Why did you choose engineering at CU Boulder?
When I applied to schools, I had chosen a major in environmental studies, but when I came to Admitted Students Day at CU and accidentally went on the wrong tour and on the engineering tour instead, I discovered a program that I felt would allow me to make an impact in the world with my work. I immediately confirmed my intent to enroll and switched into the environmental engineering program!
What does the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag mean to you?
To me, the hashtag represents a movement towards much-needed diversification of the field of engineering. As it stands, societal minorities do not make up much of the field, and it can be easy to feel like an imposter if one isn't a white male. #ILookLikeAnEngineer puts forth the idea that if I can do the same things that others can, I will not be discriminated because I am an engineer of color.
What are three things that make you unique?
One thing that makes me unique is my love for getting involved in activities that represent the University. I am a student ambassador, where I am able to tell prospective students about CU. I am also part of the Golden Buffalo Marching Band, where I get to make music with friends in a way that represents CU. Secondly, I am interested in hiking, biking, and climbing outdoors as I feel that it recharges my batteries. Lastly, I am the first student from my high school in California to ever come to CU.
What are your career goals?
After graduation, I hope to get a position in an environmental engineering firm working on soil or air remediation. I hope to do this for a few years before returning to school to obtain a Master's degree. From there, I hope to move into a project management role, and one day hopefully I'll own my own firm.
What are your hobbies?
I am in the marching band where I play trombone. Playing an instrument has always been one of my favorite stress releases. I give campus tours. I like to hike, bike, climb, and read about and play different sports.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
A quote that I try to live by is "Life is not a mystery to be solved, but a reality to be experienced"
What do you enjoy most about engineering?
I think one of the things I enjoy most about engineering is the challenge that I face in my classes and the rush that I get when I am able to use the tools I've been given to solve a challenging problem. I also enjoy how engineering has taught me to think critically and actively use a mindset to think of solutions to problems that arise.
What is your favorite engineering experience?
Going into my first year at CU, I participated in the ASPIRE program through the BOLD center, which allowed me to get a glimpse of what kind of work I'd be doing as an engineering student. It helped prepare me for the difficulties that I would eventually face about coming to college, and it also taught me how to face the challenges head on. I also met some of my closest friends through the program, and without them, I don't think I would have had nearly as great of a first year experience.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
When I think of #ILookLikeAnEngineer, I think of a program that allows typically underrepresented students to show that anyone can be an engineer if you are willing to put in the work, which serves as a model for prospective students considering engineering.
Ryan Gomez, Class of 2020, San Dimas High School, Environmental Engineering