SWEet Wisdom – June 2018

In this edition of SWEet Wisdom, we asked engineers and engineering students how they were motivated through a problem which seemed impossible.  
SWEet Wisdom - June 2018

What motivates you when a problem seems impossible?

Everyone approaches challenges differently, and a key aspect of being an engineer is working through tough problems which have no obvious answers.  Whatever challenge you are facing, these SWE stories are sure to motivate and inspire!

SWEet Wisdom - June 2018
Mitali Palekar

Mitali Palekar
University of Washington, Computer Science Major, Graduating in 2019

That’s easy; there are pretty much two things that motivate me more than anything else: 1) the people in my life (my friends and family) and 2) the opportunities that I’ve been lucky to be a part of!

My friends and family have played a huge part in who and where I am today.  Every time I am stuck on a particular problem that I’m not sure how to approach, my friends have always been there to guide, mentor and most importantly, listen to me. At the same time, my family, especially my parents, have been some of my biggest cheerleaders and sources of inspiration.  Every day, I see and hear about their success stories as well as their journeys to be the people that they are today – and I couldn’t be prouder and more inspired by their growth stories.  I can only hope to one day be as balanced, dedicated and caring as they are today!

I also consider myself super lucky to have access to the resources that I have today.  I look at my experiences within India, the resources that many people that I know have access to and think about how much I can do with the opportunities and knowledge that I am presented with at a university such as the University of Washington.  I know I am so lucky to be in the place and surrounded by the people that I am with today, and that in itself is a huge motivation to me!

SWEet Wisdom - June 2018
Saira Martinez

Saira Martinez
Christian Brothers University, Mechanical Engineering Major, Graduating in 2021

Education has always been a strong motivation throughout my life.  I can recall one time that it allowed me to challenge and discover a little bit more about myself.  My seventh grade math teacher was someone who challenged me.  I excelled in her class very well, and so she asked me one day if she could sign me up to the advanced math class for my following eighth grade year. To me this was something quite remarkable; because at the time I was not a confident girl.

I went back and forth on the simple question and ended up signing up for that math class.  In the great scheme of things she allowed me to challenge myself not just in that subject but in my academics as a whole.  This particular moment in my life has been one of the factors that allowed me to take advanced classes in high school in subjects I enjoyed like math and science.  It also contributed to molding me into the person I aspire to be.

My seventh grade teacher allowed me to grow and find a path to what I really enjoyed.  It’s crazy to think that I am in college, and throughout my journey education has always been a prime element that has empowered me and led me to mentor others!

SWEet Wisdom - June 2018
Cynthia Reid

Cynthia Reid
LORD Corporation, Product Support Engineering, B.S. Mechanical Engineering

The main motivation to solve any problem in my work is to help the end user.  I work on aircraft engine mountings, so the problems I need to solve can range from those affecting flight safety to comfort of passengers and crew during flight.  The harder the problem, usually the more fun it is to solve!

I like it when I get to pull a team of really smart people together to all work on the solution, which often includes the end user.  We use all sorts of different problem-solving methods.  I almost always learn something new that I can apply to future problems.  Sometimes I get to travel to see the problem in person, which can be fun as well as speed up the time to a solution.  The best part for sure is when we have a solution and the end user is happy, safe, and back in the air.

SWEet Wisdom - June 2018
Ramona Anand

Ramona Anand
Faculty Advisor, Lorain County Community College, M.S. Electrical Engineering

My strengths are problem solving, improvising and being creative to fulfill the outcomes. First and foremost, I swam against the tide to get an advanced degree in a field that is dominated by males.  During my education overseas, the class was facilitated in vernacular language, whereas my medium of education was English.  I would tirelessly stay up late night to translate all notes in English as I had to take exams in English.

Being a wife, mother and a professional, I make time to encourage and coach other girls and motivated them to acquire engineering degrees and contribute to this profession.

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