Jessica Kaskie, engineer-in-training, has a unique perspective that she brings to engineering, and she enjoys sharing what she has learned with students. This last week during an orientation session at Texas Tech, she presented her perspective of obtaining a degree and career in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math) as a first-generation graduate and female professional.

“Most eighteen-year old’s have never been introduced to anyone in the engineering or architecture profession,” Jessica said, “so I hope to make a great first impression and show them that what we do is amazing! I want them to be engaged, walk away with a better understanding of what an engineer does, and hopefully gain an interest in majoring in a STEM-related field.”

Jessica attended outreach events in high school that focused on females, minorities, and children from low-income families. She said this was the first time she was introduced to people with similar backgrounds “who were going against ‘the norm’ and earning STEM degrees.”

She said Texas Tech University has been a great resource for volunteer opportunities. The university staff match volunteers with events that fit their experiences and maximizes impact. She said she enjoys volunteering at Science, it’s a Girl’s Thing and Super Saturday events. There’s a variety of other events and competitions to choose from including those similar to what inspired her.

“Those students and professionals inspired me to go to college and receive a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering,” Jessica said. “In return, I hope to now show young adults in similar positions that it is completely possible to attain a degree, no matter what background you come from.”