The personal reflective memo is a two-page document that I ask the students to write at the end of the class but before the oral exam. So all the lectures we've had, all the team assignments, and all the material has been presented. And at this point, this reflective memo asks the students to think back on the material. What really was the most important thing they learned? What of what they learned in the class are they going to build into their own future projects, their own careers? If they're interested in systems engineering as a career choice, whether it's in research or in industry, why is that the case?
And so they submit this one or two days before the oral exam, and so we have a chance to read those reflective memos. And usually, one of the very first questions in the oral exam is about some key ideas that they presented in their oral memo, so it provides a great hook into the oral exam.