Published: April 6, 2018


Why did you choose CU Engineering?

During the time I was looking to narrow down where I would be attending my college years, I was called in to interview for the GoldShirt Scholarship Program. In the midst of my interview, I was able to interact with current GoldShirt scholars. I was blown away by their critical problem solving skills and the goals these students had set for themselves. I was offered a spot in the Engineering GoldShirt Scholarship Program and happily took it, choosing CU Boulder as my new home for my collegiate years. I saw an abundance of opportunities waiting for me at this university and there was no way I was about to miss out.

What does the #ILookLikeAnEngineer mean to you? 

Regardless of your upbringing, interests, or physical appearance you are fully capable of being the person that discovers the next ground-breaking information that enhances our world immensely.

What makes you unique? 

The amount of dedication I have towards any of my goals, my hunger for growth, and the way I cherish my relationships with everyone. 

Although I love engineering, my dedication stems from the urge to give my family a better life. I am continuously looking for a new way to grow, whether that be a new skill or viewing situations from a new point of view. I hold all the relationships present in my life very dearly because everyone is a teacher. It's a given that someone knows something that you don't.

What are your career goals? 

Ever since I participated in a service trip in the Dominican Republic, I've wanted to help underdeveloped countries with my skills and knowledge to decrease health and safety risks. My ultimate dream is to build an NFL football stadium.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra? 

1 Corinthians 13 "Although I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;  and though I may have all the faith, so that I could move mountains, and I have not love, I am nothing" 

This verse really drives me in every aspect of my life. Your surroundings are extraordinarily more beautiful when you open your heart to all things this world has to offer. If you put love behind any action that you take, you will have more drive to complete that task and the accomplishment of the task alone will have a significantly larger value to you.     

What are your hobbies? 

I love snowboarding and trying new restaurants and foods. But my absolute favorite thing to do is relaxing in the sun and hearing all that is happening around me.

What do you enjoy most about engineering? 

The way it molds your mind and challenges you. Engineering really makes you shift to a mindset of looking at all the approaches, tools, and outcomes that arise from a situation and using that information to get what you want. I have subconsciously adopted this tactic to nearly all aspects of my life and have actually become way more satisfied with the outcomes of my decisions.

What is your favorite engineering experience?

I built a truss for a class that took me MANY late nights and confusing calculations to complete. My truss ended up twisting and failing with the lowest applied load, compared to all the other trusses built. This experience really showed me that no matter how much quality effort you put in, you could still run into complications that you didn't even think to account for, which leaves so much room for learning and improvement.

Do you have any advice for an incoming student who is unsure about engineering or CU? 

I came from a small town where there was very limited emphasis on STEM education. All I knew about myself when I was choosing a career was that I liked math and sciences more than writing and reading. When I got to CU Boulder, I realized that I was surrounded by people that knew how to code arduinos, had participated in robotics club in high school, and had summer programs targeted at building engineering minds. I felt extremely behind in my career when I compared myself to my classmates. I came to CU Boulder for my education. Therefore, I made school my priority. Once I saw the results from dedicating myself to my education and having patience with my personal learning curve, I realized that nothing that came before my college experience determined how I was going to do in my career. The only thing that truly mattered was how badly I wanted to succeed.

Briana Santa Ana, Civil Engineering – Graduating May 2020 – Telluride High School