Meet Jyrteanna, an Architectural Engineering Student
Jyrteanna is an Architectural Engineering student at Drexel University. She is working on her second co-op, out of three that she must do in her program, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Jyrteanna is part of the Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Research Group. She plans to graduate in two years.
What inspired you to become an Architectural Engineer?
To be honest, I did not get much hands-on experience with STEM until I got to high school. When I was in 9th grade, we had a career fair, which led me to do my own research. Throughout high school, I was really good at science and math. I loved problem-solving activities. The opportunities in STEM classes taught me to be creative and to think out of the box. Learning that engineering relies on creativity got me excited because not only do I like STEM, but I also like getting creative. Finally, when I went to apply for college, I chose to declare my major as Architectural Engineering in my application.
What do you love most about your school and its Architectural Engineering Program?
Overall, Drexel University has an amazing co-op program, which gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their classes to the real world through 6-month long internships. The Architectural Engineering undergraduate program has three different concentrations that you can choose from once you find your interests. So, I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering with a concentration in Structural, Mechanical, or Digital Building.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
There are a ton of amazing things that Architectural Engineers do! An Architectural Engineer might design buildings which are structurally strong enough to withstand natural disasters. They might also design the building to make sure that building occupants like you are comfortable and safe in the indoor environment. Architectural Engineers have also been said to be one of the many professions that have the highest potential in positively contributing to our current fight against global warming!
Have you encountered any challenges as a woman studying Architectural Engineering? How have you overcome them!
Engineering was not a field that was highly encouraged for women growing up. Being a first-generation college student has given me additional challenges. Because most women I grew up with were not exposed to STEM until later on, I was one of the two women in my graduating class to pursue a degree in engineering.
I have an amazing support system. In addition to my friends and family, my SWE community has helped me understand that I am not alone. I realize now that as long as I am passionate about my chosen path, I can do anything! The same goes to any young woman who wants to pursue a career in STEM.
My advice to young women who are interested in pursuing a career in Architectural Engineering is to be curious! Never be scared to ask questions because you are afraid to sound “dumb.” The person right next to you most likely has the same exact question and they could be afraid to ask, too.
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