#ILookLikeAnEngineer: Menna Elfouly
1) Why did you decide to attend UConn Engineering?
To start with, UConn seemed to have an amazing Engineering program with a great Senior Design reputation that inspired me to be a part of the UConn community. Besides academics, I simply fell in love with the beauty of the campus as soon as I visited it, and I appreciated the diversity of students, which was visible from day one. Also having such delicious ice cream on campus is definitely a plus!
2) When you’ve told people you were studying engineering, what kinds of looks or reactions have you gotten?
Luckily people always try to say something nice such as ‘Good for you!’, however, most of them seem to get surprised. They are surprised when I say I am studying engineering and even more surprised when they know it is mechanical engineering. I just don’t appreciate comments such as ‘Isn’t it a hard major?’ because it may question my abilities. Still, some people say it with good intentions because they may want me to take it easy. On the other hand, I have got such great reactions too. Some people get so excited and happy for me that I am studying engineering, isn’t that adorable?
3) Why did you decide to pursue engineering? Was there a specific moment or person who inspired you?
I was raised in a family that had a couple engineers and just seeing them talk so passionately about it made me passionate about engineering as well. Then I took multiple advanced courses in high school to explore engineering further. I enjoyed these courses a lot and I did well in them. That’s when I knew engineering could be a good fit for me. Sometimes I had doubts that it may be too challenging but my father always helped me to get over my doubts.
4) Tell us about your background. Where do you come from and what’s your family like?
My parents are Egyptians and I lived in Egypt for a while, then we moved back to the U.S. for school. My father is a UConn Ph.D. student alumnus, he studied computer science is currently a university professor. My mother is a kindergarten teacher. I also have three brothers, two of them go to UConn as well. The first one is a sophomore mechanical engineering major, and the second one is a freshman political science major. My youngest brother is in elementary school. I am also married and I live with my husband, who is a hospital pharmacist. Overall, I have an amazingly supportive family that helped me accomplish all the things I have accomplished today. They are loving, well-meaning and generous. They gave me strength and independence, and I am forever grateful to have them.
5) What are your career goals?
As I am currently a senior I have been looking for full-time jobs to gain some experience in the aerospace field that I have always been passionate about. Maybe later down the road, I may consider graduate school depending on which discipline I choose to specialize in.
6) What’s your favorite experience been so far in your time at UConn Engineering?
I appreciate every experience I have had at UConn Engineering because it made me the engineer I am today. However if I would classify one of them as a favorite, it would definitely be my senior design project.
7) If you could start over, and go back to your senior year of high school, do you think you still would have chosen to pursue engineering?
Definitely, I wouldn’t even change a slight detail. Engineering is not only an education that you get, but it is also a way of thinking that you learn to master that carries on with you for the rest of your life.