Sasha Hall portraitPost-graduation plans: Software Engineer at Raytheon Technologies

This award recognizes undergraduate students who contribute to improving their department/program, college, university and/or community.

Sasha Hall served in leadership positions in the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, CU Women in Computing, and the University of Colorado Engineering Council as well as directing the Freshman Engineering Council in her sophomore year. She represented the college as a senator on the University of Colorado Boulder Student Government and served for more than two years on student government committees promoting diversity and inclusion. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at CU Boulder?

It is hard to pick a single memory that stands out from my time at CU. That said, I think my favorite memories are of myself and my friends sitting in the Engineering center lobby and the BOLD Center. Sometimes it was working on group projects, other times just hanging out before class, but there is something so nice about having a community of welcoming people and a space to do work, hang out, or see people and friends passing by. 

What accomplishment are you most proud of, either academically or personally?

I think the different areas I was able to explore during my time as CU is what I am really proud of. I knew coming into the engineering school that I didn’t just want to be an engineer. I love the technical side of engineering, but I also really wanted to explore the more personable side as well. That is why I pursued the Engineering Leadership Program, the Leadership Studies Minor, and the Business minor. While it was tough to fit everything into my schedule, I was extremely glad that I did. I loved being able to have a more well-rounded approach to engineering and further develop my soft skills. I think that the benefit of adding in these minors and programs made me a better engineer and a better leader.

 Tell us about a moment (or moments) when you felt like you hit your stride or felt like you were “officially” an engineer.

As a computer science student, one of the major courses you have to take is algorithms. I think that I officially became an engineer when I took that course. Not only are a lot of interview questions for jobs and internships based on concepts taught in that course, but it also covers the foundations of computer science. Algorithms was definitely a difficult course and after taking it I felt two things. First, I felt proud that I was able to complete such a difficult course. And second, I felt like I had an entirely new understanding and appreciation for my major and the career I was pursuing.

 Sasha Hall hikingSasha Hall hiking with friends

What was the biggest challenge for you during your engineering education? What did you learn from it?

I think the biggest challenge I faced during my engineering education was learning to appreciate and enjoy my time at CU. Coming out of high school and entering the College of Engineering and Applied Science, one of the most rigorous colleges at CU, it felt like I needed to push myself to my absolute limits to do everything. Something that took me a few years to understand and put into practice is that the years you will spend at CU are a time of growth and learning and an experience that you might not get to have again. It is so important to take in your time here and enjoy your classes, the friendships you make, and the mentors that can guide you because it will be an experience you will want to remember and reflect on after you graduate and move on to the next chapter of your life.

 What is your biggest piece of advice for incoming engineering students? 

I think my biggest piece of advice for incoming students is to get involved. There are so many reasons to become involved in student organizations and extracurriculars while at CU, including the ability to make connections with professionals, form relationships with people who have similar interests as you, or find a supportive community of individuals. For me, the experiences I got in these student organizations helped shape me into the person I am today. I had opportunities to work on my leadership skills, create lasting connections with many people, and meet some of my closest friends. I know that at times it can seem like there is no possible way for you to fit things outside of school into your schedule, but I encourage everyone to step outside of your comfort zone and get involved. Find something that sounds interesting to you and pursue it!