My experience as an engineer began when I was in Junior High School. I had a wonderful algebra teacher, Mrs. Duran, and this is really where my love for math and logic problems began. Was it hard? Yes. But I enjoyed the entire concept of 'word problems.' As college approached, and the couselors saw that I had done well and enjoyed computer programming, they encouraged me to sign up for Engineering. Engineering was a career that was in-demand and I also discovered that Electrical Engineering (EE) involved a lot of math. I attended New Mexico State University and received a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in EE. I made sure that I wasn't only involved in academics. In college I was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, on the club soccer team, and participated in every intramural activity that was offered! In hindsight, I believe college not only teaches you academics, but how to deal with a multitude of diverse tasks. After I got my degree in EE, it seemed that every job I interviewed for was interesting at a first glance, but it didn't seem like it would be something that I wanted to do forever. One day, I happened to speak to a professor about his research in computational electromagnetics. This was an area I had learned about during a summer job, and while I had never thought I would ever go to graduate school, I enrolled. I worked hard and received a Masters of Science in EE. But again, I had the same problem when it came to getting a job. The industry jobs sounded like they would become stale. Then, I started speaking with a professor in the Mechanical Engineering (ME) department about his research. Mechanical?! Wait, I thought, I'm an Electrical Engineer! But it sounded fun and better than any job, so I enrolled. I found that getting a Ph.D. did not mean specializing in one particular area, but was just the opposite. Ten years after entering college, I left with BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees. While this may seem like a long time, the important thing was that I was learning something useful and having lots of fun as I was doing it. I really think that all my education and hard work has led me to a position at Honeywell I truly enjoy. I have a lot of freedom in my job. If there is a particular type of work I believe we can be successful at, I am allowed to pursue that work. So to anybody interested in pursuing a degree in Engineering, I have a number of suggestions. First, take as many math and engineering classes as you can. Second, become involved in extracurricular activities - ranging from math groups to sports to arts and crafts, or whatever your interests are. Being an engineer requires working on teams, the more experience you have working on teams and in all types of groups, the more successful you will be. And finally, remember everything you do is a learning experience, whether you are learning calculus or observing human interactions, so pay attention. This is your chance at a fun life -- make the most of it!
BSEE - New Mexico State University
MSEE - New Mexico State University
PhD ME - New Mexico State University
- I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
- I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
- I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.