The College of Engineering & Computing (CEC) is proud of its students’ commitment to research, study, and accomplishments in the classroom and beyond. Meet undergraduate student, Desiree Dominguez.
Name: Desiree Dominguez
Hometown: Miramar, Florida
Degree/major: Computer Science
Why did you choose FIU College of Engineering and Computing (CEC)?
I chose FIU CEC because of its innovative education, strong community, and research. FIU provides me the opportunity to obtain an online bachelor’s degree in Computer Science while I simultaneously conduct research in another state.
As an online student, FIU provides assistance with resources including tutoring and writing help through the writing center via Zoom. The McNair Scholars and Flit-GAP Program have also provided me with a virtual sense of community and prepared me for doctoral studies through workshops and seminars.
Why did you choose your major?
I chose Computer Science because I saw this discipline as an avenue to learn machine learning and use robotics to find solutions to real-world problems in the healthcare and transportation industries, to name a few.
Did you always want to be an engineer?
I did not always want to be an engineer. When I was younger, I wanted to go into medicine, but after a few rotations volunteering at the local hospital, I realized this was not my intended path.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to pursue my doctorate in Computer Science and use robotics to help people with disabilities. Additionally, I plan to continue working with non-profit organizations and expose underrepresented communities to fields in STEM.
What clubs, student organizations or extracurricular activities do you recommend or are you part of? Internships?
I recommend the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers for STEM students looking for community. I am currently an undergraduate researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
What has been the most challenging thing you’ve experienced as an engineering student (so far)?
The most challenging thing I have experienced as an engineering student is managing my time. Navigating classes, being part of organizations and networking all require excellent time management skills.
What has been the most rewarding thing you’ve experienced as an engineering student (so far)?
I have enjoyed helping other engineering students and working with K-12 programs. Mentoring first and second-year engineering students including assistance with navigating internships and undergraduate experience/graduate school applications has been rewarding. Working with Great Minds in STEM and STEM Santa Fe has awarded me the privilege to provide workshops to students in grades K-12.
Any advice to prospective students thinking of majoring in engineering?
The advice that I have for prospective students that are thinking about majoring in engineering is that although the classes and long study nights will be challenging, keep going because it is worth it!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a student?
The best advice I’ve received as a student was from my grandmother. She said to me, “Sigue pa’lante”! Keep Going!
If you could have lunch/dinner with a famous engineering pioneer, whom would it be? Why?
If I could have lunch with a famous engineering pioneer it would be with Dr. Kat Echazarreta. I admire her doctoral journey and enjoy watching her engineering educational videos.
When you’re not being an engineering student, what do you like to do?
When I am not an engineering student, I enjoy disconnecting from screens. I stay active (e.g., hiking and ice skating), play video games, engage with my dog, and cook.