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Ahlgren, Emma

Major: Mechanical Engineering, Hometown: Media, PA

Why did you choose Pitt? 

I never had a “dream school” and I felt very unsure throughout my college selection process. What made Pitt stick out to me was the variety 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 the 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 past few years, I’ve studied abroad, completed the co-op program, mentored younger students through community outreach programs, refined my interest in bioengineering, and met countless inspiring and encouraging people – so I think I’ve made the right choice!

 

Advice for First-Year Engineering Students

Try to meet and get to know upperclassman engineers (through one of the many engineering student organizations). One of my favorite things about joining SWE was the chance to talk to to a ton of older students who knew exactly what freshman year is like and are overflowing with good advice. It’s easy to become completely absorbed with your classes and forget that there’s a life beyond your first year. Talking with people on co-op or pursuing full-time jobs helped me keep perspective and showed me just how many opportunities there are after graduation.

Extracurricular Involvement and Other Campus Jobs

 I have been a member of the Society of Women Engineers since my freshman year, and this year I am serving as the Treasurer. I love participating in our outreach events, especially SWE++, which is a program that teaches middle school girls how to code in Python. The summer after my freshman year, I studied abroad in South Korea through Pitt’s Plus3 program. I am also part of Tau Beta Pi (the engineering honor society), the Red Cross Club, and work as a biomedical technician in the Artificial Heart Program at UPMC.

Plans for the Future

I hope to continue to explore opportunities in bioengineering and work in the medical device industry after graduation. My final co-op rotation was with Boston Scientific in an industry that I feel very excited and passionate about, and I’m looking forward to pursuing work experiences in the medical field throughout my senior year and beyond.