Maggie Yang

Biomedical Engineering
Degree pursuing: BS in biomedical engineering
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Why did you decide to study engineering?
I decided to study engineering because I love being able to design and craft products. Being able to take my ideas and transform them into real-life builds is extremely rewarding, and I'm driven by the fact that builds can be used for greater purposes in the medical field. I want to be able to contribute to the medical field where many people may be able to benefit in health and recovery. I've been an athlete for most of my life and I see the potential for improvements in sports medicine and orthopedics.

Why did you pick WashU?
I picked WashU for its rigorous academic reputation that would challenge me and open up future opportunities. Being a research university, I was excited by the learning opportunities that I could have in research and labs. On tours and visits, there was major emphasis on how great the people were. I loved that were was an amazing sense of community that felt collaborative and supportive. Even though I knew what I wanted to study, I loved that WashU had the flexibility where I could take classes that were outside of engineering where I was purely interested in them.

Also, I loved the culture of student organizations and sports where I felt encouraged to try knew things and be able share my love for things with others. I've played tennis my whole life and WashU gave me the opportunity to continue my tennis career where I could proudly compete and give myself a great learning experience.

Who is your favorite instructor and why?
My favorite instructor is Patricia Widder. Throughout my years in BME, Professor Widder has been such a positive light to see in the labs in each core BME course. Even outside of academics, she is one of the most kind and caring people on this campus. It seems to be unique to have a professor who is a constant throughout the major, but she's been integral to my success and helps me through tough times.

What advice would you give to a new student?
One of the biggest pieces of advice would be to make friends with your peers through classes in your major. In engineering, especially, collaboration and connection have been so important to my academic success. They're the people that can relate to you the best in academic stress, but also makes college more fun.

What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
My favorite thing about St. Louis is the welcoming community. I have discovered many new hobbies that has added to my college experience where I have felt like a real member of the community. I joined a climbing gym where I have met locals who love to share their experiences. The community is also so diverse in which there are different food, music and culture events that welcome different groups of people.

What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
Joining intramural sports is one of the best ways to connect with your peers, learn a new sport and have fun. You can join a group or start a group with friends, and play volleyball, futsal or flag football. Also, the climbing club has allowed me to pick up on a new hobby and make new friends.

I'd also recommend joining engineering clubs that you identify with, including the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), oSTEM@WashU (Out in STEM), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) or Women in Computer Science (WiCS).

What are your plans for the future?
Right now, I'm looking to learn about the industry side of engineering in an upcoming internship, but I'm hoping to pursue a master's in mechanical engineering in the future.