Mechcanical Engineer C/O 2020
I joined TAMU SHPE in Fall 2016 of my freshman year after being recommended by a friend. To me, being part of something greater than myself is incredibly fulfilling, so I attended as many events as I could to soak it all in. But despite the amazing workshops SHPE has to offer, it was the Familia that made me stay. Becoming part of the SHPE Familia helped me be well-rounded throughout my college career; I made several friends, valuable connections, and even got to travel the nation (I left Texas for the first time thanks to SHPE). I believe in the mission and vision of this organization and look for any opportunity to strengthen my community and inspire younger generations of minorities to pursue higher education and STEM related fields. What I would encourage all members, undergraduate or recent graduates, is to ask yourself: how did you get to where you are today? Who were the people that inspired you and mentored you to this day? Because in reality, you are that person for someone else -- whether it be a friend, a sibling, or even a stranger -- someone is looking up to you, so don’t let them down. Strive for success in all that you do and never forget to give back. We are a Familia and we care for one another. As a DACA recipient, I had an interesting experience through college, so do not hesitate to reach out to me if you are in a similar situation. I learned many valuable skills after serving the chapter as President my senior year that have now transferred to my current position where I work as an Engineering Consultant. Finally, I am currently on track to return this fall to begin my Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering and will serve on the RLDC 2021 Committee, so hopefully we will meet soon!
Mechanical Engineering C/O 2018
I joined SHPE during my freshman year of college after going to SHPE & Salsa during Gig’em Week (or now Howdy week…). During the event, I remember talking to Saray Martinez (President) and Paula Martinez (Secretary) and feeling so welcomed. I then learned that there would be tortas for the next general meeting and was immediately sold. As many say, I joined for the food and stayed for the people. It was through SHPE that I met amazing people that motivated me to do better and were always willing to listen and provide advice. I served as Director of External Affairs (2016-17) and as President (2017- 18). At first, I was hesitant to run for both positions, but I am glad I did. Both times Gilberto Arizpe and Matthew Ramirez motivated me and believed in me, and I will forever be thankful for that! Being in those positions allowed me to develop professionally and learn skills such as how to quickly resolve conflict, work with a team, and stand up for what I believe. It was through SHPE that I was able to intern at Caterpillar and now work for Bechtel. SHPE continues to be a part of my professional life both through SHPE Houston and within Bechtel. As for anyone that is looking to join SHPE, my advice is to do it! There are so many ways to get involved, not just through the executive board. SHPE provides social and professional events, so there is something for everyone out there. Most importantly, I learned to believe in myself, which is my advice to anyone. Always believe in yourself, and you’ll be surprised as to what you can achieve as long as you put your mind to it.
Biological & Agricultural Engineering C/O 2016
I joined SHPE my freshman year of college and never looked back! I quickly fell in love with the desire to ignite the passion for STEM in our younger generations and promote Latinas in STEM. SHPE provided me with a network of friends that were all going through the same struggles of navigating college as a first generation student as well as with the skills needed to succeed in the professional world. My involvement ranged from joining a committee as a freshman to holding various leadership positions and ultimately being the SHPE President my senior year. SHPE was critical for me to understand where I wanted to take my engineering career. I knew I wanted to be an engineer but I was not familiar with the different industries and kind of jobs engineers could have. Through my leadership experience I was able to land my first co-op experience with Cargill. I never had that shiny 4.0 gpa but I did have a well-rounded resume with my involvement that still had companies interested in what I had to say. As a professional I currently serve as the President of the South Carolina Professional Chapter and am able to connect with engineers all over the state. My advice for undergraduate students would be to PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. For me that meant breaking out of my shell and learning how to first network with my peers and then professionals. Reach out to current professionals in your dream job, ask them the tough questions, ask them about their journey and where they see themselves next. Be courageous and do not be afraid to fail. Failure will come in the form of tests, project executions (in and outside of school) and after failure comes the next day. It’s important to have grit and the will power to keep going. It’s not an easy task and that’s why staying connected to your SHPE Familia post college matters. SHPE is an excellent organization for students but outside of college, things get a little fuzzy with the juggling of mental, physical, FINANCIAL and all other health’s we need to keep track of. I think once we get somewhat of a hand on all of that (it’s a life long journey tbh) we need to be advocates for Latinx in STEM whether that’s in our own jobs or through the volunteer work that we do as SHPE Professionals.
