Starting off with a Shakespearean quote can only mean one thing, it’s time for some contemplation! 

When I was in high school, I loved math and science. They were the hardest classes for me, and it took a lot of work to understand the material but I loved it. However, I also really loved my history and English classes. I couldn’t get enough of English – all of the reading and analysis and writing, it was a dream! So when I chose to study engineering, it confused some people, myself included.

My idea of engineers had been people coding in cubicles or building robots or working in labs. I didn’t think I was a good fit for those environments. But I chose to study it anyways because I love problem solving (and I’ll admit, the job security is appealing too). 

In my major department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, I take classes that I never thought I’d take. I’ve taken classes like Engineering Economy and Human Factors in Work Design. Later on, I’ll take classes such as Supply Chain Design and maybe even Project Management. Lots of students in my department go on to work as project managers or consultants. Some even work in business roles!

This got me thinking about what I want to do when I graduate; I never saw myself being an engineer per say. But studying engineering will allow me to walk away with analytical and critical thinking skills.

Some of my friends are planning on going to medical school, law school, and even get their MBAs. It’s made me realize that I had more options for my career than I initially thought. One day, I hope to work in a policy capacity but studying engineering will help me take a more analytical perspective when approaching the world’s problems!

I don’t regret studying engineering and I don’t think I would study anything else if given the chance to redo these last three years. I’m walking away with an engineering mindset and skills that will help in any field and any position I choose. What I’m trying to say is that don’t feel as though you’re cutting yourself off from some potentially amazing jobs because you’re choosing to study engineering. Instead of being given a set number of options for your future career, your engineering background will open up the possibilities for your career.

Mahima Varanasi

Mahima Varanasi

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @mahima On campus I am part of OWN IT, a women's leadership team who plans an annual summit based on amazing women helping each other out. Outside of Viterbi, I am involved in political campaigns.

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