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Petroleum Engineering Student Spotlight: Nisat

Nisat is a Senior Chemical Engineering Student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chemical Engineers often work in the Petroleum Engineering industry.
Petroleum Engineering Student Spotlight: Nisat

Meet Nisat, a Petroleum Engineering Student!

Nisat, Petroleum Engineering Student

How did you first become interested in petroleum engineering?

I first became interested in STEM after taking an engineering class in high school. My teacher worked there for 40 years and recently retired. He’s inspired many graduates to study engineering. While I was still unsure if I wanted to study engineering, his class was the first time I was really introduced to what engineering is.

What are some really cool things that you work on as a petroleum engineer?

You get to work on equipment across all industries that are 100X bigger than you, like in oil refineries. You can work on the business end of things where you’re talking with vendors one day.

Another day, you can work specifically on the chemicals side such as pharmaceutics. You can work the same jobs that biomedical engineers, mechanical engineers, and chemical engineers work.

Can you tell us about any difficulties you have had while studying petroleum engineering?

I am a Southeast Asian Muslim. I don’t feel that the color of my skin has added as many difficulties as being a female has. As a female student, I find myself feeling like I am not taken seriously.

I am still learning how to overcome this, but I do know that I cannot change how others see me. I just need to work hard, speak up, and communicate with others. I have also learned to become much more comfortable with myself. I have grown more comfortable asking my professors for help and have made friends in my classes.

The nice thing about being a female and a Southeast Asian Muslim is that I know that I bring a lot to the table. Sharing my ideas from my experiences helps grow connections and sparks innovation.

What advice can you give our readers?

Try different things out! Ask questions! Explore!

I think it is important to try out different industries in the beginning because you may find one is a better fit than the other. Talk to other people about what they do in the field because I think conversation is key and what helped me the most in deciding.

While I entered college, I studied geoscience. My focus was on biology because I wanted to go into the medical field. I also was studying dance. I finally learned that I really enjoyed Chemical Engineering. I took a windy path to get there, but now I know I am where I am meant to be.

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