Industrial Engineering Student
Senior, University of Massachusetts Amherst
How did you choose engineering?
"In high school I didn’t really get interested in technology right away. I was pretty decent at math and science, but I also liked literature and things like that. I did better on my AP test in English than in either the math and science tests, which is ironic. But I REALLY like roller coasters and I was looking online at different things that people could do to work with them. That’s how I came upon industrial engineering."
What’s your favorite thing about being an engineering student?
"Engineering is really just a way of thinking about things. And when you go out in the real world after class, you see things differently. It's really cool to know what goes on behind the scenes in your everyday life. Engineers shape the world that everybody else lives in. They don't just live other peoples' ideas. And to be a part of that creation, to me, is just awesome. Also, engineering implies a certain caliber of person—people will automatically have a certain respect for you.”
Are you doing any co-ops or internships?
"I’m doing a six-month co-op as an industrial engineer at Walt Disney World, learning how Disney forecasts their staffing needs throughout the company by using mathematical models in different software. I'm absolutely blown away by how amazing it is. I'm extremely excited because I became an engineering student so that I could work in the amusement industry, and this co-op is opening doors to that goal."
Aside from classes, what activities during your high school years prepared you for engineering?
"I used to teach CCD [Catholic religious instruction] in my church, which helped my leadership skills. In engineering, you need to be part of a team, but you also need to be able to lead groups of people. A lot of companies hire engineers as managers now because of their technical background. And if you have that leadership ability within you, then that will definitely increase your chances."
Any advice for high school students?
“Explore every type of opportunity you have. Take a look at what pleases you in your classes. And talk to people about what’s out there, because then you’ll get the information and you can really decide what it is that makes you happy!”
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