First generation students are venturing on to unfamiliar territory when attending a university, but getting here is the beginning of the journey. I took an enthusiastic approach, hungry to learn and driven to succeed. I understand academics is a major factor in my success but I am convinced that college is more than learning inside a classroom. Last semester I took a course designed to bridge the transition from student to a professional engineer by discussing business, public policy, administration fundamentals, leadership and engineering ethics. The professor mentioned that in addition to academic merit, we should further our presentation skills and ability to lead by getting involved. It is unfortunate this course is only offered for students with senior standing because by that time it might be too late for students to take his advice. Given his extensive knowledge from over 30 years of experience and as a successful owner of an engineering firm, I was excited by his positive reinforcement and approval for my decision to get involved on campus early on. I felt that the best route to my advancement in academics and my career goals of becoming a licensed professional civil engineer was to develop my leadership and step out of my comfort zone to be better equipped to tackle the complex problems a civil engineer will face. Serving as a Richter Center Ambassador allowed me to transfer my passion for service and be the bridge for other students, faculty and staff to get involved in the community through service advocating servant leadership. I served as Vice President in which my duties included assisting the President with internal and external chapter operations. Being in any sort of leadership, one can see the applicability to engineering. I am motivated to join the rising number of first generations Hispanic students earning post-secondary degrees and desire to further my technical skills. An internship would give me that opportunity. I am currently working toward a bachelor's degree of science in civil engineering with a concentration on environmental and water resources. As I complete the remainder of my upper division courses, I will be registering to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam in the fall as the first step in the process leading to the P.E. license. My career goals are project management because I feel confident in my ability to lead others once I have gained the post-college work experience in my chosen engineering discipline. As a project manager you have to delegate, you are not directly doing the calculations or drawing the AutoCAD drawings but you are responsible for knowing and ensuring the rest of the team is meeting expectations. As Vice President and Director in the Interfraternity Council I supervised and delegated responsibilities to 5 directors, trained 11 directors on academic resources, prepared weekly organization status reports and facilitated weekly meetings. Human interaction is the grease that makes everything run more smoothly and if I desire to pursue project management, I am going to use my people skills. In addition to the technical area skills I have attained through the various courses I have taken thus far, I want to focus on furthering my technical competence while contributing strong communication, teamwork and leadership skills to ensure the overall success of the project. I bring to the table a well roundness with the knowledge of essentials skills and the ability to apply them when needed to accomplish the task. My public speaking is confident, articulate, and professional while possessing proficient written and listening abilities in English and Spanish. An individual who excels as a communicator has influence and gets noticed. Engineers tend to prioritize technical skills over communication skills, however we cannot be fully effective in our jobs if we are inadequate speakers, writers, and listeners. It is these skills that will be crucial to my success in the engineering field. An example in which I will exercise my leadership skills is during project management where I will plan, prioritize, delegate, and make decisions and to influence people. Given my areas of proficiency combined with my ability to work in a team environment I believe that I will be an effective engineer.
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