Have you ever wanted advice from accomplished female students from our very own campus? During this month, impressive female students from our university will share their stories of successes and failures. They will provide advice as to how they have achieved their goals, so stay tuned this month for the different stories these powerful women will share that will hopefully inspire you.
Priscilla A. Pedrosa
My name is Priscilla Pedrosa, I am a second-year Industrial Engineering and Project Management undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. At UPRM, I currently hold the position of Chief Marketing Officer for the National Society of Professional Engineers- UPRM Chapter and Project Manager for my Management minor practice course. Outside UPRM, I work with the non -profit organization “Cáritas of Puerto Rico” and as a mentor in the leadership and personal development area for high school students.
If I could sum up in a nutshell what took me to reach the positions I currently hold, I would use two words: passion and dedication. Ever since I started high school, my personal goal, apart from being an excellent student, has been to develop myself professionally and personally and inspire others to do the same. My involvement in organizations has been essential in this process; I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with extraordinary people who have inspired and helped me grow tremendously. At the same time, I’ve also given talks and mentored people who aspire to do the same.
I think my greatest accomplishment has been to be able to reach the point where I have a balance between school, family, friends, work, and personal time. I have to confess that it has taken me many years of frustrations, dedication, and countless cups of coffee. Sometimes I have days where I am extremely unbalanced, but I get back up on my feet because I know that when I have a balanced life, I feel extremely happy and confident.
(Priscilla pictured with members of the SHPE organization)
If you want to do something: believe you can, organize yourself, and work tirelessly. This way you will achieve anything! The real world is not an easy place to live in because you will have challenges, problems, and people who criticize you wherever you go. However, when you live with passion and dedication, you will find a way to deal with every obstacle since you are set on your goal. Don’t expect to achieve it on your own; learn how to build a good network of people who will support and make you grow as a person; they will be your support team. Trust me, in moments of frustration and stress, these will be the people who will push you to get back up on your feet. If you work towards this, I can assure you that you will wake up and go to sleep everyday with an amazing feeling of accomplishment.
María J. Grant
My name is María José Grant Tejada, I’m a second-year Chemical Engineer major with a minor in Business Administration. I have the pleasure to work alongside passionate students as the Executive Vice President of SHPE-UPRM. I love having a full agenda and keeping myself busy all the time. Whenever I have time to procrastinate, I use it to organize myself in a color-coded way. This helps me stay on top and in control of everything I need to do. I think I may be wired this way because I feel I work better under pressure. Don't let me fool you, I don’t limit myself to focusing on school and keeping my grades up while being a key player in one of our biggest engineering associations at UPRM. I also love to travel and get to know new places, new people, and their culture. I love the beach, hiking, running, and any other outdoor activity. Last but not least, I have no clue of how I would be able to keep it all under control without the support of my wonderful and incredible loved ones, including my amazing parents who have always been next to me in every step and decision I make they all keep me centered and focused on my goals. As a freshman straight out of high school, I knew I wanted to maximize all of the opportunities this new phase had to offer while also engaging with the campus community. Joining SHPE was a no brainer; however, I also decided to apply for the Big Brother Program since I wanted to have the exposure to inner workings. Throughout the duration of the program, I realized the association needed a change of course. They assigned us a mentor and a professional coach, to whom I let know of my concerns. I knew the potential an association such as this one could have, but we were not able to see the response or feedback from most students. After realizing this, and with some encouragement from my professional coach and program managers, I decided to be a key player in decision making for SHPE as part of our Presidential Branch; I decided to stay and be part of the change. First off, being one of the six freshmen chosen for the prestigious, professional, and intensive leadership development program offered by SHPE, the Big Brother Program was the start to my key decisions. All the skills I acquired through the program along with my personality, capabilities, and servant leadership led me to great connections and my first internship opportunity with Accenture. They offered me a position in their Houston office and also a place in the Accenture’s Student Empowerment Program; I became the first freshman out of UPRM to work for one of the biggest consulting companies, and to later maintain their presence and brand on campus as this year’s Accenture Campus Ambassador. Lately, I’ve been working with a Professor to develop workshops that are of benefit to different communities with the objective of creating conscious minds and making sure people are aware of the appropriate use of different technologies.
(Headshot of María) Do not undermine the power you hold inside, as it can drive you to make and accomplish incredible things. Stay in control of present situations while also being aware of changes around you. Follow your dreams desperately, and make good use of the resources available to you If you believe there are none, you aren’t looking hard enough; go find them! Continue the journey to becoming the best version of yourself so you never face the inquiry of “what if I had … ?” I once read a quote by Reese Witherspoon I like to live by that goes “What would happen if we were all brave enough to believe in our own ability, to be a little more ambitious?” So never-ever stop asking yourself “what can I do now?”