My name is Melody Caron and I am a junior from Austin, Texas. I graduated from Cedar Park High School and came to SMU where I am currently pursuing my bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering.
I chose the Lyle School of Engineering because of the opportunities available to undergraduate engineering students and the supportive attitude of the faculty/staff. The advisors, professors, and the rest of the faculty at SMU actually want to get to know every student and help you in your personal journey towards success. Every student is encouraged to pursue their vision, whether that's getting an internship with a leading engineering firm or personally designing and creating a new, innovative product. Someone here is excited and willing to support your endeavors.
For the past two semesters, I interned at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a semiconductor design company whose graphics and computing technologies power a variety of solution that drive the Internet and businesses. As a Product Development Co-op Engineer, I tested and analyzed cutting-edge x86 processors using industry standard testing equipment. My role as a co-op was interesting because I was able to see two sides of testing: characterization and debug. I generated reports and analysis of processor performance, but I also "got my hands dirty" and used my problem-solving skills and judgment to actually debug issues. As an undergraduate student, it's a truly awesome feeling to contribute to a global corporation and know that you can make an impact, even before you graduate with a bachelor's degree. The Lyle School of Engineering prepared me for this internship because it gave me the technical background, problem-solving skills, and social skills to work with a team in a technical setting to develop solutions and accomplish my goals.
My SMU experience wouldn't be the same without all of the organizations that I am actively involved in. Currently, I am President of the SMU Ballroom Dance Club, V.P. of Internal Affairs for Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a Pledge Trainer in Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity, a member of Ambassadors for Prospective Engineering Students and an Upperclassman President's Scholar.
Ballroom dancing is a passion that I discovered on a whim during my first year at SMU, and I've been in love ever since. I was surprised to realize how many engineers are involved in the ballroom dance club, but it makes sense upon reflection. Engineers are the type of people who love trying new things and aren't afraid to take risks and throw themselves out there. This attitude is perfect for ballroom dancing because it takes real courage to dance with a partner and move your body in ways that you probably aren't used to. Furthermore, engineers should be proficient in math and be able to count up to 8. . . a skill that is extremely useful when dancing to a beat.
Choosing SMU is the best decision I've made thus far in my life. The people I've met and the experiences I've had over the past few years have shaped me into the person I am today and prepared me for the future. I've had a really fantastic time in college, but I'm also looking forward to life after college now that I know I'm prepared for life in the "real world" as an engineer.