Crushing Stereotypes: Lindsey Rowland

Lindsey Rowland is crushing one stereotype after the next. She’s a woman in STEM, an active member of Alpha Chi Omega, publicity captain of the Concrete Canoe Club, and successfully landed a job for after graduation as a Project Engineer at the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. All things a lot of people would say don’t go together. But Lindsey’s enthusiasm, drive, and determination didn’t let these stereotypes get in her way.


Hometown: Encinitas, CA

Major: Civil/Environmental Engineering

Year: Senior

Favorite quote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going get better. It’s not” –Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Spirit animal: Elephant. I’m loud and obnoxious and I break things.

When did you decide you wanted to be an engineer?

I think it was my junior year of high school. In math that day we learned how to take a derivative and plot it. Later that day in physics we were learning about frequencies and the different graphs of frequencies and I made the connection that the graphs were derivatives of each other and my teacher said, “Now you’re thinking like an engineer.”…that’s when I was like wow I’m really smart. That’s what sold me.

What challenges have you faced in college?

For me, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced has been coming to the understanding that everyone around you has their own story that you don’t know anything about. You don’t know what is going on behind closed doors.

I have also learned to stand up for myself and say no to things that I don’t want to do and making sure I get what I deserve because no one else is going to fight for me but me.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My grandfather, Sherwood Rowland. He discovered that a chemical called CFC was binding with ozone to destroy the ozone layer. After his discovery, there were assassination attempts on him, but never stopped fighting for to get his work published. Other than that, he is just a normal grandpa.

What is your advice for young women and girls wanting to pursue engineering (or any other STEM career)?

Never let the fact that you are a woman hold you back from doing a “man’s job” because we can often do it better. In my experience, I have been very fortunate because the men I have been surrounded by in my field have been allies in my success.

Find something you like, figure out what you like about it, and explore it. Whether that be science, technology or math, find ways you can explore those options because the things you can do in STEM are endless. Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something and don’t be afraid to get something wrong, because learning is what happens when you don’t know what’s going on.

What are you most excited about for after graduation?

I’m most excited about the fact that I’m coming to this place in my life where my next step is not predetermined and the options are endless for the first time. What I will consider the majority of my life is just beginning and I have the tools to live the life that I want live.

What are you most nervous about?

Making friends! How do adults make friends?! How do I pay taxes, or find a doctor or a dentist? How do I manage a checkbook? I don’t know…these are the things that keep me up at night.

So, what’s next?

This past summer I interned with the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company in San Francisco doing corporate construction. At the end of my internship they offered me a full time position as a Project Engineer; so I will be moving to San Francisco after graduation.

Anything else you want readers to know?

Don’t take life too seriously. You only have one life to live and you don’t want to look back on it and have regrets. So do the things you want to do and don’t care what other people think.


The pictures used in this article are not the property of Her Campus or the author.