Hear from a former student and current staffer about how the IEEE TryEngineering Summer Institute helped her decide on her future:
Hi! I enrolled in the IEEE Try Engineering Summer Institute at Texas A&M University in College Station back in 2018. At the time, I was 16 years old and wanted to do something out of the ordinary that summer. One of my old robotics mentors recommended that I apply to the Try Engineering Summer Institute to gain more experience in engineering while exploring a university. As I was looking into the program, I mentioned it to two of my high school friends— and we all applied. What most attracted me to this program was that I would be able to experiment with different projects and find a specific field of interest in engineering. I also like that while doing so, I could explore one of the top universities I wanted to attend.
Being accepted into the program was thrilling, and no words can describe such an experience. I recall walking into the Neely Hall Dorms with my two friends from high school, where we were welcomed by the resident assistants, Tahj and Lauren. They asked for our names and escorted us to our dorms. From there, we unpacked and met everyone in the lounge room where we all introduced ourselves, including where we were from. I recall meeting several people from other states and other countries. After meeting everyone, we had many “ice breakers” (activities that allowed us to get to know the other students that were in the program). After the first day of activities/games, the academic part of the program began. We met our two professors of the institution, and they gave us an introduction to what we would be doing. I recall sitting in the class having no clue as to how to solder a resistor to a circuit board at first. Nonetheless, I created my very own circuit board. The professors gave us detailed instructions. Plus, I even got help learning how to use a soldering iron from some other students . While doing so, we were able to bond with one another as we shared a few laughs. That was one of the many activities that I consider both a learning and memorable experience.
Before the program, I always had an interest in robotics and participated in robotics competitions along with other STEM related extracurricular activities. As a high schooler, I was on a journey to search for a field in engineering that I would like to pursue. I had been a member of the robotics club since the 8th grade (middle school) to gain a generalization of robotics engineering. Little did I know, I had a strong fascination with the mechanics of robots. I would constantly stay in robotics practice until late at night to work on different mechanisms to attach to the robots, so that the team could accomplish more tasks to win competitions. At that point, I still was not sure if other engineering fields would be appealing to me. It wasn’t until I enrolled in the Try Engineering Summer Institute, that I knew what field of engineering I wanted to study
Currently, I am in the General Engineering Program at Texas A&M University at Higher Education Center in McAllen where I’m taking the basic engineering courses needed to apply to my desired engineering major. Next semester, I will be transitioning to College Station to pursue a degree in the mechanical engineering program at College Station. Once I do so, I also plan on working towards a minor in electrical engineering in addition to my bachelors degree in mechanical engineering.
My friend from high school, who also attended the Summer Institute in 2018, mentioned how she applied to the program to become a resident assistant. She recommended that I should apply and I did not give it a second thought. I applied the following day because I knew how the resident assistants made it more memorable when I attended the summer institute and I want to do the same for the incoming students.
I would like to tell the incoming students “ The whole purpose of the camp is to learn, meet new people, and make some long lasting memories.”
See you this summer!
Karina (former student and now a new resident assistant and staff member for Summer 2022!)