From Scholar to Engineer

The STEM workshop gave students the opportunity to hear some insight from six engineers.

Coordinated by Yanet Garcia, the STEM workshop brought six engineers to answer questions pertaining to their career in engineering. Jose Gutirrez and Stacey Schkoda, age 29 and 22, were the students from Cal State Fullerton asking the engineers questions.

Stacey Schkoda asked what made them choose this particular career.

Micheal Ortega, a USC graduate and working in Astronautical Engineering at Boeing stated “It sounded really cool” he also added “I wanted to do something that was really hard”

Rebecca Zimmermann, a Cal Poly Pomona graduate and Chemical Engineer at Chevron answered next by stating “In High School, my chemistry teacher took us to a refinery and that’s when I started to be interested in Chemical Engineering.”

Lariselle Hernandez, a Stanford graduate and a Mechanical Engineer at Raytheon stated how her mom had a small entry job at Boeing, and decided to take her to Boeing one day to see the astronauts, and she stated how “ The coolest thing I ever heard”

Jesus Perez, attended MIT and Stanford and is in Mechanical Engineering at Raytheon. Perez stated how he had the natural engineering spark. His 8th grade teacher asked him what he wanted to do, and he replied “fixing cars” and she replied “You’re too smart for that, you should be making cars.”

Marisa Carlos, a USC graduate and a chemical engineer at General Mills stated how she didn’t really didn’t know what to do after college and engineering sounded intriguing.

Maria Medina, a student at Cal Poly Pomona and the youngest of the group stated “(to) finish what my mom started and finish engineering”

The Engineers spoke about the importance of obtaining extra-curricular and internships to be able to be noticed. They also stated how it’s almost impossible to get an internship without going to a 4 year school.

Societies such as SHPE or Sociey of Hispanic Professional Engineers helps students looking to become engineers, and anyone is welcome to join.

SWE is another organization or Society of Women Engineers. Their website states “An organization that stimulates women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers”

After the workshop, Maria was asked a few questions about her time becoming an engineer and how women are paving the way for future female engineers.

When asked if there are any requirements to join SHPE or SWE, she stated “there are none” but there are membership fees to joining these programs. SWE is twenty dollars as an undergrad and SHPE is fifteen. SWE also doesn’t just add women, they accept anyone into the program. Maria added “the whole thing for SWE is to promote women in engineering, and you can’t promote women if you don’t have the majority support, and the majority right now is male”

Maria was then asked if it’s a bit intimidating being the youngest of the group. She stated “Everyone is already working and i’m just a student, so it is intimidating just because wow, they already graduated and they’re already in their career, and i’m just a student still working on getting there, but it’s a trade-off because even though I’m the youngest I learn a lot from coming to these events and benefit as much as the students out there.”

Maria added “It doesn’t matter what route you’re taking, as long as you come out on top and you believe in yourself.”

Engineers discussing

(Left to right) Jesus Perez, Lariselle Hernandez,Maria Carlos,Maria Medina,Rebeca Zimmermann,Micheal Ortega



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