Advancing Women in Engineering

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Setting it Straight

MYTH: Engineers sit in a cubicle all day by themselves.

FACT: Engineering is by its very nature a collaborative endeavor. Teamwork, information sharing, communication are all keys to success. In fact, those engineers who can improve communication of the group are highly sought after by companies.

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MYTH:
People who want to study engineering have had programming experience in high school. They’re the kids who were taking apart computers at the age of 8. I’m the only one without programming experience so I shouldn’t be an engineer.

FACT: No experience is necessary to be an engineering student! Some students do have lots of programming experience but many do not. More important than programming experience is interest learning a new way of looking at and solving problems.

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MYTH:
I want a job that’s flexible and where I can make a difference. I don’t want to be stuck in a lab with other engineers.

FACT: A huge variety of work experiences are available to engineers both in and out of an office. Engineering students say that’s what they like best about studying engineering, it gives you the tools to do so many things and the ability to really see how you can make a difference in people’s lives. Improving water filtration systems, making cars safer, preventing neck injuries, are just a few ways you can make a difference as an engineer.

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Why Engineering?

Engineers are problem solvers and innovators. Being an engineer takes passion and creativity. Engineers design systems and products that directly improve people's lives and make the world a better place. They reduce pollution, bring computer technologies to new levels, design artificial organs, baseball bats, roller coasters, sound systems, space shuttles, and make movies -- there are limitless possibilities. With an engineering background, your future is totally your own choice, and you can go on to not only be an engineer, but also a doctor, lawyer, or any profession rooted in problem solving. With an engineering education, you can make a difference. You have the opportunity to turn ideas into reality.

What is Engineering Anyway?

Some describe engineering as the application of math and science to solve problems, but it is much more than that. Engineering requires understanding, not just of principles and technologies, but of people and communities. Engineers are also communicators; no plan to solve anything will be successful unless it is fully understood by those who will implement or create it. They talk with others in all different fields to test and implement their ideas. Engineers combine technology, creativity and problem solving skills to come up with solutions for the world’s problems.

Sound interesting? How can you become an Engineer?

Students come to Engineering with all different backgrounds, no prior experience is necessary! Of course, to solve problems an engineer needs to be resourceful, and often the necessary resources involve math and science, such as courses in physics or calculus. The world has a limitless amount of problems to solve, and with that, there is a different kind of Engineering for everyone.

Why Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania?

A Penn Engineering education combines theory with real-world practice. You’ll have access to renowned faculty and cutting-edge research. With six different Engineering programs, there are a wide variety of options available to you along with plenty of opportunity for interdisciplinary work both within Engineering and across the University.

Interested in coming to campus for a visit?

Daily tours of the Engineering complex are available, contact awe@seas.upenn.edu to learn about opportunities to meet with current students while you are on campus.

AWE Freshmen Pre-Orientation program

Offered for the first time in the Fall of 2008, this pre-orientation program brings together women in the incoming class to meet one another, interact with faculty and upper-class students, and get an introduction to Penn Engineering. Find out more information!

Coming to campus for Penn Previews? Come chat with us! Learn more here