Friday, October 23, 2015

#ILookLikeAnEngineer: Delta Caraulia

Familiar with the #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag on Twitter? It started trending back in August 2015 - a San Francisco software engineer inspired a viral online campaign when she faced backlash after appearing in an ad as part of her company's recruiting campaign. Her response was a photo holding a sign with the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer — it inspired female engineers around the world to share their photos/stories on social media using the hashtag.  We think this is great, and wanted to jump onboard.

Meet Delta, a sophomore mechanical engineer at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Name: Delta Caraulia
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Estimated graduation date: June 2018

Why did you choose engineering at UC San Diego?
I always liked math growing up. Then I thought, what should I do with it? I should do engineering. After I went to COSMOS at UC San Diego, a four-week residential summer program for high school students interested in pursuing a career in a STEM field, I was set on engineering. COSMOS – I was part of Cluster 4, the earthquakes in action cluster. We had to perform a timber retrofit. So when you retrofit something, you make it better. Maybe back then, they did not have enough support. We were accounting for natural disasters.

Also, during my senior year of high school, I took AP Physics and really liked classical mechanics. I noticed myself liking the building more so than the other parts of physics.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
This might be a little embarrassing. In Mean Girls, it’s the part when they’re talking about calculus and Damien is disgusted and asks Cady why. She says, “Because it’s the same in every country.” That was beautiful to me.

What are your career goals?
I honestly don’t know. I’m really trying to figure it out. I really liked 3D printing, which was implemented when I took a pilot course in the Dean’s new Experience Engineering initiative this past spring. I like that 3D printing is cheap, especially for kids. They need an inexpensive way to keep producing as they keep growing.

What are you involved in on campus?
I participated in UC San Diego’s Summer Bridge program in 2014 before school started. Summer Bridge tries to bridge incoming freshmen and help them integrate better into their first year. You take two different classes: Contemporary Issues and Educational Studies. I thought I wouldn’t get into it as much as I did. The Contemporary Issues component was eye-opening for me. I was always very math and science-y, but the program opened my eyes to real world issues.

I prepped to become a tutor, and this quarter I signed up for Global TIES. I like the humanitarian aspect of Global TIES. Growing up, I knew I wanted to do something where I could help people. I tried to do medical stuff, but I learned nope, I can’t touch people, I can’t see blood. That’s exactly what Global TIES is, engineering for humanity. And the leaders of the class are actual professors, so you have their guidance and meet often.
In addition,I’ll be a part of KPCore, which does outreach to my high school.

What are three things you find unique about you?
  1. I do like keeping busy. I don’t really have any hobbies, which I guess is why I like extracurricular activities. Also, in terms of last year, I worked a lot. I took on a lot of hours at the library. It’s really nice working there. The people there are really nice and easy to talk to.
  2. I worry a lot, but I also know that I can do it…I also complain a lot, but I’ll do it. Haha.
  3. I went to Europe last year and I want to go to Spain next year.

What does this campaign mean to you?
This issue does hit hard because I will be an engineer in the field. There's a misconception that women get hired to fill some quota so I don't want anyone to think I had something handed to me. I will earn it based on my merit.

I spoke with the VP of Qualcomm, and he said that he was originally an engineer himself. It was cool that he had both the understanding of his company’s engineering work, in addition to his own administrative work. Maybe in the future, I can hold a position that combines multiple fields.

Stay tuned for more, and don't forget to follow the Jacobs School on social media to keep up with the hashtag!

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