Lilian Garcia

Published: July 5, 2017

#ILookLikeAnEngineer

What does #ILookLikeAnEngineer mean to you?

This means a lot to me because I don't fit the norm of what an engineer is. First, I am a woman. Secondly, I am Latina. I want other Latinas to look at my photo and see me as a role model. I want them to say, "Hey, she looks like me, so I can do that, too." When I was small, I always looked at careers that had women that looked like me. From those typical careers paths, I wondered why I couldn’t use power tools or play professional soccer or be good in math. I think all those stereotypes motivated me to be the person I am today. I want to prove to others and myself that just because I don’t look like an engineer, I will be one.

What are three things that make you unique?

  1. I love to dance with my friends. I love to do cumbias, bachata and merengue.
  2. I am very passionate about outreach towards low-income, underrepresented communities. I want others to know about the various fields in STEM and why there are great educational and career opportunities.
  3. I love art and music. I played the violin for seven years and practiced art for five years. I have a funny story about that, I wanted to major in music and art my senior year of high school until my parents told me that I wasn't REALLY good at it. ... It sounds bad, but I am happy they were honest. Then they broke down careers within art, and I didn't like them all. Later, my mom reminded me that I loved math, so she expected me to find a career in the math field. I decided to challenge myself (like I always do) and choose engineering.

What are your career goals?

I want to improve water infrastructure such as pipelines to commercial buildings and households. Luckily I will be able to do this because I will be working as a civil environmental engineer with Black and Veatch.

What do you enjoy most about engineering?

I love the project classes because you work with clients to make cool things that improve their lives and community. I liked learning how to 3D print and design on SolidWorks. I also really love the BOLD community and the SHPE/MAES national communities as well.

Lilian Garcia, class of 2017, Environmental Engineering