Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Erin Smith

Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: McDonald, PA
High School: West Allegheny High School

Why you chose Pitt:

My first exposure to Pitt and engineering in general was from an event hosted for high school girls by Pitt Society of Women Engineers. I came with no idea what to expect and left in love with the school and program. (I was already in love with the city!) I could tell it was about friendship and motivation here, not competition. Everyone here wants you to succeed and make the world a better place, together.


Advice to a First Year Engineering Student:

You picked this major because it’s what you want to do, so start thinking of classes as the steps to your future goals, not road blocks slowing you down.


Extracurricular involvement and Future Goals:

I am very involved with many of the female engineering organizations on campus. I am a sister of  Phi Sigma Rho (social engineering sorority), very active in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and help with planning for the Pink Panther Mentorship Program for high school girls.

I have found great leadership opportunities in both as the VP of Service & Philanthropy and VP of Finance for Phi Sigma Rho and Secretary for Pitt SWE. After my freshman year, I spent two-weeks in Costa Rica through the Plus Three Program and I hope to study abroad again on the Engineering Design for Social Change trip in South Africa before my final semester. Sophomore year, I did a double co-op rotation with Johnson & Johnson, working at their manufacturing site in Lititz, PA. I am completing my third co-op rotation with Neville Chemical here in Pittsburgh.  Beyond engineering, I also play on an intramural soccer team. I hope to work for a humanitarian or consumer goods company and go into industry after graduation.