Graduate Student Alumni Spotlight (Mechanical Engineering)
Student Name: Sobia Farooq
Program: Master's in Mechanical Engineering
Employer: General Electric
Position: Design Engineer
What attracted you to this field?
My father is a handy man and I always wanted to be able to take things apart and figure out what was wrong with them just like him. I enjoyed math and science classes in school and resolving challenging problems. Taking all this into consideration, engineering felt like the right career path for me. I was not sure though if I wanted to do electrical or mechanical engineering and I figured that out pretty quickly after my first semester at UT Tyler.
Why did you choose UT Tyler?
I always say UT Tyler chose me. I was attending a community college in Oklahoma and was looking for four year universities that would offer merit based scholarship to International students. Disappointed by my search, I was at a point where I was thinking about switching from engineering to business because of the high tuition cost of engineering universities for international students. Then one fine day, I got a letter from UT Tyler informing me that I qualified for their merit based scholarship and it would also qualify me for in-state tuition. I applied and got accepted right away.
What do you like most about UT Tyler?
The small class sizes at UT Tyler allowed me to have one on one interaction with all of my professors. Since we had a fixed schedule for engineering classes, all the students in my graduating class took the same classes every semester which allowed us to bond and learn to work effectively as a team. The close interaction with professors and my fellow students created a fun environment to learn and I never felt alone or lost.
What are your career aspirations?
I want to continue to build on my mechanical design experience and become a technical design expert along with teaching university level classes in my area of expertise.
In terms of community and outreach, I’m currently the Treasurer of the professional SWE section and in future I would like to hold a leadership role at regional or national level.
What's your work experience?
During my graduate studies at UT Tyler, I was working as a graduate assistant at the TxAIRE research lab which got me interested in indoor air quality field. My graduate thesis was focused on thermal comfort analysis and I’ve been working with my graduate professor, Dr. Fredericka Brown, to publish my research in a scientific journal.
After graduating with my masters, I worked at a construction company as a Project Engineer, which allowed me to gain valuable experience in project management.
Currently, I’m working as a Design Engineer at GE Appliances and part of the new product introduction team in the laundry department.
Do you have any advice to pass along to other students interested in this program?
Engineering is a fun and exciting career option with opportunities to solve real world problems and make a difference. It’s a demanding academic program but don’t get discouraged by that. Real world problems are a lot simpler than the problems professors give us for homework.
Find out more about our MS Mechanical Engineering