another crowd. Students might also have seen him open for Boys Like Girls at Quadstock, playing with the student band John and The Engineers.
He is also adding one more performance role this spring semester as he plans to become involved with the college’s Music Ministry that serves at weekly liturgies.
Yet for Schlinck, each of these different on-campus opportunities to either sing, act or play music offers its own respective benefit—and all of them worthy of the time commitment.
“The amount of work I put in is equal to the reward I get out,” he said.
He also claims that he is not that much of an anomaly at the college, rather the typical typecasting of engineers is off the mark.
“Especially at Manhattan, that stereotype is not valid at all.”