"Group project experience is indispensable for group labs later on (this can also be acquired through things like a robotics team)."
Hear Shane talk about how he became interested in mechanical engineering, and advice for students pursuing it!
My career roadmap has been all over the place.
Starting high school and realizing that I liked being a part of projects and creating things.
Finding an interest in astrophysics and space exploration
Wanting to be an aerospace engineer to combine both my interest in astrophysics and my love of projects.
Deciding based on job prospects and communication with those in the industry that mechanical engineering could get me where I wanted to go.
Choosing UCLA over all other schools because of the closeness to companies I wanted to work for.
Realizing upon taking upper division classes at UCLA that I really did like this major, and also discovering a keen interest in circuits and electronics.
Finding a way to integrate my newfound interest with my goal since sophomore year of high school.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Hart District Robotics TeamHart District Robotics Team
Founded Imagining the Future at AOC
Online research with Planet Hunters TESS (through
Zooniverse) on searching for and identifying new planets through transit data.
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Bruin Racing (Super-Mileage Vehicle Structures Team)
Rocket Project (not much involvement yet)
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Applied for some research so hopefully that soon!
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
I currently plan to pursue a master’s degree after earning my bachelor’s in Spring 2023. Afterwards I might pursue my doctorate immediately after, or become involved in the workforce first and then pursue that later. I hope to work in aerospace like at JPL, NASA, Northrop Grumman, etc., and eventually create my own company focusing on the creation of inhabitable zones on celestial bodies. I am also interested in a small electric car company called Canoo, so it would also be cool to work there.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Definitely join a robotics team or something similar! Even if you don’t become super knowledgeable about building robots or coding them, it is still beneficial to be there and be part of a team of like-minded people.
Advice #2: Knowing how to code at least a bit is also good, specifically MATLAB, Python, C++
Advice #3: Any research experience is also helpful, but definitely not required.
Advice #4: Group project experience is indispensable for group labs later on (this can also be acquired through things like a robotics team).
Advice #5: Be able to talk to professors! Professors are one of the most important resources for both simply understanding material and also getting involved in research.