I've always knew I wanted to do something with STEM ever since I was little. My parents are both doctors and ever since I was five I told everyone who asked that I wanted to pediatrician.
However, my junior year of high school I took both biology and anatomy and quickly realized that I no longer envisioned myself as a doctor. I knew that if I put my mind to it I could preserve and excel, but I just didn't have the heart for it. I attended a prospective students day at a local university and attended the engineering school info session. There, I learned about all the different disciplines and Computer Engineering struck me as the most interesting. I began to look back on my childhood and remembered that while I was the kid saying they wanted to be a pediatrician at five, I was also the kid always on the computer or on my parents cell phone trying to figure out and comprehend how it all worked. I knew then that when I go to college, I was going to study computer engineering.
When I got to Pitt, I took classes with everyone who wanted to study engineering and got to learn more about the different disciplines in a little bit more detail. Although I came in knowing I wanted to study computer engineering, I played with the idea of studying BioEngineering or Mechanical Engineering but I realized that I only liked those ideas so I could apply computer engineering towards those disciplines. I declared my major as computer engineering my second semester of freshman year and haven't looked back since.
The one thing I love about engineering and other STEM majors is that your options are endless. Just because you majored in STEM doesn't mean you can't be an artist, a writer, a teacher, a lawyer, or anything really for that matter. Everyone goes through a career in STEM differently and they still have very successful and fulfilling careers! Pursuing a degree in STEM allows you to see the world in a different way than other people. For me, I try to understand the world's problems through computers, software applications, and complex algorithms that I get to study and/or create. STEM allows for some of the biggest advancements in today's society across a wide range of disciplines which I hope to make a big contribution one day.
So to answer the big question, "Why STEM?" I have to say it's because the opportunities are endless. With a degree in STEM, you have the foundation to accomplish and achieve all you can imagine and more. You're on the path to leave a legacy behind and make an influence on millions of people's lives across the globe. With a career in STEM you can find your passion and your purpose in the world in places you may never have expected.
- The Engineer