What high school did you graduate from?
Coronado High School, “Pride of the Westside”
What did you get your college degree in and when did you graduate?
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, December 2007
Where do you work?
The Boeing Company
How long have you been working there?
A little over two years
What do you do at your current job?
I am currently the 787 landing gear weights engineer. My job is to estimate, calculate, and deliver weights data for current and future airplane configurations. I also develop and implement design optimization solutions to reduce the weight of my main and nose landing gears. In order to do this, I need to understand any factor and variable that influences the sizing of my parts (manufacturability, loads, cost, etc.). My job requires me to interact with many different groups and gain knowledge in a variety of functions.
What do you like about what you do?
I get to learn about airplane configuration and I am not just focused on one single part! I get to problem solve often, and not everything is defined! I have a very dynamic working environment! I work with a very diverse team, not only culturally, but professionally! I am working on the most innovative aerospace product in the world – this is airplane history! I am technically challenged – I actually use what I learned in school! I am part of a great team that makes very important decisions! I am surrounded by people willing to mentor and share their knowledge! I am surrounded by brilliant people who have a passion to deliver better airplanes and take pride in their work!
How has your life changed because of your UTEP degree in engineering and/or job?
If you told me ten years ago, at the age of 25, I would be an engineer working on the 787 at the Boeing Company in the state of Washington, that I would be buying my first new home, that I would be a salsa dancing instructor, that I would travel to Egypt, and be having the time of my life… I can’t say that I would have believed you. But, I am able to say I am a Boeing engineer because of my mechanical engineering degree from UTEP. The road to what I have called “success” has been because I had people supporting me throughout my life that gave me advice, who believed in me, and who presented opportunities I never thought possible. My family, my mentors, my friends, UTEP and its student organizations are the reasons I am where I am at today and I cannot express how grateful and appreciative I am!!
What was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome to go to and finish college?
In many ways, I think I was my biggest obstacle. When times were difficult, when classes were challenging and I felt like quitting or like I was not smart enough, I had to overcome my fears and move ahead. Again, having mentors and a great support system of people believing in you is so helpful! Because at the end of the day, when school was insane, work was tiring, and life happens, there will come a time when you doubt whether or not you can do it. When that time comes, it’s okay to feel scared, but never doubt your capabilities and never doubt that you can do it. Stay positive. Have dreams and have the courage and confidence to make those dreams a reality! Don’t let yourself hold you back.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievements?
I have been so lucky in my life. To have graduated with a degree in Engineering has been a huge achievement. To be a professional at the Boeing Company is an achievement. To be buying my first home is an achievement. To have been honored with the highest recognition of MAES (The Society of Mexican American Engineers & Scientists) was an achievement. But in many ways, my journey has been a great achievement. I interned a lot as an intern and got to learn so much as an undergraduate. I worked at Visteon, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, General Electric, and P&G… all as a student. To become a mentor to my peers and to be considered a role model is an achievement. And at the end of the day, to be happy and feel proud of my current life is an achievement.
Interests outside work?
I realized that I was a city girl, especially when moving to the northwest. I’m starting to explore more outdoor activities, but I still enjoy going shopping! I enjoy dancing and have become a salsa instructor here at Boeing. I love to travel and recently traveled to Egypt! I love, love, love doing community service and outreach initiatives and that is where I spend a majority of my time. I am so grateful for the opportunities and support that I had throughout my life, that my time is now spent to giving back to my community, to sharing my experiences with upcoming students and to showing the endless possibilities that come with a college education, and more so, with a degree in Engineering!
Any future speculations as to where you’d like to be in the near future?
I can see a career at the Boeing Company. It’s a great place to be and as far as I’m concerned, I’m working on one of the best products in the aerospace industry, which is very exciting. I’m looking forward to growing and learning, though I have not decided what career path I’ll be taking, whether technical or management. On a personal note, marriage and a family would be great!
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience at UTEP?
My experience at UTEP was wonderful. I learned so much and made some of the best memories of my life. I don’t think it’s until much after that you really appreciate UTEP. It’s a great university with a very unique culture and learning environment. It continues to grow and advance and with that said, I cannot say this enough: take advantage of all the opportunities and don’t be afraid to make a leap for something you want! Much of my development came from being involved, from doing well in school, and UTEP provides plenty of venues to explore.
To all future engineers, I highly encourage you to get your green card and become “shootin’, fightin’, dynamatin’, mining engineers!”