Guillermo Medina

Scholarship Status: Awarded NA
Scholarship Awarded: Achievement Scholarship
University: UCI
Date of Graduation: June 2017


When I began my Civil Engineering program at UCI, I thought I had an immense amount of knowledge as to what I was committing to and what it was my future was going to consist of. I knew I imagined my future self in a position where I would contribute to the general public good-- whether through designing a structure for commercial or residential purposes, or ensuring clean and accessible water for residents of a certain area, or trying to find solutions to traffic issues that inconvenience people. Now as I am entering my fifth year as an undergraduate, I know that my original understanding was not too far off. In fact, I’ve just come to understand all the aforementioned topics with greater depth. This leads me to what I have come to appreciate most about Civil Engineering; each of the branches that our field of study can lead us to, is something that engineers do on a daily basis and is so often underestimated or simply not appreciated by the public to the level that it should be, and yet we ensure everything we do is upheld to the highest standards to ensure safety and security for the population. The more popular aspect that does get a bit more attention is the structures. Since these large buildings are hard to miss, it could be the reason why people only think of buildings and other types of structures when they think of Civil Engineering. However, our other fields that are less acknowledged are not completely ignored. Our water scarcity is informing people more about how Civil Engineering is linked to its solutions and overall maintenance. Ultimately, there is, in my opinion, a silver lining. Our work not being actively appreciated as it should means that we, as engineers, are good at our jobs. The things we accomplish for a society can be taken for granted by the general population because we are effective in our work-- from an efficient structure design to the pipe network that makes water instantly available. Throughout my time at UCI, I have met older engineering students that are now in positions where they are doing amazing work that benefits a large amount of people. With time, I have come to appreciate it more and more and hope that by the time I finish school, I will find myself in a similar position where the work I do is for the greater good, for the improvement of our society. I know it might be difficult to do work that is at a large enough scale, so I have not eliminated the idea of graduate school for either business, water resources, or construction management. However, for the mean time, I am anxious to work and prove to the real world that I can make good things happen for our communities. To me, Civil Engineering involves all aspects that help make life livable and ease daily activities that could possibly be impossible without us. That’s why during my years here, while I obtain my Bachelors, I want to be able to gain as much leadership and teamwork skills in order for me to have a smooth transition after college. It’s why I have been an active member of ASCE and why I am part of executive board for this school year; it’s why I have committed to Steel Bridge and have taken a leadership position with this student project as well. My ASCE position allows me to deal with all internal club matters and I think the position suits me perfectly since I enjoy working with younger members to encourage them to also be active members and teach them about what opportunities Civil Engineering can bring to them and how they can benefit from the organization as well. Now being in charge of running our Mentorship Program, I feel like I will be effective in aiding our younger members to be well rounded active participants that will do great things for ASCE in the future. This idea of teaching and passing down knowledge, for me, is not limited to ASCE. Through my part-time job, I assist high school students in reaching for higher education, not necessarily only engineering but whatever they feel is their calling Twice a week, I’m at the high school that I graduated from, Compton High School, and do college advising and tutoring to approximately 200 students ranging from 9th to 12th grade. I took on the position because there were so many things I wish I knew as a high school student; I was fortunate enough to pick my intended field and what it is I’m passionate about from the very beginning but there are several young students that don’t have the slightest idea so I chose to put myself in this significant position where I can make a positive impact for so many students’ lives.

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