Many people ask me, “Why did you want to become an engineer? Only men become engineers.” My answer is simple. I love chemistry, math, and problem-solving. I never understood why everyone assumed engineering was strictly for males.
Every time I mention engineering to someone, even if it’s just the word, their statement back to me always has the world males in it. Why does it have to be that way? If men and women have the same interests academically, they should be able to have the same major without having to feel uncomfortable. I try to ignore the negative comments about women in engineering because I love what I am doing and what I am learning about. I definitely know I am in the right field because of how passionate I am about it. People can try to get me discouraged and/or intimidated but it’s never going to work because of the enthusiasm I have for engineering.
I want to thank my mom for getting me this interested in engineering. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have this much passion for my major. Back in middle and high school, I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to study in college. First, I wanted to be a dentist, then a doctor, and then back to being a dentist. But, I never was completely sure that I wanted be become either. When I finally took my first chemistry course in high school, my mom knew I found something I was very interested in by the way I talked about it. She said I would light up just talking about what I learned in chemistry. So, she had to convince me to either become a chemist or a chemical engineer. She would keep asking me questions about what I am interested in school - and why - to get an idea of what I would want to become in the future. Finally, she suggested that I should consider becoming a chemical engineer.
At the time I had thought that engineering was strictly for males. But, the more I read about chemical engineering, the more fascinated I became. I knew that this field was a perfect fit for me. Spending the last 3 years at Clarkson, learning about chemical engineering, has been a wonderful experience for me. I’ve learned and experienced far more than I could have ever imagined - between Clarkson and doing my internships at Indium Corporation. The amount of opportunities there are for women in engineering is endless.
I knew the day I decided to become an engineer that there would be more men in the field than women but I didn’t let that discourage me. It honestly made me work even harder to prove to people that women can be just as great at engineering as men. There have been incredible female engineers in the world and my goal is to be just as successful as they are. I want to show young girls that women can be just as successful as men. I want to become a successful role model for young girls who are interested in engineering. I want to show them how successful anyone can be as long as you believe in yourself and work hard. I believe that one day there won’t be any more discrimination toward women engineers but until then I will just have to show everyone how much of a rock star I am at engineering.