Friday, December 4, 2015

#ILookLikeAnEngineer: James Natanauan

We are continuing our effort to highlight undergraduate students at the Jacobs School of Engineering with James Natanauan. James is a computer engineering student and president of the Triton Engineering Student Council (TESC) for the second year in a row. Meet James, a senior with a passion for computers also for making his own music.

Name: James Natanauan
Major: Computer Engineering
Estimated graduation date: June 2016

Why did you choose engineering at UC San Diego?
I have always loved computers. I told myself I would learn how to make them work.

What are your career goals?
I want to go into industry first, and based on the internships I’ve had, I really like the management aspect of the field. I would like to pursue and advanced degree, perhaps an MBA or a masters in computer science or computer engineering.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
“Carpe diem.” You’ve got one life, so you should make the most of it.

What are three things about you that make you an individual?
1. I moved here from Hong Kong when I was 10, but I was born in the Philippines.

2. I’m really into playing music, but I’m just getting into making music. I don’t have any equipment for electronic music, but it’s all acoustic stuff right now. I’ve been playing guitar on and off since I was twelve.

3. Last summer, I bought a bunch of random instruments, such as an Irish penny whistle, a harmonica. I can actually play the guitar and harmonica at the same time.

Musical inspiration?
The Beatles.

What does the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign mean to you?
It’s really important because we generalize things so easily, and often subconsciously. I remember this one time, I was at a table eating a taco, and this guy came up to me to talk. I was quiet because I was chewing my food, when he said, “You’re so quiet. You’re such an engineer.” That’s still a negative stereotype about engineers - that we’re anti-social, and we don’t get out much. This campaign is important because we need to treat everyone as an individual.

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