Victoria Yan

Current Position: Smart Grid and ICS Security Engineer at National Institute of Standards and Technology
Victoria Yan
Highlight Pursue your dreams. Don't let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do... it's for you to decide.
September 19, 2007Her job: Student, University of Maryland
Describe what you do in your current work situation? I just completed a summer internship with Cisco Systems in San Jose, California as a software engineering intern. I was working on developing internal tools to be used by other software engineers to improve productivity and general performance.
Why did you choose engineering? I love to build and break things to make them better. My grandfather was an engineer and always stressed the importance of math, physics and having the ability to apply it to real life.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have? I am currently a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park. I'm earning a bachelor's of science in electrical engineering.
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work? I've been a software engineering intern for Cisco Systems, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and NASA. I've worked on developing tools for other software engineers, interfaces for users, and developed simulations for scientists.
What do you like best about being an engineer? My favorite thing about engineering is the sense of accomplishment you feel when you complete a task or project.
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career? It's hard being one of the few females in a male-dominated field. There have been challenges, both academic, social and personal, that everyone must conquer in order to achieve success in every field, and I feel that I'm on my way there!
Please tell us a little about your family. My younger brother, Joe, and I both grew up in the suburbs of Maryland with our parents. My dad is a translator and my mom is a computer scientist. They both have encouraged me to follow my passions and dreams in life, and are truly the reason for all of my success.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals? In the short-term, I plan on graduating with my undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and searching for my first FULL TIME job and applying to graduate schools. I want to work for a year, then pursue a Master's in Computer Science and eventually an MBA. Long-term, I'd love to pursue my interests in entrepreneurship and finance in New York City or San Francisco. Eventually, I want to have a family of my own, and get my first puppy!
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices? My parents and grandparents have had such a positive influence on my life choices. They all have worked so hard so that my younger brother and I could have all possible doors open for our futures.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering? Pursue your dreams. Don't let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do... it's for you to decide.
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book. Outside of work and school, I love sports! I'm a huge Redskins, Orioles and Terps fan! I play violin, enjoy cooking, play golf, tennis, soccer and run marathons.