Ana Carolina Soffia Dias

Sophomore, Biomedical Engineering

Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil

What does it mean to be a minority studying engineering at Purdue?

It means that you are successful and incredibly smart. You have come a long distance to make your dreams come true, you are immersed in a culture that is not your own, competing with people who are from this country, learning in their language, and fighting any prejudices that may be held against you while making new friends.

Why did you choose to study engineering here at Purdue?

I chose to study here because it was the top ranked university for biomedical engineering in the US. When I visited, I could see the diversity present on campus, the seriousness of students, and the family feel promoted by the faculty.

Do you have advice for a prospective Hispanic student looking at Purdue? What do you wish you would have known?

I miss my family and friends, but I do not regret choosing Purdue. I know that I am provided with the resources to grow, and I am being challenged every day. I can see the mental strength I am developing and I know I am being made into a competent professional. The diversity here is unbelievable! There are people here from all over the world, some students who had never left their home country before are living here. You will grow so much as a person as well, there are so many clubs and groups that you can participate in. 

What is something you would have done different during your first year? (If this is your first year, what would you have done differently before coming to Purdue?)

Go to Boiler Gold Rush! I regret not going so much. Everyone seemed to form bonds with their group, some still have dinner together weekly. I participated in the Engineering Academic Boot Camp (ABC), organized by the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) and it was one of the best decisions I made. I can say for sure that I feel at home when I'm with MEP. ABC gave me a group to talk to, and the program is really my source of support. I met my boyfriend at ABC too. 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time when I can dig deep into my roots and remember my family, think of my origins, and reflect on my past. My family, mom, grandmother, etc., all went through different life experiences and challenges, but they made it through. I am healthy, unique, and successful, and it is all because of my culture and my family. It also gives me the chance to strengthen my community and realize that I am definitely not alone, there are other people who think like I do and who do things that I do, people who speak the same language I speak at home with my family.

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