Jessica Taylor is the Undergraduate Recruiter for the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University.
Growing up, I never thought about pursuing a career in engineering. None of my family members were engineers. Engineering classes were not offered at my high school, and my sports schedule always conflicted with local engineering camps. This changed, however, after a conversation I had with my high school math teacher. He encouraged me to explore the field of engineering.
I discovered the positive impact engineers have on our everyday lives. I found my calling and was the first person in my extended family to graduate with an engineering degree. Looking back on my career, here are a few recommendations I have for students considering pursuing an engineering degree.
- Challenge yourself. While in middle and high school, challenge yourself with accelerated courses. Take as many math, science, and computing courses as you can. And, by all means, take engineering courses if they are available. These courses will greatly assist you as you transition from high school to college.
- Explore engineering. Find opportunities for career exploration and extracurricular education in engineering. Explore engineering summer camps, open houses, competitions, and internship positions for high school students. These experiences will broaden your knowledge of the field and assist you in discovering an engineering discipline you are passionate about pursuing.
- Find a role model. It is important to find a role model in the field you are interested in pursuing. My role model was not only a leader in the company she worked for, but she also held many leadership positions in the community. Finding this role model pushed me to work hard in and out of the classroom because it allowed me to see what I could accomplish as an engineer.
A degree in engineering can lead to a career in almost anything. I challenge you to continue to explore the field because engineers have the power to make a positive difference in the world!