Hometown: Valencia, California
Mechanical engineering, with a minor in mathematics (2023)
What got you interested in engineering?
I’ve always had a passion for math and creativity. Engineering was a wonderful choice to try to merge those worlds together. I always have been a person with many interests that didn’t typically coincide and my family doesn’t have any engineering background. That intimidated me when I began looking into engineering for my education and career. I took various tests and spoke with many individuals and my passion to pursue engineering was solidified. Over my college career I have grown to enjoy the industry and deeper understanding of the world around me. It also opened my eyes to many possibilities on how to merge my interests, education and role in society through engineering.
What impact do you hope to have through your engineering career?
I always have tried to be active in my community either through volunteering, supporting local events and businesses or donating items to local food and clothing drives. I would love to use my degree to continue to better my community in new and exciting ways. I think it would be really cool to be on an engineering team that is developing something that will make a positive difference nationally or internationally. I would find a lot of pride in being a role model by being a woman in STEM.
What does the CREATE program mean to you?
CREATE means care, passion, guidance and reassurance. When I was taken in by the CREATE team I immediately had so much extra assistance for which I will be forever grateful. They helped me remember that I can do it even when it felt impossible and I had lost motivation. The entire staff really cares about each student and always makes time to help them when they need it. Since I do not have too many connections to the engineers it was extremely beneficial to have CREATE staff assist me in making connections and working towards my future.
In what ways has your peer mentor helped you?
My peer mentor will continue to be one of my best friends. She was very helpful in my internship hunt and class choices. She helped me with homework and general engineering questions I had. We would often hang out and talk outside of the required CREATE meetings. This program and mentor matching really helped me get through the degree and gave me one of the best friendships I’ve ever had. She helped me cope with the various emotional turmoil this degree can sometimes bring on students and was there for me through personal lows. My mentor and I helped each other which made it that much more beneficial.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
I would love to share my experiences in balancing personal activities and getting a degree. I was on the cheerleading team, involved in multiple clubs on campus, a CREATE scholar, in honor societies and typically I had a job. I like to reiterate that it is possible to do well in an engineering program and maintain involvement in any social clubs or activities you enjoy. That doesn’t mean it is easy: it will take some sacrifices, but it is totally worth it. You will be much happier if you are doing some things for you in your busy class schedule.
There are also other students in the same situation as you. I sometimes felt alienated in social groups for various reasons, but the combination made me feel like I truly belong. For example, I didn’t know any other student athletes in the College of Engineering and felt like I couldn’t relate to my teammates, but then I would find classmates in the marching band who could relate to the time commitment to practice and sporting events, and we bonded over that. This gave me a much bigger sense of belonging in social situations and it built my self-confidence.
I also made friends on my team for reasons outside of class so I wasn’t talking engineering all the time. This helped alleviate burnout. College feels so long while you are in it, but before you know it you only have one semester left. You want to make sure you didn’t just complete your degree. Make sure you make memories, build friendships in different social situations, step outside your comfort zone sometimes and not be ashamed or uncomfortable with who you are!