We hope everyone’s had a great summer! Our names are Ananya and Aishwarya, and we’re going to be writing the SWEet Wisdom column this year! We’re so excited for the start of the school year, however that may be: online or in person. In the spirit of learning, we asked a few of our professional SWE members to share how they developed engineering skills in high school.
How Did You Develop Your Engineering Skills in High School?
Eileen M. Velez-Vega
M.S. in Civil Engineering, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Vice-President, Kimley-Horn Puerto Rico, LLC
I was fortunate to attend Space Camp at Kennedy Space Center and enroll in Advanced Courses like chemistry, calculus and trigonometry. I also attended math and science camps in the summer and visited universities on special outreach events. I was always interested in space and working for NASA. I was also part of the dance team which helped develop my self-confidence and I was selected as Master of Ceremonies for special school events which helped me develop my public speaking skills.
B.S. in Civil Engineering, University of Colorado
District Engineer, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation
Horsemanship helped me develop leadership skills, confidence, sportsmanship, and fast reaction time – all of which have been very applicable as a female engineer. Helping my dad with home projects helped me develop engineering intuition and connect designs into actual products or infrastructure in the field. Art classes also helped develop my engineering skills. Art is more closely related to math than you may think, as is music. As engineers, we need to keep up with society as it progresses – or even stay a few steps ahead. Creativity and innovation are incredibly useful skills that facilitate the development of engineering skills. There are so many different industries to be an engineer in – find one you believe will be fun, and see the quality of your work (and life) improve!
EdD in Computer Science, Drexel University
Technical Advisor, Early Stage Innovation
I decided to study computer science when I was a senior in high school because of a career fair. The road was not as easy as I did not have a math or science background. I even had to convince the Dean to accept me into the program. I had to go back and take Algebra I and it took a lot of effort but I ended up graduating first in my class.
Do you have a question for our women engineers at SWE? We’d love to hear from you! Send your questions to email@example.com. We’ll answer you directly, or your question may become a future SWEet Wisdom column!