Hello, my name is Kyara Cruz Gutiérrez and I’m a software engineering major. I am currently in my senior year and I am working on our senior capstone project with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScl) creating a GUI for commands that will be used on the James Webb Space Telescope!
I started my engineering journey very young. As a freshman in high school I began the Project Lead the Way program (PLTW courses) and I quickly began to realize from then into my senior year of engineering in university, my biggest obstacle was always myself.
I was always scared to fail, admit to myself when I was failing and needed help, and coping with my perfectionism in a major that isn’t so “perfect.” In my first engineering class at 14, my teacher told our class that engineering was 99% failure. It has a need for constant improvement, constant adaptability and innovation. Projects never go the way you expect them and our classes never come easy to everyone. To overcome these obstacles instead of avoiding change, I embraced it.
Instead of ignoring the unknown, I sought it. Instead of shy swaying from failure, I confronted it, and took it as more room for growth for myself as an engineer. I began living the law of least effort, going with the flow. This allowed me to work diligently and not get overwhelmed when maybe things didn’t go as plan, but that doesn’t mean it went wrong.
Some advice I would give engineering students is, you set your own limitations on what you can do and perform in engineering. Don’t be scared of the unknown, and get comfortable with failure, as these will guide you to your well deserved success and accessing your true potential and growth as an engineer. When I look back, I remember my moments of failure and what it taught my team and I, rather than my successes. Roll with the punches, have a positive outlook always, and you will come out a stronger and more experienced engineer.