Jill Joffe: Engineer Extraordinaire

When you think of the word “powerhouse,” what comes to your mind? (If you didn’t at least briefly think “mitochondria,” you’re lying.) I’m about to give you a definition/reference/best example ever if you couldn’t think of anything—and that is Jill Joffe. I got to know this lovely human through my sisterhood in Alpha Omega Epsilon, an engineering and technical science sorority. Though she studies aerospace engineering (and is graduating in May, which I am not happy about), she jokes that she has been called “deceptively normal*,” which is one thing she says is also true about her Auburn engineering family.

*deceptively normal (adj.): the ability to be a well-rounded, personable individual despite a stellar GPA, outstanding internship experience, and the age-old “engineers are introverted super-nerds” cliché

 

She’s the epitome of an Auburn woman, and everyone needs a Jill Joffe in her life. What makes her so amazing? Glad you asked…

 

She is the president (and one of the founders) of Humans of Auburn.

If you don’t follow Humans of Auburn on Instagram, do yourself a huge favor and do so right now. It’s eye-opening to read about the students who go to Auburn because we so often live in our own bubbles and see only what we want. Though many Auburn students fit the classic SEC student stereotype (nothing wrong with that at all!), there are so many people here with stories and talents so unique you wonder if they’re made up, and Humans of Auburn excellently captures the best parts of these beautiful humans and their stories.

Me: “So tell me a little about what made you get involved with Humans of Auburn."

J:Coming in as a freshman, I knew I would be very busy with engineering, but engineering wasn't the only thing I wanted to do. I really am a 'people-person,' and Humans of Auburn seemed like a great way to commit myself to spending time just interacting with people. From there, it's grown into so much more to me. I've been able to meet incredible people and have conversations I never would have otherwise had. When someone opens up to you, it's very humbling that they have chosen to share with you. Having that person's trust, not only to know their story, but to be the one to share it with the world, is a very real responsibility. You owe it to them to portray them accurately and with dignity. Humans of Auburn has been a huge influence on my Auburn experience, and it really has changed my perspective on interacting with people.”

Her role as president allows her to impact the next generation and hone her own leadership skills. Her face lit up when she told stories of people she has interviewed, and that enthusiasm is contagious (I may or may not have spent too much time going through the Instagram/Facebook accounts last night…).

Side note: Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Humans of Auburn will be featuring anyone who has experienced that firsthand or is close to someone who has. If you fit that description and would like your voice to be heard, email [email protected].

 

She volunteers with Cupola Ambassadors.

The Cupola Ambassadors represent the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering by leading prospective-student tours and working to promote, unify, and serve the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering in various other capacities. (Let’s be honest here; what high schooler wouldn’t choose Auburn if Jill got to lead his or her tour?)

Me: “How is it humanly possible to be talented in so many areas and not become overwhelmed?”

J: “Thank you! That really is very flattering; it's encouraging to hear. I try to be judicious with the responsibility I accept and not take on so much that the quality of my work will suffer. Beyond that, I really have one system I use. When I was a peer advisor in the Learning Community for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), I told the girls in that class there are only three things that will ever help you:

                              Are you having fun? Are you doing work?  Are you taking care of yourself?

If what you're doing doesn't fit into any of these categories, then it doesn't belong in your life. You want to be a happy, healthy, successful person. Redefine your idea of "productive" to align with that. If you need to relax, and taking a nap will help you chill out, do it. The only issue is when you're napping just to kill time, and you aren't getting anything out of it. Then it’s time to reevaluate.”

See what I mean by powerhouse?

 

She has a killer sense of humor.

An engineering student with a… sense of… humor? *gasp* 

That’s right; she’ll having you crying laughing in under five minutes—if she isn’t doling out advice that will leave you speechless at how deep it is.

 

Her loyalty runs deep.

Me: “How/when did you get involved in Alpha Omega Epsilon, and what do you love most about it?”

J: “I got involved during the spring semester of my freshman year. At that time, there were less than 20 people in the sorority. It's been so interesting over the past few years to watch us grow each semester, and to really see the direct effects of each girl's leadership. The commitment to sisterhood is probably what I love the most. You won't be best friends with everyone in your sorority, but you aren't supposed to be. You're family."

 

 

Her ambition is limitless, and she knows what she wants out of life.

Me: “You’ve had so many amazing opportunities at Auburn. Internships, leadership positions, not to mention an enviable GPA. How did you make it all happen?”

J: “I came to Auburn without a clue what I wanted to do. My approach to college was, "Ok, we're just going to pick a direction that looks meaningful and run in it." I have been extremely lucky to be surrounded by stellar friends, family, and faculty who have encouraged me and helped build me into who I am today.

Of course, many of her opportunities wouldn’t have happened if she didn’t get out there and hustle. She plans to attend graduate school for aerospace engineering after her graduation in May. Pretty great way to top off an educational journey, don’t you think?

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I hope Jill has inspired you to break out of your comfort zone and begin/continue your personal journey to crushing every part of your life in the best kind of way. If you have any questions regarding becoming involved in any of the aforementioned organizations, shoot me an email.