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Women in Engineering: The journey to a career in engineering

"Growing up, I always enjoyed math and science. I loved seeing my work on paper turn into something real as well."

Plant Engineering
09/25/2018
Q: What was your individual journey to becoming an engineer? Was this a career you feel that you chose, or one that chose you?

Hilary Schmidt

I've always enjoyed math and science growing up as a kid. In high school, I joined the robotics team where we competed in an annual robotics competition. One year we won the competition and I was able to compete in the next round. I had the opportunity to meet several people with similar interests as me and see how other teams collaborated to complete their projects.

From there, my love for engineering grew and I knew that when I was older I'd want to be an engineer. Now, I am proud to say that received my BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College.

Catsy Lam

Catsy Lam: Age: 37, Degrees: BS Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of New York University MS Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University. Image Courtesy: Elaine Zelker Photography for Victaulic.Growing up, I always enjoyed math and science. I loved seeing my work on paper turn into something real as well. Once it came time to go to college, there were limited options for engineering majors, so I narrowed it down to chemical, as that was the most interesting to me. When I approached graduation, I believed I was going to pursue my Ph.D. in chemical engineering. However, things changed when Victaulic contacted me to work in their materials division. Now it has been 13 years at Victaulic, and I have had the opportunity to create and see my work implemented and used by our clients. It is very rewarding.

Melissa Gannon

In school I always loved chemistry, physics, and calculus classes. My advanced placement physics class and teacher were very influential in my decision to become an engineer, specifically aerospace engineering.

Katie Yovanovich

My father is an electrical engineer, so I was able to familiarize myself with the opportunities that engineering provided at a young age. As I grew closer to applying to colleges, I shadowed a close family friend, who is a mechanical engineer. She played a huge part in my decision to embark on the career path of mechanical engineering. I believe seeing her in this field allowed me to picture myself attaining the same type of position.

I have always had a passion for math and science, and I was given the confidence to pursue that passion with a female mentor by my side.

Paulina Olesinska

I have always been interested in complex problem solving, so of course I was drawn to fields and industries with jobs that would allow me to work on solving problems on a larger scale. I was a member of the rocket club in high school and consistently preferred math and science. When it came time to choose my major, which in turn determined my career, I chose mechanical engineering. I made this decision because it was broad, and it provided me a variety of opportunities to apply my skills and knowledge to any industry.

Michelle Zboray

Math and science were always my favorite subjects. During high school I was able to see what my older brother was working on in his engineering program at Lehigh University. The firsthand experience at what an engineering degree entails encouraged me to follow him to Lehigh University and major in engineering.

At Lehigh I was exposed to industrial engineering and was excited to find a field that was all about finding ways to be more efficient. It wasn't until I had internships in a factory setting that I felt like I found a career that I would enjoy for a long time to come.

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