Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why I chose Penn

Congrats to everyone who was accepted this year to Penn Engineering!  When I think back to last year, I remember the excitement of being in your shoes and making my decision on which school to attend.  Though I thought my choice would be difficult to make, when I visited Penn, I knew that this school was the right fit for me and my interests.  
 One reason why I chose Penn Engineering was its opportunities for hands-on learning.  For example, I am studying Electrical Engineering and am currently taking an introductory digital design lab.  Every week, we are challenged with a mini project that we design using software similar to the programs used by actual R&D teams.  At the end of each lab session, we program and demo our design on an FPGA board (my dad, who also studied Electrical Engineering, didn’t get to work with FPGAs until his junior year of college).  Additionally, there are many clubs and organizations at Penn that encourage hands-on learning both in and out of the classroom.  Although I am not a Computer Science major, I participated in PennApps (Penn’s biannual hackathon) under a mentoring group that taught me the basics of programming in Java.

The supportive network of other female engineers at Penn Engineering was also a major factor in my decision.  Since engineering is often a male-dominant field, I was pleasantly surprised to meet so many female engineers at Penn.  I met some of my closest friends by attending the AWE Pre-orientation program and my AWE and SWE (Society of Women Engineers) mentors have been extremely helpful for advice on academics and adjusting to college.  It has been invaluable to be a part of such a tight-knit, friendly community of fellow female engineers.

I have enjoyed my first year at Penn Engineering and I’m looking forward to studying at Penn for the next three years.  Hope to see you in the Engineering Quad!

Michelle is a freshman in Electrical Engineering.  Questions for Michelle?  Contact her at

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