|Scholarship Status:||Awarded 1st Place|
|Scholarship Awarded:||Achievement Award|
|University:||University of California, Irvine|
|Date of Graduation:||June 2014|
Although my interest in Civil Engineering was first sparked in high school when I discovered a peculiar interest in math and science, it was not until my third year at UCI that my interests and aspirations fully took form. You don’t really know what Civil Engineering is all about until you start designing something. One of my favorite classes at UCI was Professor Detwiler’s Water Resource Engineering class. Our class was assigned a design project that required us to break off into teams and design the water system and runoff system for a residential area in Irvine. This was a unique project because we were given the opportunity to work with others to design something that benefits the citizens of Irvine, hypothetically of course since our projects will not be built. Once my group was formed, I agreed to take the position as project manager since everyone in it was reluctant to do so themselves. During this time, I had been involved in student leadership but I did not have much experience leading a team. What I quickly found out was that everyone has their own unique strengths and weaknesses and a good leader must understand this to make the group work efficiently. With this in mind, I am happy to say that I was able to successfully lead this group. The leadership experience I gained from the water resources design project has helped me define my interests and aspirations. Working through this project I was able to understand that our profession requires us to interact with multiple people to complete a project. I aspire to one day work at a company where I can expand my leadership skills. I enjoy taking on more responsibility and organizing groups in such a way as to make them efficient. Every project is different which is why I am looking forward to working for a company that works in a variety of projects. The summer research program I participated in last year called the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) internship program has also helped me define my goals. This program gave me the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Washington in Seattle. This was a great experience since it sparked my interest in structural engineering and gave me a good sense of what it is like in graduate school in terms of conducting research. The program also hosted a graduate student panel which gave me even more insights. Based on this I now aspire to attend graduate school and someday work as a structural engineer. I also aspire to stay active in ASCE since they provide great opportunities for all Civil engineers.