Mayra Pena // Senior, Construction Engineering & Management, Hometown: East Chicago, IN

"Everyone's journey to getting an engineering degree is unique — do not stress yourself out trying to compare your journey to those around you." 

Campus Involvement:
Beta Tau, Construction Engineering Fraternity - Vice President
Latinos in Science and Engineering (MAES) - Secretary
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) - General Member 

How has the Minority Engineering Program affected you as an engineering student? What do you get through MEP that you don't get from other programs on campus? 

I attended the 2017 Academic Boot Camp the summer before my first semester at Purdue. This program allowed me to meet other engineering students who became some of my best friends at Purdue. 

The Minority Engineering Program has played a huge role in my success at Purdue. Being able to go to the Academic Success Center and study with other engineering students was a game changer my freshman year. From the many tutors for the First-Year Engineering courses to the upper classmen who were in the center studying, everyone was always willing and happy to help if I found myself struggling.

MEP has become a network of support throughout my time at Purdue. The staff make it known that they care for each of our milestones and are also there to listen and help guide us when things are not going as planned.

What is your advice for incoming minority engineering students?

Dedication, persistence, and hard work is the key to being successful in your courses — being "smart" does not cut it.

What are your plans after you graduate?

After I graduate in May, I will be joining Burns and McDonnell Engineering Co. as a Construction Coordinator at their Chicago office. In this role I will be working on the development and construction of Design-Build projects throughout the Midwest.

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