Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
St. Edward's University and Washington University in St. Louis
What played into your decision to get a graduate engineering degree?
While in the Dual-Degree Program, I took a co-op position in the spring of 2019 to work at Exxon Mobil Chemical in Baytown, Texas. While there, I realized that I wanted to pursue an MBA.
When I came back to WashU for school in the fall of 2019, I had a conversation with Peggy Matson, program director of Graduate Studies at the Sever Institute, about becoming a full-cycle engineer through the master's in engineering management program. This master's degree is essentially a more technical MBA; it's like an engineer's MBA.
Why did you pick WashU?
While studying at St. Edward's University, I learned about the Dual-Degree Program, which allowed me to earn a liberal arts math degree and a more technical chemical engineering degree in only five years. When I visited WashU, I was amazed by the technology and research opportunities that they offered.
What was your favorite course and why?
"Mass Transfer Operations" was one of the most challenging courses I took as a chemical engineering major and gave me a chance to see a lot of connections from my internship at Exxon in school.
I also really enjoyed "Engineering Management and Financial Intelligence" because I learned a great deal about what it truly means to manage people, as well as learning financial jargon. This was my first time learning about basic return on investment calculations. It was a very applicable course.
Who is your favorite instructor and why?
This is very hard to answer. While at WashU, I was very fortunate to meet many professors who have directly impacted my undergraduate and graduate career. If I had to choose one professor, it would have to be Dr. Janie Brennan. She taught several chemical engineering classes and a graduate class for numerical methods. I first met Dr. Brennan through the Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship and had her as a teacher multiple times. She greatly impacted my decision to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering following the master's program and was a great mentor.
What advice would you give to a new student?
I would definitely recommend exploring St. Louis as much as possible. Unfortunately, during my first year at WashU, I was too focused on school and didn't venture out as much as I would've liked.
What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
My favorite thing about St. Louis is IMOS Pizza and Schnucks. When it comes to IMOS, I have found that people either absolutely hate it or they love it. There's no in-between.
What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
I got a chance to be the secretary and then a general group member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. I would recommend trying to join any engineering social group that attends yearly national conventions.
While in SHPE, I was fortunate enough to go to their national convention twice to present the research I was doing. The convention offers an enormous career fair with more than 200 employers. At the 2017 convention, I found out about a summer research position at Cornell University that I later took part in, and at the 2018 convention, I was interviewed and offered a job with Exxon.
Are you presently in the workforce or have any work history?
I was fortunate to get a lot of different work experiences. In the summer of 2017 worked as a research intern for Dr. Marcus Foston's lab at WashU. That same August, I worked for three weeks at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.
The following summer, I worked at Cornell University conducting research on the coastal redwoods and went to PeekWeekend at Harvard Business School.
I took the co-op with Exxon Mobil in spring of 2019 and, later that summer, worked for Molecular Rebar Design, a small nano-tech company, in Austin, Texas. During the co-op, I spent a week at the Summer Venture in Management Program at Harvard Business School and confirmed that I wanted to pursue an MBA.
Lastly, during the summer of 2020, I worked remotely on a project at Caltech that focused on running molecular dynamic simulations of nano-crystalline zinc oxide.
What are your plans for the future?
I recently accepted an offer to work for Exxon Mobil Research in Engineering for the summer of 2021 and will start my doctoral studies in chemical engineering at the University of Texas in Austin in August.