Meet Helen Zhang
Major: Chemical Engineering
Minor: Biomedical Engineering
There are so many directions you can go in engineering and it is truly a degree you can personalize to how you see yourself in the future.
Engineering Class of 2023
5 quick questions
I have always loved math and sciences and I think engineering is a nice career that connects both fields into applications that could make tangible changes for our community that have a long-term impact. I also think that it is nice that engineering is a degree that is so heavily application-focused, so that an undergraduate degree is often enough to go into industry and work right away.
I think one challenge was that engineering has been a more male-dominant field and many older family members definitely did have that perception as well, which led to not as much family support received on this decision. However, through sharing the work I do and the interest and passion I have for engineering slowly with them, I definitely have been able to change their stereotypical perceptions of the field and gain more support throughout time.
I would say, if it is something that interests you, go for it! Don’t be intimidated by its traditional image and know that engineering is much more that what you probably think. There are so many directions you can go in engineering and it is truly a degree you can personalize to how you see yourself in the future.
I am personality quite involved in the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) club at the university and was able to join the executive team in my first year as a junior and now as an outreach coordinator. The community WISE built for me was one that was very welcoming and created a comfortable environment for me. It was great being able to be surrounded by so many smart and hardworking females in STEM, and my peers truly inspire me to be better versions of myself. Also, we have a great program called Schulich Chang Leaders which I am also a part of. Our goal is to help cultivate this welcoming environment further - especially with addressing diversity issues. The ESS (Engineering Student Society) also has a new committee called the Diversity and Advocacy Committee which has a similar goal in cultivating this culture further within the engineering community.
I love the people I am meeting and the new friends I'm making. I think it is fun being able to share this university experience with them, especially the engineering experience since it is a closer community and one that I am glad I have the pleasure of being in.