I chose SMU for several different reasons. The initial reason was that the Lyle School of Engineering appreciates undergraduate students just as much as graduate students. This is evident in the amount of resources that are dedicated to help undergraduate student gain engineering experiences. Another reason I came to SMU was that I got the feeling that everyone was here to help me to succeed. There are so many resources offered, such as the ALEC and the Help Center in Caruth, to help students with their class work. They really look out for students and genuinely care about their success.
In addition, Lyle is very interested in developing its students as a whole. One of Lyle's many goals is to develop well-rounded engineering students. They want to help develop technical skills as well as interpersonal skills. Last but not least, the biggest reason that I decided to come to SMU is OPPORTUNITY-- SMU is well connected with Dallas and I felt that the school would offer me many opportunities to do things that I've never done before.
In the summer of 2011, I interned at BNSF Railway Headquarters in Fort Worth, TX. I worked in the Technology Services - Telecommunication department. I was assigned a project in which I was to automate the process it took to create 15 different reports for the use of telecom directors and managers. The Lyle School of Engineering helped prepare me with the technical skills that I needed to write the Java Web Application (it was over 9500 lines of code). SMU also prepared me with the knowledge of how to conduct myself in a professional environment, with tips of what to do and what not to do, how to dress, and how to help myself stand out. With this success I was afforded the opportunity to work at BNSF Railway again in the summer of 2012 and experienced even more success with a full-time employment offer upon graduation. I was able to succeed during my internships due to my interactions as a member of engineering organizations such as Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers, of which I am now the President.
My plan after graduation is to go to graduate school at SMU through the 4+1 program that will allow me to graduate with my master's degree in Spring 2014. Following graduation, I will work as an engineer designing digital systems and developing applications.