Computer Engineering C/O 2019
Picture this: you are a young and naive first generation college student wandering the aisles of the MSC ballroom in hopes of finding an organization to be a part of. Your attention is immediately brought to a white trifold with the words “Hispanic” and “Engineer” plastered on it. Although nervous to meet someone new, you muster up the courage to walk up to one of the officers and introduce yourself. You are handed a flyer with the words “Free Food” bolded all over it. However, what you do not know is that this flyer would be the key to unlocking your potential to becoming a better person, academically, socially, and professionally. Sound familiar? Great. Then this too can be you. My journey with TAMU SHPE started with the story above. As a freshman, I was only interested in the free food and playing in intramurals. It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I decided to become more active that I realized how many opportunities SHPE gives you to develop your individual skills. I was given a mentor by the name of Jorge Acosta who advised me on what classes to take, how to study, and overall how to succeed in my college career. More importantly, he was the person who introduced me to the people in the organization that would always be there for you, AKA the SHPE Familia. The SHPE Familia will teach you many things, from how to construct a resumé to giving you the confidence needed to dance in front of your friends on a Saturday night. For myself, the greatest opportunity I ever received was being elected as an officer my junior year. This gave me the platform to inspire and advise new members in the same way that those before me had done. In addition, it introduced me to a group of people that would become my closest friends to this day. I was instantly hooked on SHPE and I knew this was something I wanted to continue with once I graduated. I now serve as the treasurer for the SHPE Austin professional chapter with the goal of leading young Hispanics in their pursuit of degrees in STEM. My only advice to whomever is reading this is to never be afraid to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. You never know if that leap of faith you take in an organization could lead you on the greatest transformation of your life.
Mechcanical Engineer C/O 2015
As a Hispanic woman, I was discouraged by my family to pursue an engineering degree which is why I started out as a General Studies Major. At the start of my freshman year I decided to push the negative comments aside and pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. My advisor at the time encouraged me to join an engineering organization so that I could start meeting others in the engineering community. He spoke highly of SHPE and recommended I become a member as soon as possible. As a freshman, I was intimidated to join such a large organization but gathered up the courage to try it out my sophomore year. As I walked in to the first general meeting of the year in the Scoates building, I was welcomed with open arms. The officers noticed I was new and sat down to talk to me before the meeting started. The welcoming environment made me feel at home and encouraged me to become a member. What sealed the deal were the delicious tortas. Tortas were traditionally served at first general meetings, a tradition I hope is still going on today! Soon after joining SHPE, I became involved by becoming an External Affairs committee member. The SHPE officers pointed out my potential and encouraged me to run for a position in the leadership board. The rest became history! I became secretary for two years and president my final year of undergrad. The resources and opportunities SHPE provided me were invaluable. From general meetings to professional development workshops, SHPE helped shape me into the professional I am today. Through general meetings, I learned of all the opportunities available in engineering industry. I was able to obtain my first professional internship at The Boeing Company through SHPE. Overall, TAMU SHPE was a great support group through the challenging times and encouraged me to stay strong through adversity. As minorities, there is a high probability we will encounter challenges at some point in our careers. Overcoming these challenges is an opportunity for growth and will only make us stronger. It is essential to have a strong support group (TAMU SHPE!!) that will challenge you and celebrate your wins. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities and memories SHPE provided. Most importantly, SHPE gifted me a Familia.
Civil Engineering C/O 2020
My SHPE journey began as a Freshman at SHPEs and Salsa, where I attended purely to support my sister who was an officer at the time. What I didn’t know then, is that the event welcomed me to a new family, my SHPE Familia. From that point on I became heavily involved in intramurals, MentorSHPE, joined the Secretary Committee, and even attended my first of four National Conventions. Moments like these shaped my college career and influenced me to become Secretary during 2017-18 and later President during 2018-19, where our chapter won the SHPE National Large Chapter of the Year Award. What first attracted me to SHPE, was the positivity and motivation that each member shared. Being a first-generation student, I found comfort that most of the members were just like me, a Hispanic student trying to make a name for themselves in an industry that most people in our culture are unaware of. SHPE to me was a support system that was there when your days were great but most importantly when your days were bad. With this support, SHPE made me confident in myself and my crazy aspirations. In fact, it is what lead me to apply to an internship with ExxonMobil, in which deep down, I felt anxious and slightly underqualified for. Reflecting on it now, there is no way I begin my career with a Fortune 3 company without SHPE. In total, SHPE allowed me to build my professional network not just in Texas, but with members across the nation. It gave me the soft skills to communicate efficiently with managerial personnel. And lastly, it gave me the college friendships that will last a lifetime. As some advice to undergraduates, make SHPE a part of your life whether big or small. I firmly believe that SHPE is what you make of it, so reach outside of your comfort zone and talk to an officer or someone who can guide you to getting the most out of SHPE. Secondly, don’t attend SHPE events just for the points or for the free food (though it’s a huge plus), attend because you want to learn a new skill, talk to company recruiter, or help yourself grow as an individual. Finally, do not fear failure, rather fear not trying. Apply for as many internships and full-time positions as you can, because you never know which ones will come back with a life-changing opportunity for you and your family!