Alejandra was born and raised in Fort Worth Texas. She is a first-generation student, and recent graduate from the University of North Texas, with a degree in mechanical and energy engineering. At UNT, Alejandra was very involved with the different activities on campus. She was in a sorority “kappa delta chi” for 2 years, a member of the Society of Hispanic Engineers, Hispanic Student association and multicultural scholastic association. Alejandra was also in trio, where she tutored Physics, Math, Spanish and other engineering courses. These activities kept Alejandra busy, and added a lot of color to her college experience. In fact, these are the things she misses the most about her college years.
Alejandra’s desire to become a mechanical engineer was something she always experienced. From childhood, she was interested in Math, Science and the how’s and why’s of machines. Mechanical and energy engineering was something that tied her various interests together. She chose to study mechanical engineering because it used her passions and creativity to help the society.
Alejandra joined UNT SWE her freshman year. She said UNT SWE was a huge help in pursuing her degree. The resume workshops, connections with other students in similar career paths, and networking with people from the industry made her college years and career path seamless. In fact, Alejandra got the current coop she has at a SWE conference in Minneapolis.
A typical work day for Alejandra begins at 8am with a group meeting with the main engineer. He gives tasks and instructions on what they will be mixing that day. After the meeting, the operators begin weighing materials and mixing. At this point, Alejandra starts analyzing the data and gathering information to see how it works. The fact that no day is ever the same, and there are always new things to be learnt, keeps her job interesting. That’s her favorite part of her job. At the end of the day, they have another group meeting to discuss the results. This project is taking place in North Carolina. Therefore, she travels every week to North Carolina from Nashville. In Alejandra’s words, “It’s definitely been a growing experience.”
Although Alejandra is the only woman in this project, she maintains her confidence. In turn, she is trusted with new projects, and has the freedom to ask questions without feeling less than. Alejandra states that the cap stone senior design project is the closest in college to real life work experience. In the end, while working in the industry we have to learn and relearn certain aspects of the job, while on the job. Therefore, understanding the foundation of key concepts is very important.
The one thing Alejandra regrets, is not taking advantage of UNT’S grad track program. She still has hopes of obtaining her master’s degree. Alejandra has not taken the PE or FE exams, but is currently studying for the FE. Although it is not necessary for her current job, it is something on her bucket list she wants to check.
Furthermore, Alejandra’s story is more than her amazing engineering journey. she loves hiking, being in nature and loves going to the movies. If she could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, it would be Leonardo da Vinci because “he was way ahead of his time and I’ve always been amazed at astronomy and physics.” If she were not an engineer, she would be a math or science teacher.
Alejandra’s story is not yet complete, but there are still a lot of things to learn from her journey. Putting one’s self out there, and taking risks has its benefits. The challenge this week is to attend a student organization meeting. Your college experience is more than attending classes and maintaining an excellent GPA. You got this!