Melissa Reeves

Electrical Engineering Student 
Senior, Northeastern University

How did you choose engineering?
“My environmental science teacher became my mentor during my sophomore year of high school. One day in class she was talking about engineering. When I looked into it, I found that I had a lot of the qualities that an engineer needs: a love of problem solving and a strong background in math and science. So I figured I’d give it a try!”

How did you choose your specialty?
“I was in computer engineering at first because I’d been really interested in computers since sixth grade. (I would take apart my keyboard and the hard drive, and my mother would go crazy!) Later I realized I was more interested in computer hardware than in software and programming. That led me to electrical engineering.”

What made you choose your current engineering program?
“They have a great co-op program that lets you gain lots of practical work experience as part of your education. But honestly, when I read about the co-op and the curriculum and the available campus activities, something just clicked and I knew it was the right place for me.”

How much do you collaborate with other people in your studies?
“We collaborate all the time. If we didn’t, we’d be lost! And once you get out into real-world engineering, it’s not just going to be one engineer working on one problem. Collaboration is important. And that means communication skills are really important. You have to be able to present your ideas effectively.”

Do you have a favorite engineering project that you’ve worked on?
“My favorite is this project in my design course. It’s an automation system that lets you monitor your home through your cell phone. For example, you can send a command to your cell to find out if you left the back door open, then send another command that will actually lock the door.”

Any advice for high school girls looking at engineering programs?
“It’s important to talk to current students. You can talk to a professor or a dean of the college, too, but a student will give you the real deal about what it’s like. Get a whole bunch of different perspectives if you can, and remember that not all programs are the same.”


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