Maria Kelly – Chemical Engineering – Class of 2018

When I came to UNM I was really unsure
of what I wanted to do and chemical engineering, because it’s such a broad
field, allowed me to wait a little bit longer before I had to make that
decision. There is some kind of underlying lack of confidence that women
feel when they’re entering a predominantly male field of study. But
when you’re walking into a classroom and more than half of the people there are
men, or if you go into a meeting at your internship and you’re the only woman in
the room, it can feel a little bit daunting. So, during my time at UNM I’ve
become really involved in the Society of Women Engineers chapter and it helped me
a lot when I was a freshman and sophomore to ask upperclassmen like “Hey
which classes should I take? What should I work on to find an internship?” I think
it’s really important at a young age to make sure that young girls have role
models that they can look up to who are in STEM fields, because just having that
visual of a female in engineering when you’re a kid can be really important to
developing the feeling that “Hey I can actually pursue this.” I would definitely
encourage young women looking to go into STEM to pursue their passion as far as
they could possibly go. Because we really need women and that diversity in
engineering to solve the world’s toughest engineering and science
problems. And they should never feel like just because there are women they can’t
achieve as much as they possibly can and want to.

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