In her introductory engineering course, Julia Reynolds connected best with electrical engineering. In May, she will graduate as one of only three female electrical engineering majors in her cohort.
Her journey at CMU has been filled with experiences that helped her master time management, give back to the community and have a little fun along the way.
"Through the Honors Program, I was able to study abroad in New Zealand. We went backpacking, and each team took turns teaching about the principles of 'Leave No Trace,'" Julia said. "We actually left on my birthday and because of the time change, my birthday was 40 hours long!"
The skills and strategies Julia learned in New Zealand helped her prepare for leadership roles on campus. She is vice president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the professional development chair of the Society of Women Engineers. She also is acting as a teaching assistant for the introductory engineering class she took.
As the professional development chair of SWE, she works with members to help them create résumés, take professional photos, set up their LinkedIn profiles and answer potential interview questions. Her work has helped prepare current students for internships and job hiring processes.
Julia's interest in CMU was sparked by her older sister, who attended and graduated before her. Winning a Centralis Scholarship solidified her desire to be a CMU Chippewa.
"Central is making an effort to take care of its students and giving them a path to be able to graduate with little debt or debt-free," she said.
Her experiences at CMU have helped her both personally and professionally.
"Central set me up for internships and my career. I found my first internship at a career fair on campus, which led to my second one at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and that led to my current job offer from FCA."
She also credits her tough but rewarding engineering classes for teaching her to manage her time better. Her higher-level classes have given her numerous projects which mirror the work environment she'll join after graduation.
"When I first came to CMU, I expected to graduate in four years with a degree," Julia said. "But I've gained so much more than that. I've gained a degree, work experience, friends, leadership skills, had two internships, and I'll graduate debt-free because of those internships."