Why did you choose engineering at CU Boulder?
Math and science were the subjects that I enjoyed the most in high school. Given the fact that I had several mentors in the STEM fields, they guided me towards engineering.
What does the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag mean to you?
Engineers are a diverse group of people. We do not fit the binary!
What are three things that make you unique?
My military service commitment
My diverse background
My passion for Computer Science
What are your career goals?
To be an Officer in the United States Air Force, ideally specializing in Cyberspace Operations.
"Winner's never quit, and quitters never win."
What are your hobbies?
Hiking, coding, arts and crafts.
What is your favorite engineering experience?
My CSCI 1300 class! Every week, we have an interesting coding challenge that diversifies my coding skills.
What do you enjoy most about engineering?
I love how CU Engineering allows me to take the course material and apply it into projects and assignments that interest me.
Anything else you'd like to share?
As I continue my career here at CU Boulder, I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of bright and interesting people in STEM. Growing up as a woman in STEM was difficult, I often felt that I needed to prove myself and my work ethic to continue to achieve with my peers. Because of the amazing support I've had from my family, friends and mentors (both in STEM careers themselves or adamant allies of diversity in STEM), I never gave up on STEM and I never will. I am so grateful to have found CU and my peers in Computer Science that challenge me everyday!
What are you up to these days?
This summer, I have had the privilege of completing my Leadership, Evaluation and Development (LEAD) training for Air Force ROTC. As this training is very similar to Basic Military Training (BMT) and Officer Training School (OTS) in the Air Force, this experience was the next big step towards my dream of being an Officer in the USAF.
Do you have a personal story, experience, or advice to help freshmen college students in engineering?
When I was admitted to CU initially, I was a Chemical and Biological Engineering major. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to pursue through CBEN, but I knew that it was challenging and seemed exciting. Through the program, I learned not only that CBEN wasn't for me, but that I had a budding passion for coding and computer science.
My biggest piece of advice for any incoming freshman is to be open-minded and ultimately true to yourself. This can extend anywhere from changing your major to meeting new friends. I like to think that pride is a powerful thing; your pride can either hold you back from seeking help or propel you forward in a field you enjoy. With an open-mind about your passions and goals, the right path will always be clear.
Selena Quintanilla, Class of 2020, Computer Science