Student Insider: Sofia Aschettino

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Advice for Students Pursuing a Systems Engineering Degree:

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[li-row]Become Aware! Don’t let the name of the degree scare you away. Systems Engineering is not the most well known degree so when I first heard about it I didn’t think too much about it. Be sure to do some research on what the major consists of and, if you can, talk to an advisor or someone in the field who can help you get a better understanding.[/li-row]

[li-row]Choose Your Own Future! Don’t be focused on the “typical" occupations. When you read about possible jobs you can get with a systems engineering major you often read about the ones where people spend their career following one system somewhere, such as NASA. Don’t get me wrong -- that may appeal to some people, but just not me! I am using this major to land a job where I can utilize my technical and problem solving skills while capitalizing on my creativity and love of branding.[/li-row]

[li-row]Embrace Coding! When I walked into my first of four required Computer Science courses for my major I was beyond nervous. How could I ever sit down and code a program that worked? I had never even looked at code before, but I took a seat and I was quick to learn that I really enjoyed learning how to code. I was soon able to code programs that I could interact with on my computer screen.[/li-row]

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General Advice for College Students:

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[li-row]Join Clubs! Although during the fall of freshman year the last thing you may want to do is join a club, I highly advise you to check out some that might peak your interests. There are clubs on campus whose main purpose is to connect you with alumni and make you aware of possible opportunities and industries. Although I waited until my sophomore year, I am now a Co-chair of a Networking Trip to New York through the GW Women in Business undergraduate student club.[/li-row]

[li-row]Don’t Worry, Just Apply! Don’t be afraid to send your resume or cover letter for an internship that interests you. You may not be fully qualified, but you won’t know until you’ve tried. I landed my first internship in the spring of my freshman year because I saw a posting, liked it, and then just sent in my resume. Despite my lack of experience, I got an email about setting up a phone interview.  I am now back interning at the same company for the third year in a row![/li-row]

[li-row]Explore! Living on a college campus in Washington, DC, it doesn’t take me very much to step out and into something exciting. Even if it’s just to sit in a coffee shop in a different part of town, there’s nothing like a little people watching. If your school is not near a city, try to explore the surrounding town. You’ll see some pretty cool things and talk to some amazing people if you open yourself up to it![/li-row]

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