Road to Commencement: Griffin Kok

Man standing in front of bright yellow background
Credit: Griffin Kok

Name: Griffin Kok

Major: Engineering

Graduation Date: May 6, 2023

MEDIA, Pa. – As Griffin Kok prepares to graduate on May 6, he reflects on his time as a student at Penn State Brandywine and the unique experiences he had.

“I chose to attend Penn State Brandywine because it has a fantastic engineering program,” he said. “Having the Penn State name on my resume carries such enormous weight, and the program is so well respected. It’s also really close to home — I’m only a half hour from Brandywine.”

During his time at Brandywine, Kok was involved with the Engineering Club and the Brandywine Music Association (BMA). He said that both organizations helped him become friends with like-minded individuals.

“There were students of all different majors in the Engineering Club. Some students wanted to be mechanical engineers, aerospace engineers, computer scientists, and we were able to make cool projects together and be in our element,” he said.

Kok said that BMA was a great environment to make friends and express himself creatively. He’s been playing the electric guitar for 12 years and got to showcase his skills last November during Brandywine’s Got Talent, where he placed second.

“My favorite memory at Brandywine was definitely playing my guitar at Brandywine’s Got Talent,” he recalled. “I played the song ‘Eruption’ by Van Halen. It was a super cool experience. I played in talent shows in high school, but I had pretty bad stage fright back then. I managed to get over that and focus on the music happening around me. It was such a blast.”

After graduating in May, Kok will begin working full time as a design engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia. He’ll be doing research, development and engineering work for the Navy and its combat systems.

“Getting my full-time job has been my greatest accomplishment in college,” he said. “It’s the reason why I went to college in the first place. Everything came full circle for me.”

Being an engineering major, Kok said one of the most valuable lessons he’s learned while at Brandywine was to never give up. He’s been learning this lesson throughout his time in college, but he was put to the test in his fourth-year capstone course and internship.

“Engineering is such a rigorous program, regardless of what school you go to. I think a lot of students might be intimidated by not only the coursework but just the expectations of an engineer in general,” he said.

“Make sure you’re studying your material and staying on top of your work, but also make sure you’re not overworking yourself. Make sure you stay focused and have a work-life balance.”

—Griffin Kok , fourth-year engineering student, Penn State Brandywine

When considering advice for future Brandywine students, Kok said to study hard and study smart.

“It’s actually something that my statics professor told my class a couple of years ago,” he said. “Make sure you’re studying your material and staying on top of your work, but also make sure you’re not overworking yourself. Make sure you stay focused and have a work-life balance.”