Published: Feb. 9, 2018


Why did you choose engineering at CU Boulder?

I felt that CU Boulder reached out to me personally the most out of all the universities I applied to. I felt like my background was respected and that opportunities were offered to me that helped me excel in engineering with the understanding that I came from a house that did not know a lot about education nor engineering.

What does the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag mean to you?

I believe that the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag means that anyone is embraced and encouraged to become an engineer even if they are someone that does not have the traditional background of engineers. That anyone is capable of being successful in this field or any other regardless of where they come from when they get to college.

What are three things that make you unique?

  1. First-generation student. My parents are both from Mexico and neither of them had finished high school.
  2. Musically inclined.
  3. I make my bed everyday.

What are your career goals?

I do not have a clear career set in mind, but I know I am passionate about keeping our companies and cities as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible because if we work on that, we improve the public health and boost many other benefits that are valuable to everyone.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

"What you seek is seeking you." -Rumi

What are your hobbies?

I have a few hobbies including playing various instruments, mainly the piano, being in nature (hiking, kayaking, fishing), and obsessing over dogs. Most of all, I really love makeup. I watch tons of tutorials, makeup reviews, and follow various makeup artists. I love doing my own makeup in the morning as it is my "me time" to decompress and I really enjoy it especially when I have such a busy schedule with work and school. Plus, I think it allows me to embrace my femininity a little more especially when I am surrounded by mostly male engineers

What do you enjoy most about engineering?

The best feeling is when a complex problem is presented to you and you are able to solve for a solution solely based on your own knowledge. It is incredibly satisfying to know that you are developing such a wide breadth of knowledge from all the hard work and that it all applies to real world problems. Engineering is that all the time.

Do you have advice to help freshmen going into engineering?

Make friends and maintain relationships with people that have the same strive that you do. It will make your busy life and hard work feel like it is actually going somewhere because you are surrounded by people that are in it with you and understand what the ultimate goal is. There will be times that people will think that the amount of work you are putting in to become an engineer is obscene, but it just takes a support system and confidence in yourself to know that this education is exactly what you want and that it will benefit you and benefit the future more than many people can understand.

Also, if you come from a not average background like I do (first generation, much lower income than average CU Boulder students, and a proud Latina), then there is a good chance that there will be a moment where you sit back and feel like you just do not belong with the rest of the students. Maybe because their parents own companies, and your parents have been working to make ends meet for you to come to college and still have mounting student debt. Maybe because their families have degrees and told them exactly how college works, and that you had no idea what this was going to take. Maybe because they think that a background like yours is a background that wasn't supposed to end up in this university. Just know, you are supposed to be here and it is guaranteed that there are other people like you that are having the same thoughts, and that all of you can do this! (Plus, you will probably make your families cry for joy when you graduate.)

Jasmine Gamboa, Class of 2020, Brighton High School Graduate, Environmental Engineering