LSU Engineering Students Balance Academics, Internships, and Tiger Marching Band


Being part of the LSU Tiger Marching Band is a huge responsibility. During the fall semester, members practice five days a week and each Saturday is devoted to the band.

Consequently, pairing that time commitment with an internship and the pursuit of an engineering degree may seem nearly impossible. Some LSU Engineering students, though, have happily accepted the challenge.

Jacob Pettigrew, a junior in chemical engineering from Albany, La., is a trumpet player and librarian for Tiger Band. He conducts undergraduate research at LSU on cancer cells and how they react to different treatments. Additionally, he is vice president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)’s LSU chapter and recommends that all students get involved with a major-orientated organization.

“[My internship] has helped me see how many different aspects there are to chemical engineering … like the research side,” said Pettigrew.

Matthew Herrera, a senior biological engineering major, is co-captain of the LSU Drumline. Part of the Baton Rouge native’s responsibilities are to audition the Drumline each season and make sure everyone performs at their highest level. Tyler Stewart, a junior in computer science from Mandeville, La., is the other co-captain. You may not think you know him but you do. He plays the bass drum for pregame and leads the timing of claps for the crowd.

Off the field, however, both are gaining valuable experience at their respective internships. Herrera assists with diabetes research at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, looking specifically at how fasting effects glucose levels. Stewart interns at Champion Technology Services and works with coding and the business aspect of computer science.

Meagan Rodrigue, a senior in civil engineering from New Orleans, has been a member of the LSU Golden Girls her entire college career and previously interned for Entergy with their Project Management Department.

“[My internship] helped me decide what path I want to take…I think I want to start off with design,” Rodrigue said.

With their busy schedules, all of the students emphasized how important it is to plan ahead and make the most of their time.

“You have to make time for your friends,” Rodrigue said.

Even with the hectic schedule, they would recommend getting involved with Tiger Band to anyone interested.

“It is 100 percent possible to be in Tiger Band and be an engineer!” Stewart said.

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This article highlights a portion of the students in LSU Tiger Marching Band that represent the College of Engineering. To learn more about the band, please visit

Article by Olivia Blackstock, College of Engineering communications intern. For more information contact communications director, Josh Duplechain at


LSU Tiger Band, Jacob Pettigrew

LSU Tiger Band Drumline Captains

LSU Golden Girl Meagan Rodrigue