I was born with a fascination for engineering and science. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been curious about how electronics work.
As a kid, I would look inside the cases of my Gameboy, flip phone, or VCR, and poke at the circuit boards to see if I could figure out how they worked. Even though I doubted my ability to do more than poke at a few chips, get overwhelmed, and close the case, I would often dream about becoming a professional engineer.
My parents were not a big part of my decision to major in engineering, but the steps leading to my decision were inspired by their teachings of hard work. I grew up working with my father, starting when I was about 11 years old, learning all sorts of trade skills. It wasn’t easy, and I remember complaining about the work because the hours were long and the work was tiring. In response to my complaints, my parents would always tell me that, “We work like this because we have no choice. If you want to stop working long and tiring hours, then you need to work hard so that you can live however you like.”
In junior high, through my AVID class, I spent a good portion of my time researching careers I thought I might like to pursue. Ultimately, I ended up choosing engineering because of my lifelong fascination with the field. I had learned to enjoy the design and building aspects of my father’s business, and I wanted that to continue to play a big part in my life. I also took what my parents told me to heart: If I wanted to become an engineer, I would need to put in long and tiring hours to achieve my dream.
My first year of college, I attended Central Washington University. It was some distance from home, and I enjoyed my newfound independence. My first year was filled with happy and memorable experiences, but when I realized that my main purpose for being there was to be away from home, I found that I regretted choosing a school that didn’t have the program or the environment that I really wanted. While I felt the need to stay in a city where there would be better opportunities for me, I went in search of a small school with small class sizes that would provide me with more meaningful student-teacher interaction.
When my friend Nefi recommended SPU — telling me that the school size and Christian environment would be a perfect fit for me — I searched the University website for an electrical engineering program, found what I was looking for, and applied immediately.
My experiences at SPU have far exceeded my expectations. I remember in my very first logic systems design class, I came in thinking that I would be alone unless I could make friends quickly. But right after class, a student came up to me and introduced himself. We’ve been friends ever since! After that, I made many more friends, all of whom made studying engineering and computer science a wonderful experience.
The highlights of my time in the engineering and computer science department were the events and team projects. One of my favorite events was the Erickson Conference where students from all STEM majors participated in a showcase of their projects and research. I was able to take part, present my team’s project (a portable modular greenhouse), and see what others had done.
During my time here at SPU, I have had many caring professors. But there is one professor in particular that made a lasting impression on me. Professor Peter was one of my first professors — I took an electrics class with him. Consistently, he would start his lectures by showing us pictures from his hiking trips, including pictures of the views, his family, flowers, animals, and the mountains. He always had the perfect Bible verse to accompany them, too. I found that starting class like that really set the mood. It also removed any anxiety about the difficult material that we had to cover that day.
I grew up going to church with my family, reading my Bible, and praying regularly — all of which resulted in my strong faith in God. However, as I started my first year of college and became busier with schoolwork, I stopped doing this as often. Throughout my years at SPU, I’ve learned more about God, his promises, and the inspiring stories that reassure me and strengthen my faith. This is important to me because, as the years have gone by, I have grown busier than ever with school, work, and other obligations. Some days are more taxing than others, but the reason I’m able to push forward is because of my increasing faith in God.
After graduation, I plan on finding a position working with electronics. I’ve also been thinking about pursuing a master’s degree. I am not sure what I’d like to study yet, but I’m very interested in bioengineering. I hope to make a decision about graduate school after I’ve been working for a couple of years.