Monday, January 12, 2015

A Woman and Electrical Engineering

 I was given the opportunity to participate as a panel speaker at the International Women’s Day celebration. It was really an enriching experience, as I got to meet a lot of international students, and I learned about women from Malaysia, Chile, India and Saudi Arabia. We discussed the role of women in our countries and how they can be leaders of change in their communities. We also discussed the challenges that women face in each of their countries and what they do to overcome those challenges. Students and faculty members who attended the event were really excited by what we had to say, and many of them came up to me and told me how much our talks inspired them, which was very fascinating to me. I was really happy that I was able to do that.

This event helped me to become more involved in similar events and the clubs that organize them. Based on the panel discussion, I was asked to present the same topic at the Honor Society for International Scholars’ (Phi Beta Delta) induction ceremony. My presentation was also about women in Jordan, my experience in Jordan and the challenges that I faced when I was studying electrical engineering at the University of Jordan. People often asked why I chose electrical engineering as my major since it is hard for girls to study it. My answer was that's exactly why I chose it: because it is hard and challenging and will motivate me to work hard to do well. It is hard for everyone, not just girls. I realized after my presentation that this is a universal issue, and not just for women. We all face those kinds of challenges throughout our lives, and a lot of them are just obstacles other people put in our way through lack of support, destructive criticism or misconceptions about what we can or cannot do. We just need to see those challenges as incentives to do better and not let them prevent us from achieving our goals. I hope I was able to get this point across to everyone at the ceremony.

I am now working with Phi Beta Delta to bring more people to join this great honors society. It consists of a lot of enthusiastic people who care about international students and cultures. They are really encouraging, and I am excited to be among them.

Frida Kiriakos is a Jordanian Fulbrighter pursuing an MS Computer Science at California State University, Fullerton.

1 comment:

  1. Proud of you :) you make the world a better place by being in it