By Monica Abdallah (ChE ’17)
The Cooper Pioneer: Can you tell me about a summer experience you have had?
Stella Blue Porzungolo: The summer before my senior year, I took an internship at BAE Systems. It is a once British-owned, now American, global company that produces specialized, high grade military weapons and does scientific research. The internship, called Women in Technology, helped gear young women into working in STEM fields.
TCP: What work did you do while you were there?
SBP: I had two specific roles, one in software and one in mechanical engineering. Our main collaborative project was to hypothetically design and start to process thoughts, ideas, and rough detailing of a military watch. We looked at it through the lenses that someone as a mechanical engineer might and tested materials to produce the watch. These were the same materials that are used for hip or knee replacements. Similar materials that one would find in the medical field are used in designing tools for the military. We also completed a software engineering section in which we learned the basic coding and scripts to build the technical mechanisms of the military watch. We really got a full-rounded experience of the STEM fields.
TCP: What was the most interesting part of the internship?
SBP: I didn’t particularly like any section of the internship more than the other, because I know I don’t want to be an engineer. It helped me understand my passion for architectural design and differentiate my interests. But at BAE Systems, I particularly enjoyed the mechanical engineering.
TCP: So it solidified your choice to study architecture?
SBP: It didn’t solidify. It just made other less desired, but viable, career options crumble in my forefront.
TCP: Last question: Is there anything you learned that you are bringing with you to Cooper?
SBP: Collaboration is important. Talking is important. Critique is important. But motivation is key.