What helped you graduate from Rochester as a female engineer?

Hi Zeyu, I am a high school senior. I applied to the University of Rochester and it's my first choice! If I were to get accepted to Rochester, I would go into Biomedical Engineering. I am really nervous/scared of going into the engineering school because I am not exactly sure what to expect. I wanted to know what helped you graduate from Rochester as a female engineer. Do you have any advice for me as a female student going into engineering? Thank you
posted by Ariana, Houston on January 4, 2014

Answer by Zeyu Zhao

Dear Ariana,  I'm really sorry in my late response as I was on business travels last month.  I'm so happy that you applied to University of Rochester!  They have a great engineering school there.  I actually majored in Optical Engineering during my study there.  Both Optical and Biomedical Engineering (BME) majors actually share the same academic building for classes, so I got to work with a good number of BME students.  We are fortunate to have Strong Memorial Hospital as a part of the Rochester education system, so there are a lot of cool research programs and projects going on in collaboration with BME department.  My advice to any students majoring in engineering, female or male, is to get an internship or a research project with a professor.  Mentors will guide you through your career growth.  This is extremely important.  I started looking for a professor to work with since Day 2 of my freshman year.  Just simply ask them what they do and see if you have interests in their research projects.  Also it's okay to not like a research project after working on it.  It's good to find out what you don't like early on so you can narrow down what research motivates you.  Another advice for you is to work with your classmates.  Engineering homework require a lot of team collaboration and brainstorming sessions.  It's beneficial to work together as a team to help each other.  Also you can consider becoming a Teaching Assistant (TA).  Teaching others new things enhance your understanding of certain concepts.  Finally, remember to have fun!  You are about to go into the best four years of your life, so make the best of it.  Branch out to make friends with all background.  Best of luck to you Ariana.  Let me know when you hear back from Rochester!