Spring 2021 Commencement Celebration

Tanner Sheahan

Like many Michigan Technological University students before him, Tanner Sheahan got his first taste of life at Michigan Tech as a high school student attending Summer Youth Programs. The many outdoor opportunities in the area, coupled with the University’s academics, sealed the deal.

Sheahan, a chemical engineering major and native of Bay City, Michigan, has been chosen as student speaker for the spring 2021 graduating class and will deliver a virtual student address as part of this spring’s graduation celebration. Looking back at his time at Tech, Sheahan is confident his decision to come to Houghton was the right one.

"This was 100 percent the correct choice, I could not see myself going anywhere else."

A self-described natural storyteller, Sheahan is enthusiastic about the message he’ll share with his class.  “I love writing, and I think I have a knack for telling stories,” he said. “I wrote it in a day.” He wasn’t intimidated by the competitive aspect of the speaker selection process. “I had fun,” he said. “It was a great experience, whether or not I was selected. But I’m happy to be chosen.”

Sheahan admits that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, his final two years at MTU have been difficult at times, but he tends to look for the silver lining.

"We’ve been through challenging times, but through it, I’ve learned how to stay positive."

Because of travel restrictions, Sheahan’s summer internship last summer was conducted virtually. “The situation really opened up extreme doors and led to a job as a sales operations manager at Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company in Naperville, Illinois,” he said.

Sheahan said he likes to make the most of any situation and that certainly applied to his time at Michigan Tech. He took advantage of the many outdoor recreation opportunities and was active in many student organizations. He said St. Albert the Great University Parish is responsible for significant growth. “My faith community is a key component to my time here,” he said. “They’ve become my family and are a part of any success I may have had.”

Looking at how his college experience has prepared him for a successful career while developing his life intellectually, socially, and spiritually, Tanner Sheahan is certain: Coming to MTU was the right choice.