"My experience with The GREEN Program shows that I care further than inside my classrooms at my university, and it is always worth mentioning in recruiting situations."
What’s your story? What doesn’t your resume tell us about you.
My resume shows the cities, the schools, and the companies; however, I don’t think it really reflects the major lifestyle changes I’ve seen over the last 10 years. At 16 I was accepted into Mississippi’s School for Math and Science (MSMS) where I learned that the world is actually much bigger than Mississippi, and I’d have the chance to see it if I excelled in school. So I challenged myself for those two years, and I realized I actually enjoy math and might be pretty good at it.
From there I was offered a full ride to University of Pennsylvania for Mechanical Engineering, and overnight I went from public school in Mississippi to Ivy League in the Northeast. You can imagine a slight culture shock. Junior year at Penn was the first time I ever went abroad, and at that point I was unleashed.
Fast forward three years, and now I’ve been to 19 countries between Europe, Asia, and the Americas. I live in California and have the ocean in my backyard, Silicon Valley in my front yard, and a community of young, tech-driven people surrounding me. Continuing on, I don’t think I can really anticipate what the next move is, but I’m sure my resume will provide some clues.
"Junior year at Penn was the first time I ever went abroad, and at that point I was unleashed."
How do you want to leave your impact on the world?
Throughout my career, I hope to contribute to the world’s newest technology for sustainable living. Transportation, energy consumption and generation, personal electronic devices – there are so many ways to change the future of sustainability through technology, and those ideas are what I think about and work on every day.
How has GREEN play a role in shaping your professional endeavors?
I went on the GREEN Program during a very mutable part of my education. I was a junior in university, and I couldn’t decide what industry I wanted to pursue. The GREEN Program launched me toward sustainability. After the program, I could recognize passion as a critical part of being successful in your career — it’s the thing in the background keeping you motivated through the day-to-day struggle — and during the program, I felt the passion in myself and my colleagues. I didn’t want to lose sight of that, so I sought out to find a company motivated by sustainability and found myself at Tesla Motors!
Tell us about your Capstone Project experience and initiative.
My capstone project was a theoretical technology for vehicles which captured the wind pressure against the body of the car and stored power for the drivetrain. The initiative took a young material science principal and applied it to electric vehicles.
What is your best piece of advice that you would give to a student interested in sustainable development?
Sustainable development is a huge umbrella for so many career paths. To get started, I suggest digging into the many aspects of sustainable development and narrowing down by technology, application, or skill set. I find most people are excited about sustainability as a whole, but you have to identify a niche where you can maximize your personal contribution.
You’re hosting an intimate dinner party. Select 3 figures you would invite.
Boyd Varty, Steven Pinker, and Bill Gates. By far I’m about to have the most interesting dinner party with men who have spent their lives studying nature, people, and technology respectively. It’s not a recipe for disagreement, just an interesting experiment on how the three might value the others’ priority.