To Engineer or not to... Yes to Engineer!

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Recently, the young women at DSST College View High School welcomed Alejandra Spray, a civil engineer who spoke about her professional experience and her job in construction, working primarily in marketing and business development. She told us about the opposition she faced from her family (despite her father being an engineer himself!) when she decided she wanted to pursue engineering as a student in Mexico, and how she overcame this and went on to earn her degree in Civil Engineering.

We talked about all of the various types of engineering, and that it's possible to pursue a general engineering major initially in college, before deciding on a path to take toward a specialized area. We also discussed how a degree in engineering teaches problem-solving skills that can be applied across various areas. Ale also emphasized the importance of having women in engineering roles, and about the unique skills and perspectives they bring to the table.

The girls were very engaged with Ale, and had lots of questions, so much that there was no time for the planned activity!

Polar bears, toys, chemistry, oil & gas... Find out how these things are related.

During this fascinating session, Courtney Gallo, an engineer at Conoco Phillips (the multinational energy corporation) spoke about the path she took to become an engineer in oil and gas, including her interest in Chemistry starting in high school, which led her to study chemical engineering in college. She spoke about her experiences at Colorado School of Mines, and the various internships she's held which helped her to gain valuable experience. She also stressed that a degree in engineering teaches you how to think and solve problems, and can be applied across various areas and disciplines.

The fun continued when Courtney had the girls guess which household items, toys, and knick-knacks were byproducts of oil and gas. The girls were surprised to learn that ALL of the items contained some form of petroleum!

To close the session, Courtney shared some valuable tips to make the most of the college experience such as getting involved in sports and other activities. The involvement in sports (basketball) and clubs helped her learn to build relationships and improved her communication skills. She also shared various photos of her journey, including some taken during internships in Norway and Northern Alaska (including a polar bear!). Seriously, who would’ve thought?