Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Emma Ahlgren

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Media, PA
High School: Penncrest High School

Why you chose Pitt:

I never had a “dream school” and I felt very unsure throughout m college selection process. What made Pitt stick out to me was the multitude of engineering departments, the support systems of the co-op and study abroad offices and the experience of living in a city. These qualities made Pitt an obvious choice when deciding where to apply – but what ultimately made me decide to attend were th attitudes and actions of the people I met. The students were so friendly, enthusiastic and supportive and I wanted to be in an environment that promoted collaboration over competition. Over the course of my first year, I’ve chosen a department, studied abroad, explored museums, concerts and vibrant neighborhoods thanks to my free bus pass, and met countless inspiring and encouraging people – so I think I’ve made the right choice!

Advice to a First Year Engineering Student:

I would encourage every freshman to try to meet and get to know upperclassman engineers (e.g. through one of the many engineering student organizations). One of my favorite things about SWE is that it has introduced me to a ton of older students that know exactly what I’m going through and are overflowing with good advice. It’s easy to become completely absorbed with your classes and forget that there’s a life beyond freshman year. Talking with people who are on co-op or pursuing full-time jobs has helped me keep perspective and shown me just how many opportunities there are after graduation. Additionally - on a purely logistical note - assignments almost always take more time than you initially think!

Extracurricular involvement and Future Goals:

I am a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and this year I am serving as the Graphic Designer. I also volunteer with the Red Cross Club and am a member of CHAARG (an exercise group). The summer of 2019, I was able to study abroad for two weeks in South Korea as part of the Plus3 program. My future goals are to participate in a co-op to help narrow down which aspect of MechE I’d like to pursue, as well as another international experience – I would love to study clean energy grids in Scandinavia or learn about engineering for social change in South Africa.