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Samantha Shelby: Succeeding in a Man’s World

What do you think of when you hear that someone is majoring in engineering? Typically, we associate engineering with being incredibly challenging. Engineering is often sterotyped as containing a lot of math and most importantly, being male dominated. As a freshman, Samantha Shelby may be considered a minority in her field, however, in her short time at UC, she has already proven to be a force to reckon with. Continue reading to learn about her journey of becoming a chemical engineer and her recent job offer from L’Oréal.

Name: Samantha Shelby  

Age: 19 

Year: Freshman 

Major: Chemical Engineering 

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio  

Organizations you are a part of: Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity, AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), Bearcat Buddies 

Hobbies: Volunteering, working out, hanging out with friends, and exploring Cincinnati 

Why did you choose to go to UC?: 

I originally never wanted to go to UC. I’m from the Westside of Cincinnati; so living only 25 minutes away was a turn off. However, I knew UC had a great engineering program so I had to at least tour the campus. As soon as I stepped foot onto campus, I had a feeling that this is where I belonged. I decided that even though I don’t live that far away, I would live on campus to get the full college experience and be independent.  

What made you want to join a sorority?

The main reason I joined a sorority was because females are a minority in engineering. I needed a way to be around women who had similar personalities as myself. I decided that I would try fall recruitment to get a little more information on the sororities on campus. During recruitment, I really connected with the women of Theta Phi Alpha and found my new home on UC’s campus. Joining a sorority has been one of the best decisions that I have made in college thus far. I have been able to expand my network by being involved in the Greek community, which has also led me to be able to connect with other people and organizations outside of UC. 

What made you want to become a chemical engineer? 

In sixth grade, I figured out that I have a passion for science. Throughout my whole academic career from then on, science has always been so interesting to me. I originally wanted to be a high school science teacher with my passion. However, I wanted to be able to create a product that will help society as well. That’s what then changed my pathway from teaching to engineering. With engineering, I would be able to constantly work with a team and I would always being able to use my communication skills. I would have to present my projects to my peers and others, which would allow me to use my outgoing personality. But overall, I would be able to help others by using my creativity and problem solving skills. Engineering gives me the freedom and ability to turn my ideas into a reality, with the help of fellow engineers.  

You recently received a job offer from L’Oréal , what type of work will you be doing there?

I will not be receiving my job description and department until the beginning of summer so unfortunately I do not know exactly what I will be doing yet. But, the type of work that I could be doing is very vast. I could be working with the processing branch, which would involve me taking the raw chemicals and actually mixing them in the right proportions, with the right processes to make the actual product. I could be in the manufacturing department, which would include working with the way the product is transferred from the raw product into its individual packaging, then finally, packing and boxing the products up to ship them out to the retailers. I could also be working in the logistics field, with safety, efficiency or quality aspects of the plant. As you can see, this opportunity will allow me to be able to explore many different branches of chemical engineering.  

Did you always want to work with cosmetics? What about working for L’Oréal appealed to you? 

At this L’Oréal branch, I will actually be working with many different types of hair products. I’ve always wanted to work with the processing and manufacturing side of chemical engineering. This is exactly why L’Oréal appealed to me. The local branch would allow me to surround myself with exactly what I would like to do for the rest of my life, so it seemed like it’s where I belonged. L’Oréal has great values and cares for their employees, which is very appealing for a co-op student. L’Oréal also has had a long relationship with UC’s co op program and I was able to talk to others who have co-oped there. I heard nothing but positive feedback.  

What is your dream job?

I’m not quite sure what my dream job is yet. I think that’s why UC’s co-op program is incredible because it gives us all the opportunity to get out in the work field five times before we graduate. Hopefully during one of my five rotations of co-op, I can figure out what my dream job is. My dream goal though, is to create a product or process that will directly or indirectly positively affect the lives of others. As long as I have a job where I can work towards my goal, I will be happy and have my dream job.  

What is your favorite place to eat on campus?

Quick Mick’s! I never knew about this place until second semester, and it has been a hidden gem for me. Whenever I’m running from the library to a class, I just stop there to grab something quick and eat it on the go. Definitely a convenient place that has been a time and lifesaver!

Hello! I am a current sophomore here at The University of Cincinnati where I am pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in journalism with an e-media minor. I am also planning on getting a PR certificate as well. When I'm not writing or watching the news (I know, I'm a grandma) you can find me eating a burger or drinking a nice glass of Kroger chocolate milk.
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