Females are typically under respresented in engineering however, in recent times initiatives have been put in place to encourage more female engineers. We talked to third year University of California, San Diego
student Jessica Cheung about why she chose to study chemical engineering.
Why did you pick chemical engineering as your degree?
As a high school student, I really enjoyed chemistry and mathematics, so I thought putting the two together would be quite interesting. I also didn't want to do anything with the medical field. Now that I am in it, I am beginning to enjoy it more and more.
Why did you pick UCSD?
I visited San Diego many times before I decided to choose to go to UCSD. Every time I visited, I had a memorable and pleasant experience which had a huge impact on my college decision.
What's the best thing about your course?
I really enjoy applying all that I learn into something we do in our everyday lives in a mathematical and science perspective.
Have you participated in any research?
No I haven't. Not yet.
Where have you interned?
I have done one internship but it was nothing engineering related. I interned at Stemedica
, a stem cell biotechnology research company, last summer
What's your dream job?
I haven't really thought about my dream job yet, but I do know that I will do something related to what I am studying. There are many options out there, so I hope that once I start interning, I will figure out what best suits my interest.
What's the one thing you wish you'd known before you started your degree?
I wished that I knew that I needed to study in groups. It is quite inefficient to study by yourself for an engineering class. Talking about it really helps a person understand what the problem is asking and how one should approach it.
Why do you think there are so few female engineers?
I think it is harder for females to grasp the concept of engineering. You really have to train your mind to think a certain way and I think for males, it is already in them to think in an engineering way.
As a female engineer, what advice would you give other females interested in engineering?
One piece of advice that I would give to female engineers is to never give up! If you do not understand something, seek help and have an open mind. For me, thinking in a different way helped me understand the materials I have learned and am learning.