Class of 2010
Hometown: Leominster, MA
Majors: Chemical Engineering & Spanish
Study Abroad: Centro Politécnico Superior, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, Fall 2008
Internship: IDOM in Bilbao, Spain, Spring 2009
Extracurriculars: Traveling, Ice Hockey, AIChE
Upon deciding my major, I began my college search through books in the high school guidance office. I found that many local schools offered chemical engineering, and was quite pleased that I could study so close to home. As I was completing my initial list of schools, I came across the International Engineering Program that URI offered. I had been taking Spanish since middle school and was intrigued by this new option. I followed up that discovery with some research of the program, and I quickly realized that it was a perfect fit.
In the IEP program, I am able to pursue my technical degree in chemical engineering while also improving my Spanish abilities. Although math and chemistry have always been my strengths, I’ve found myself captivated by Spanish poems and novels. In addition to grammatical and literary courses, Spanish IEP students take a Spanish business course that is designed to prepare them for a technical immersion. The ability of URI to combine the engineering discipline with language skills is truly unique.
I also had the great experience of living in the IEP and Texas Instrument Houses. After my freshman year in a general dorm, I decided that I wanted to join the IEP community. The camaraderie and constant strive for excellence by students in these houses really allowed me to flourish as both a student and as an individual. The variety of meals prepared by Chef Mark were absolutely delectable, and introduced me to many new foods. I look forward to living there again for my final year of studies.
I am currently helping to redesign a petrochemical plant for an engineering company in Bilbao, Spain. Despite my anxiety upon arrival, I have been able to communicate without problems. I really feel that URI and my semester studying abroad in Zaragoza, Spain prepared me well for this experience. My supervisors here have already begun to mention how valuable I could be to their company in the future with my English and Spanish abilities.
In addition to studying and working abroad, experiencing the culture and history in another country is absolutely fascinating. I have traveled throughout Spain and have made friends and memories that I will never forget. The IEP at URI has so much to offer. True, chemical engineering and Spanish are relatively common majors available from many schools. However, the interdisciplinary abilities of this program, including the semester and internship abroad, just cannot be matched. The IEP is preparing for the future. Wouldn’t YOU like to be a part of it?