Sneha Sinha is a fourth year Industrial Engineer at Oregon State University and the face behind the blog, EngineerLikeALady. Throughout Sneha’s undergraduate career, she’s focused on diversifying her experiences while also bringing awareness to the topics she feels are most important. She’s mastered the strategic balance of exploring new avenues while staying true to what she believes in. Through these InternXpert interviews, we hope you find inspiration through the insightful knowledge of students like Sneha. Read more below about Sneha’s experiences and her exciting, new GLAM+GROW segment!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How you chose your major, why you felt inspired to create GLAM + GROW, etc.:
My name is Sneha Sinha, and I’m a fourth year Industrial Engineer at Oregon State University, graduating this fall. I started as a mechanical engineer, but switched over to industrial engineering soon when I realized it was the perfect blend of management/business and engineering. The first year, I really struggled with my major, specifically with math and science. I especially struggled with imposter syndrome and feeling like I didn’t belong in engineering, because I didn’t see many people that looked like me in my classes and genuinely believed that I was the only person having a hard time. The reason I’ve been empowered to stay in engineering and reach new heights has been because of an incredible support system of supportive and inspiring friends, mentors, family, and role models. I started my blog EngineerLikeALady because I wanted to share my growth and experience, and I found such an incredible community. I created the Glam+Grow livestream series because I wanted to share these stories of powerful women who are also just normal women, because hearing one another’s experiences really validates our own experiences as well. So, Glam+Grow! Glam to normalize and embrace femininity in STEM, and Grow to emphasize the growth we experience when we come together to celebrate and uplift one another.
If you could change anything about what you’ve done during your time at university so far, what would it be? What have you been most proud of during this time?
I honestly don’t think I would change anything. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve dedicated myself wholeheartedly to soaking up all the new knowledge and experiences I could, and I definitely believe that I’ve accomplished that. I’ve prioritized expanding my worldview and committed myself to social justice learning (and there is so much more to go!) I’ve maintained leadership roles in a cultural association and an engineering student council, worked three student jobs, and even DJed for our college’s radio station! My advice to anyone in college is to do exactly that - put yourself out of your comfort zone, try everything you can, spend time listening to new voices, and create learning in different environments. College is about so much more than what happens in the classroom; the real learning happens when you pursue experiential learning through professional development opportunities, cultural centers, internships, student clubs, social organizing, the list goes on. Treat every day with purpose and value, and take care of yourself while you do it all!
Have you completed any internships so far? If so, how has it helped you develop with your STEM major?
I completed an operations management internship at a Target Fulfillment Center last year, and was selected as a Technology Summer Scholar at Deloitte Government & Public Sector (GPS) Consulting. Getting experience in the workplace is extremely impactful because it allows you an opportunity to take all the theoretical skills you have covered in class to the real world and apply it to unique and dynamic scenarios. My favorite part has simply been networking with people at my internship and hearing about their journeys as well as day to day experiences at work. After my first operations management internship with Target, I went back to my industrial engineering major with a refreshed sense of excitement. I noticed that I viewed my coursework through a different lens once I had experience with real world applications.
What current issue(s) do you think is important to highlight to bring awareness toward women in STEM?
I think inclusion through the form of retention and promotion is the main issue right now. As a society, we have significantly larger numbers of women in the workplace than we did before, but it is no secret that we are severely lacking women in top management positions. There are millions of factors contributing to this, but it can be repaired with a shift to truly inclusive cultures. These inclusive cultures have to be built intentionally with the experiences and voices of underrepresented identities at the forefront of the process. It is deep root change, and it starts with all of us taking ownership for the work environments we create, the resources we offer one another, and the relationships we build with each other.
For female students who are looking for internships or full-time positions right now, how can GLAM + GLOW be a resource for them?
I utilize my EngineerLikeALady blog with three purposes in mind. To create an environment of social justice learning and healthy discourse surrounding practices in the STEM and corporate space, to provide career and lifestyle tips and resources, and to normalize the existence of bold brown women such as myself as a means of validation extended to other women of color. Our stories are powerful, and our silence is our largest oppressor. When we come together as a community, we can break our imposter syndromes, realize our full potential, and achieve the seemingly impossible. I hope people utilize my resources to pursue growth within themselves professionally and personally, and glam+grow is just one of the many ways we can do that. I also provide resume and cover letter editing services, I encourage any students to reach out to me for professional development and mentoring!
Check out @engineerlikealady for more inspiration and motivation, and watch Glam+Grow Instagram live every Friday on her account!