When I first started at USC as a freshman, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) was one of the first clubs I wanted to join. I assumed there wouldn’t be very many girls in my classes, and that I would probably need to actively find friends with common interests. What I learned quickly was that, while SWE is one of Viterbi’s most active student organizations, I really had no trouble meeting great girls in Viterbi, and I didn’t even need to go through SWE to find them!
As I mentioned in a blog post last year, many of my best friends at USC are other women in engineering. Some I met because they lived in my freshman dorm, and some I met because they’re in my sorority. I also met great engineering friends through Christian Challenge and the club field hockey team, even though neither of those are engineering-related clubs. I think we all bond so easily because of our common interests and intellect, in addition to being really well-rounded.
As a woman in engineering, I am in the minority. Girls make up just 30-40% of the engineering population, but I love knowing that I’m part of the rising trend. There are so many opportunities in this field that I can’t imagine doing anything else. Even though it’s challenging, engineering has always been a lot of fun. I’ve learned the science behind everyday and not-so-everyday technology, then apply my knowledge through my Mechanical Engineering design projects. So what if I’m a girl? As long as I work hard, I can only stand out for the better.
The truth is, I usually forget that being a woman in engineering isn’t necessarily common. I know too many bright, motivated, and inspiring women in engineering that I always feel like I’m in good company!