For me, being a Native in STEM is a very specific experience and so I’m grateful that AISES helps me to integrate my Native community and culture with engineering. We focus on professional development, which gives me the tools I need to be a confident and well-developed engineer, and also build a strong sense of community among our members. I appreciate that AISES has given me so many opportunities to talk with others who are navigating similar fields and challenges and to reflect on how my varying identities influence my career choices.
If I had really understood what engineering was growing up, I would have known immediately that’s what I wanted to do. I’ve always been inquisitive. I like complex systems and understanding how things work. I’m most excited to work on things that I can see and touch – for example, I sewed my own clothes and did a lot of knitting as a child. For a long time, though, my understanding of the mechanical engineering spirit was inconsistent with how I saw my own ingenuity. It wasn’t until my sophomore year here that I finally recognized all of the possibilities within mechanical engineering and declared it as my major. I’m now interested in the energy industry, specifically in fields like wind and solar, and I’m grateful that AISES has helped me find these career paths that challenge me to be my best.