Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Kiara Lee

Major: Bioengineering
Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia
High School: Stone Bridge High School

Why you chose Pitt:

 I chose Pitt due to the out-of-the-classroom experiences available and the amount of support. When I visited the engineering school they mentioned co-op, study abroad, and research, which other schools did not really mention, or at least emphasize. I knew I wanted to study abroad and when I mentioned that on other school visits they would say that it was extremely hard to study abroad as an engineering major. At Pitt they said the opposite. In terms of the amount of support, there are many resources academically for help in your classes, the EXCEL program, the Honors college, advisors, and more to help with the transition into college, and many clubs within and outside of the engineering school to explore your interests and provide a stress relief outside of classes.

Advice to First Year Engineering Student:

My biggest advice would be don't be afraid to ask for help, from your teachers, students, or advisors. People come in thinking they need to know it all and have it all together, but engineering is truly a group effort and there are a lot of supportive people and programs to help with the transition.

Extracurricular involvement (i.e. co-op, international education, clubs) and or Future Goals:

The summer after my freshman year I participated in the study abroad program Plus3 where we went to Chile. My second study abroad experience was the summer after my sophomore year when I went to Cusco, Peru for 2 weeks for the Engineering the Americas study abroad program. That same summer I went to UNC-Chapel Hill to do research internship in their pharmacology department working on pancreatic cancer cells. The following fall I went to the Chicago area for my first co-op rotation at Baxter Healthcare where I worked as a systems engineer on their dialysis machines. During the next semester I studied abroad for 6 months in Madrid, Spain where I took 4 engineering classes. Upon returning I went back to Baxter Healthcare for the summer and will finish my final rotation there in their Drug Development sector in the Spring of 2017.

Extracurricular involvement and or Future Goals:

When I'm actually at Pitt I am a part of the Pitt Dance Ensemble, National Society of Black Engineers, and a writer for Pitt's chapter of Spoon University (a foodie website targeted towards college students).


Once I graduate in 2018 I plan on attending graduate school for a PhD in pharmacology. I have an interest in global medicine as well, specifically in Latin America. Honestly I'm just trying to find a way tie all of my random interests together, but Pitt has provided me with all of the tools I need to succeed.