Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Ashlinn Sweeney

Major: Bioengineering
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA
Bethlehem Catholic High School

Why you chose Pitt:

I started visiting Pitt back when I was 8 years old and have been in love with it ever since. My three older siblings all graduated from Pitt carrying a diploma and tons of great experiences. While I already knew I liked the campus and location, I still wanted to make sure it was a good fit for me before I committed. When I came to the admitted students’ day I didn’t just learn about the awesome academics that the Swanson School of Engineering has to offer, but I also got to see the collaborative environment and culture of sustainability first hand. The info session and tour helped me see my place not only as a college student, but also as an engineer.


Advice to a First Year Engineering Student:

The best advice I got when I came to college was from my dad when he said, “Ashlinn, you are there to learn.” This may seem pretty obvious, but it is really easy to get overwhelmed, especially in the first few weeks when you are worried about making friends, joining clubs, and going to parties. My advice would be to find what you are passionate about and run with it Because the Swanson School of Engineering has such great academics, it is easy to get excited and motivated by all the amazing people and work that is going on here. Once you have this focus, everything else falls into place because the connections you make are based on what is important to you.


Extracurricular involvement and Future Goals:

I am involved in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), Open Hand Ministries, School 2 Career, Plant to Plate, and Panther CrossFit. I am the Middle School Outreach co-chair for SWE in which I help plan events to teach Middle School girls about engineering, and I get to have fun with them! I also love going to SWE’s social events to hang out with and meet some rad gals. BMES is a great resource for anyone who is thinking of bioengineering because all the officers are super accomplished and good at answering questions in an informal setting. Open Hand Ministries and School 2 Career are volunteer opportunities that I found from doing alternative spring break through Pitt Serves. Open Hand Ministries is an organization that builds houses to empower marginalized groups in Pittsburgh through home ownership. At School 2 Career I tutor local at-risk high schoolers. Panther CrossFit is one of the great options to stay active once you come to Pitt, and a great way to meet friends outside of engineering. During the rest of my time here at Pitt, I hope to gain as much research experience as I can while also taking advantage of the awesome study abroad opportunities that Pitt has to offer. I am also interested in experiencing industry before I graduate, either in the form of an internship or a co-op. After graduating from Pitt, I hope to pursue a PhD in a field related to Bioengineering.